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Posts Tagged ‘counseling’

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Today I started a new course with CCEF called Biblical Interpretation. It’s a course that helps apply scripture to the everyday hustle and bustle of life. As I go through my counseling training with my church, I pray that this course will enrich my life with the Word as I apply it and help mentor others. I met Dr Mike Emlet at the CCEF national conference last year and I’m looking forward to having him as an instructor for this course. My Mission Community consists of many former Pastors who took the time to pray for me and encourage me as I begin this journey with my studies. I am thankful for the ministry of CCEF and how it has been a huge blessing to my life.

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Road trips are always a great way to process things. It gives you the opportunity to reflect and ponder life. This road trip in particular has been good for me because I’ve experienced so much recently and God has been working in my life as a result of these experiences. I’ve experienced the death of both my Grandmother and my uncle in the past two weeks. I had a wonderful Holy Week in which I was able to proclaim my faith in baptism. I’m doing life with some pretty amazing people and my family has bonded together in ways I haven’t seen in a long time. God is good and my Grandmother’s death has drawn me closer to Him. I’m headed out to Catalyst West Coast in Irvine, California. I first went to Catalyst in 2009 with a team of leaders from my previous church. I attended the year after as well and haven’t been back since. Now I find myself being called to these conferences to soak in some teaching and to learn from those that are leading the church today. God has been preparing my heart for some big plans recently and has been opening many doors for me already. I attended a conference for my counseling college in the Fall and started to pray to God about what He wanted me to do with the courses that I have been taking. Not too long later, God started to bring young men into my life in search of mentorship and now I am finding myself pouring into the lives of several men as of late. My spiritual life grew closer to God through worship and He has further shaped my heart to be a part of being a voice for this generation by seeking change in this world. This grew out of attending Passion in Atlanta. God further aligned my heart to His heart for justice in Philadelphia by the example of those that spearheaded the movement for justice before me. Now God is calling me back into leadership. I just completely eight weeks of leadership training, joined my church counseling team and started a missional community. Catalyst is a wonderful conference of teaching and equipping leaders in ministry and I’m excited He has called me to come back. I saw Brad Lomenick speak a couple of months back at PhoenixONE and it was confirmation that God wanted me to be back here in Irvine. I also have many friends from the many years I was in ministry that are going to be here and I’m excited to spend time with them. After arriving, I spent my first night in worship praising the Lord for how great He is on the beaches of Newport Beach watching the sun go down.

Newport

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Giving Back

The past couple of weeks I have had some one on one coffee time with some guy friends younger than me. I don’t think this is no accident as God has me in a place where I just want to give back. I’ve been through quite a bit and now I want to share my experiences with guys younger than me so they don’t make the same mistakes. I am thankful to have some counseling training with CCEF and I am looking forward to taking some more classes with them. One of the guys I met with is a long time friend one mine. Taylor was on one of my Tijuana trips that I led years ago when he was in high school. In the summers, he works at Forest Home and we hung at PhoenixONE earlier this year together. Now he is a student at NAU. He has been in a relationship for some time and came to me for some advice. I was happy to impart what I could even though I have a lot to learn myself. I also had some time sharing with my friends Michael and Cody. I am thankful to share my life with these guys, but also being encouraged by how they are living their life for the Lord.

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I had a really good week this week. I feel very focused. I also feel really relaxed. I’m really grateful for the people and the things that God has brought into my life. As I continue to pray about his will in my life, he continues to use me in ways I can’t explain. The only way I can explain it to say that it was all God. He can use anyone.
I’ve been studying two things the past couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to better my understanding of the Holy Spirit and how he works and I’ve also been studying the concept of church and community. The Holy Spirit had always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve didn’t understand his role in the Godhead for some time. Yet I know the Spirit is in me. He guides me in my walk everyday. But at the same time I still forget to call upon the Spirit. I will be put in a position to be used by God and I wonder if I can do it. The thing is, I can’t. But God can. The Spirit gives us the power to do God’s will. Why is that so hard to remember?
I get convicted by the Spirit almost weekly. I don’t think we can call upon the Spirit without repentance. It’s the only way I can look at what has happened to me these past couple of years. I just try to be obedient and follow his will and the Spirit gives me the power to go about it.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.   Romans 8:9-11(NIV)


As I try and discover God’s will in my life, I do at times have my frustrations. I know he has called me to ministry. As scary as that sounds, I can’t say no to that. He has done too much and revealed to much for me to say no. I am also trusting that to him to decide what that is. At this point, I’m not sure what his will in my life is. I know my spiritual gifts and I see where he is leading me. But I gave up trying to pinpoint and define it. I want him to lead me there. I want to have the faith to believe he knows what he is doing. I had a lead pastor come up to me last night and ask me what my ministry was. I kinda laughed at this. I told him I don’t really have one. That I’m just learning the ropes and trying to find God’s will in my life. I’m not sure why he asked me or who he thought I was.
The thing is that I’m a late bloomer in this calling to ministry at my age. I just surrendered my life almost three years ago. I have no seminary or theological background. I read my Bible, listen to sermons and ask a lot of questions on a daily basis. I hang out at church 5 times a week. This is my way of learning ministry. Yet, what I really want is a mentor to help guide me and push me about the in’s and out’s of ministry. I want to know where to start my first steps. Is it schooling, interning, on the job training? I’m not sure..
I once had a guy offer to mentor me without me asking or getting to know me. I truly believe a person seeks a mentor, not vise versa. So I declined his offer. Ron Merrell has been the closest thing I had to a mentor. Now he just left. So I am now taking what I learned from him and applying it. But I feel I need a little direction. I feel I need someone to help me with those first steps of really learning ministry. I meet with a pastor from another church and a missionary on the side every few weeks for some spiritual advice, but it’s not enough. The frustrating thing that I’ve seen lately is that some people with a seminary background aren’t willing to help raise up new leaders. They’ll brag to me about their ‘church background’ and knowledge, but won’t apply it to others. I feel like it’s a members only club. I’m tired of seeing this. Is this really what God wanted for the church? I feel that if someone comes to you and sincerely wants to learn from you, you should feel honored to do that for them. That’s just how I feel.
Yet I know God will raise someone up. I do have an amazing opportunity that was presented to me to counsel 5th/6th graders. I’m still praying about that decision. I would have to step away from my divorce group. Yet I want that experience. I know it would be good for me. So I’m seeing some things going on as I write this. I just need to make sure that I don’t get overloaded like I did last year. So far, I’m doing well with balancing my life.
Well, I just had a lot on my mind. Life is good, God is good. I’m grateful to him for what he has done. I’m grateful for my life. I just need to continue to trust him. I’ve seen him use too many people in amazing ways to not trust him.

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