Friday, November 26, 2010

Peace and Happiness???

Thanksgiving just happened yesterday. It was nice getting to relax but it didn’t feel like Thanksgiving and I’m afraid Christmas might not feel like Christmas. I think we’ve lost the meaning of it all. Thanksgiving isn’t a time to be thankful for what we have or a time to be with family anymore. It has become a time to complain about a football team; a time to tear down each other; a time to worry if everyone will like the turkey; a time to stress; and a time to ask what you want for Christmas. This past week I was watching a commercial and it was a countdown for a countdown??? Seriously and before Thanksgiving was over people were already starting to get ready for Christmas. We can’t even have one day of thanks?!?!  My family is limiting the presents that are passed out this year and at first I wasn’t too happy about it but the more I think about it the more I realize that I am already blessed with so much that I truly have forgotten what Christmas is about. We live from moment to moment seeking whatever is most fulfilling for us. “Whatever makes me happy.” I don’t want to live or think that ever again. “We need to live in the moment” as one of my English teachers would always say. This time of the year was not started to cause stress and headaches but peace and happiness. We’ve lost that somewhere along the way. Be thankful for the many blessing you have and know that this is the season of giving because God gave to us first.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

God is the Joy

So where to begin? I'm going through some confusing situations. I feel as though I'm running on a tred mill. You know you run and run and run but you haven't gone anywhere. You're still right there. So things happened that kinda opened up my eyes and heart. No I'd say they blew it open! Feelings I thought were gone came up not exactly the same but I know it's not just a coincedence or maybe it is or maybe it's God saying this is what I want for you. The thing is I see the end result but what I don't see is how I'm going to get there. Which is kind of scary since "there" is so far ahead. At least I think it is. But this probably isn't making any sense because I'm not being specific but I can't not here. Not now. When I talk to my roommates about it I get the same advice; just be patient and pray about it. Well I am and have been praying about it. I've never been good at patience though. I'm more of a "let's jump in the middle of it and go from there" not a "sit on the sidelines" kind of guy. I want to be the knight and rescue my beauty from the turmoil. I want to rush in and save the burning building. I don't want to sit and watch it burn. I don't want to sit and watch her die. But yet I listen to them and feel that that is what God wants for now. If I would continue to listen it will work out. I have grown this year mostly in the past few months. Not physically, at least I don't think so, but spiritually. I feel that I am closer to God. This gets me excited because of everything that is happening. Right now I am learning to find joy in the LORD even when everything around me is sad and ways me down. Even in the worst situation here on Earth I am still one of God's sons and loved by him with a love that is unfathomable.
Real quick on the Africa Expedition. I should be getting the wrist-bands tomorrow which means my parents will bring them Friday or Saturday. Then I can start selling them. I need money! This trip is expensive and I don't have any yet. Please support this, it is for the kingdom of God. Also, I still need prayer, never cease praying whether for me or others, never cease. It's neat to try and go a whole day with out saying amen. Try walking around campus and when you see a random person pray for them and then the next and next. Whether it brings you joy or not and I guarantee it will. You will have impacted lives for Christ. We are here to show the love of Christ! So let's do that! Let the joy inside of you overflow! Thank you for your time. I leave you with these two quotes. 
"if there is no sacrifice, if there is no hurt, it probably isn't love" - Michael Morgan Donehey
"God grant me your wisdom, give me your loving endurance, strengthen me to live out your will, and create in me a joy that overflows to all around me." - Me (ask God for this and he will rock your world!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

All I Have To Do Is Trust

     So missions... I am preparing for one right now. I just had an interview this past Tuesday and it felt really good just talking with the interviewer and hearing what he had to say and him just listening to my life stories. I have been pumped about next summer as soon as I knew God called me to go. I didn't know where. I didn't know with who. All I knew was that I was going. Immediately I started looking at shirt fundraiser ideas. My roommate told me about this wrist-band website and I checked it out. About 40 minutes later I had purchased 300 wrist-bands and I still had no idea who I was gonna be going with or what I was going to be doing. But I knew to trust in God. That's all I have to do.
     See he's already told me that money is not going to be an option and he's told me I'm going so what is there to worry about. So after I bought the wrist bands I was telling one of my best friends about it and she told me to go check out the AIM website. So I went to the computer and looked but there was nothing about summer 2011. I waited a few weeks and checked again. They were putting the trips up right then. I saw Africa Expedition. I sent an e-mail to ask more questions but I was going on this trip either way so I started applying. After I had everything ready and filled out all that was needed was the $39 to send in the application. I had the money I was worried about that. But I had been praying all this time that God would be in every aspect of this trip and give me the words to say and the things I needed to know. I walked away from the computer and started hanging out with my roommates and watching TV and forgot about the application that night. That was until one of my roommates called me in his room closed the door and said "God wants me to give you this money. I know what your doing and I want to help." He had a $20 in his hand I got excited that was my first funds for the trip! Then he paused and said "Wait...God wants me to give more." He pulled out another $20. I took it very thankfully and went and sent the application off as soon as I walked in my room.
     God said he would provide for this mission trip and he has and is going to continue to do so. Is he not amazing?! He will fund this trip for me...all I have to do is trust.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Prayer to God

     Ok God I know I felt you move and you put the desire to go to Africa on my heart a few years ago. And I was supposed to go this past summer but I put my life before your will and maybe what all happened was on purpose but the passion I have to go to Africa is too much to be just my desire. It must be your doing. Which is not wrong I wish you willed everything that I was supposed to do like you are doing this. I want to go to Africa and this summer a few weeks before I came to ETBU you put on my heart that I was for sure going to Africa but then you specified my calling there. The desire to reach orphans and show them love. To show them your love. Your love through me. So that is what I will do. Here’s where you get to glorify yourself. I don’t have the money for this and you know that. That won’t stop me and I know that you’re not even worried about that issue. So here are some suggestions and I want to life them up to you before I put them into action. I heard about people making t-shirts to help fund their trips. So I want to do that unless you don’t want to but I think it would help. Another thing is email everyone I know and write letters to churches and family members telling them what I am doing or plan on doing and that I can’t fund this trip on my own; this will give them an opportunity to help. On the shirt idea. Help me find a verse that will glorify you and get people to ask questions and raise awareness to the lack of love. I want to start now on all of this but I don’t even know what group or organization I am going with??? Guide me in the right direction. If I’m supposed to go through a major organization or if I am supposed to go through the contacts that Andie and Kelly have. Send me to where I am needed most in Africa. In saying that I would like to make it back so I can tell others and encourage them to do the same or reach those here. I don’t want this to be a one time thing. I want it to be more than a summer in Africa. Prepare me now but also change me then. Not necessarily change but mold me. Open the doors and make this trip plausible. But I do want it to be known that it only happened because you made it possible. 
      God bless this trip and go ahead of me. I’m not asking for you to make it easy, but I’m not asking you to make it hard either. Test me before, during,  and after this trip. Let it bring me closer to you. Be with me as I plan, help me listen to you and let you guide me along the right path that you have set before me. May I do your will even if it is against mine. I lift this up to you so you make receive the glory. In your holy name. Amen.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Starting Back Up

it’s been a while since i’ve done a blog. i mean the last one i did was for a class, not that that is bad or anything but you can tell the difference in one that is mandatory and one that is from the heart. so the blogs to come will be different. they won’t look neat and orderly. there might not even be perfect punctuation. i’m just using this as a means of getting things off my chest. something i can go back to later and look back on to see where i was at this crucial time in my life.
i’m in college now. i’m a junior which is crazy! it doesn’t feel like it at all. i’m gonna be a speech comm major with a minor in religion. i figure it will help me with public speaking. it would be cool to be a speaker at different youth events. i feel that its crucial to reach out to these young adults not just because thats what i am now, but because that is where the movement will start. adults are to comfortable and set in their ways (not all adults but the majority yes). the youth however aren’t therefore they have the ability to change. what else about me? i have a brother that proves God exists and cares everyday. i am single. which is interesting cuz i havent been for that long. i dated a girl for almost a year and a half. she was great! she truly was and she lived for God. but we started growing apart over the summer and different things built up until finally i couldn’t stand it when she did certain things. lack of communication can kill a relationship. i’m still in the awkward stage when i am around her. we both have the same friends. things are different now and i haven’t adjusted. on top of that i had started to talk to another girl almost immediately after we broke up. i wasn’t looking for a g/f this girl just kinda happened. we hung out and talked but that was it. nothing more. but about 5 days ago i felt like God was telling me not to date anyone for the time being. you see when i date someone i give them all of my attention i push everything else to the side i.e. God, friends, family, school. i know its not the healthiest thing but thats what i have done in the past. the Lord pointed that out to me through different friends and i realized i was already doing that with this new girl. so i told her we can only be friends maybe later more but not for the time being. i felt bad saying that cuz i was yanking the rug out from under her but at the same time i didn’t cuz i was obeying God.
I screw up all the time and yet i don’t understand how God can still love me. He truly is great! i’ve been reading through Isaiah over the past year it feels like. (i don’t have daily devotionals) but half way thru it i was getting tired of everything saying how great and magnificent and merciful and loving is the LORD. just chapter after chapter was saying the same thing then i realized how true it is. what else should we write about other than the fact that our God, the LORD Almighty is number 1! there is no one or anything better than Him. he deserves all the praise. His grace is beyond explanation. His love is beyond comparison. He loves us, He loves me because He is so great even though we don’t deserve it.
i hope this helps you if your reading it. i’m doing this to help myself but i pray that God uses it to help you. to Him be the glory forever and ever.
-   Josh