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Posts Tagged ‘God’s will’

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Passion 2017 got started as I spent my time at the resource booth selling shirts, CD’s, DVD’s and other merchandise. It was weird at first not being out in the seats listening to the worship music and sermon, but I knew God was using me so these college kids could be used by God. Ten years ago that was me out in those seats for the first time. Once things got underway, I was able to step out and listen during slow periods. I was blessed to have a great team of people to work with. The Passion Band got things started off with some new songs. Sean Curran introduced a new song called “Worthy of Your Name” which was powerful. Louie Giglio invited Dr. Charles Stanley to come up and open Passion with a prayer. Christine Caine spoke a powerful word on endurance. Crowder closed the session out and brought out special guest Carrie Underwood to sing with him on stage. It was an amazing night to kick off Passion 2017.

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Carrie Underwood and Crowder (Photo from Passion)

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DOOR HOLDER – One who takes great pleasure in opening the door for others to experience Jesus.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere: I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

Psalms 84:10

Door Holders at Passion Conferences have been on the inside and have experienced God’s glory, and therefore consider it a privilege to stand on the outside and hold the doors for others to come and experience Jesus. In fact, they would rather hold the door than be anywhere else because their heartbeat has shifted away from themselves and is set on preparing the way for others to have a powerful experience with Jesus. 

I attended my first Passion conference ten years ago and it changed my life. I’ve been to quite a few since then and felt it was my time to give back to this movement that has shaped my life over the years. It was Passion’s twentieth anniversary and the last one in the Georgia Dome. I signed up to be a Door Holder (or volunteer) for my last conference.

I took a red eye flight to Atlanta and arrived on a cold and rainy morning. The good thing is that it will keep me awake for the day. We had an early morning Door Holder meeting in the Georgia World Congress Center. Atlanta has become a home away from home for me. I was assigned to the resource team and would be selling books, music and videos to the students here at Passion. My team lead was a pretty cool guy named Josh Sorensen. We set up and stocked our shelves in the Georgia Dome in preparation for the first session that evening. I enjoyed getting to know many of the people on my team who came from all over to help serve this big event.

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“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”   

Isaiah 26:8

Passion held its first conference in Austin, TX on January 1-4, 1997. That event drew around 2,000 students. Louie and Shelley Giglio are the founders of the Passion movement that seeks to see spiritual awakening on college campuses and to see many students to come to know Christ. Several national gatherings, OneDay events and tours would follow along with worship recordings and DVDs. I was introduced to Passion in 2007 (their 10 year anniversary) by the Pastor of my young adult group at that time. He flew over 30 of us to Atlanta, GA for their 4 day gathering at Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center (over 22,000 students in attendance). I was newly single and just went on my first mission trip to Belize. I was pondering God’s will and direction for my life after my 9 year marriage ended. After participating in the “Do Something Now” campaign which raised $1.5 million dollars for global ministries on six continents and listening to Louie Giglio’s message about a party for the nations, I started to see some clarity in God’s calling for me. Passion ’07 absolutely change my life forever.

Fast forward to 2017 and it is now the 20th anniversary of the Passion conferences. In that time I have attended gatherings in 2010, 2013, 2015, a regional gathering in 2008 and a concert on the Take it All tour. Each one of these events were special to me and contributed to me following God’s will for my life. Passion 2013 in the Georgia Dome (over 60,000 students!) was life changing because of the launch of End It Movement  X – an awareness campaign that seeks to abolish modern-day slavery and sex trafficking. I am so incredibly thankful to the faithfulness of the Giglio’s and their staff for pouring into me through these amazing gatherings. I prayed about it and made the decision to attend one more gathering in the soon-to-be demolished Georgia Dome. This time I felt I needed to give back by being a door holder. Door holders are the hundreds of volunteers that serve on different teams such as community groups, logistics and registration. They are the glue that holds these Passion gatherings together. I’m not only excited to being a part of serving these students but also being a part of this 20 anniversary gathering of Passion.

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” 

 Psalm 84:10

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Passion ’07

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Passion ’97

Above is a photo taken at the very first Passion gathering in 1997. It’s amazing to know that a gathering of 2,000 students would eventually grow to over 60,000 in a twenty year span. Below are some videos describing the heart behind the lyrics of the worship songs that will be sung at this year’s Passion gathering.

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Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly

1 Peter 5:2

It’s been a crazy few weeks as I have been really staying attentive to God and His will for me. I had this moment a few weeks ago where I was able to retrace my steps of where I am at today to a moment when I was struggling in my walk and I listened to God’s voice and made a step in obedience. It set off a chain reaction of events during a difficult time that brought me to where I am now. It’s so cool to know that God is always working and always restoring and all we need to do is listen and follow. Last year I set myself up financially for later in life with investments and retirement funds, etc. It dawned on me that I have a son who starts college next year and another one just a few years behind him and that I need to be a better steward of God’s money. So I got responsible with my finances and have been preparing myself for my future and where God may want me later in life. God has put some incredible mentors in my life that have walked me to this point and now I am able to give back to those younger than me. I have also had the opportunity to get some good teaching lately from some conferences of what is going on in the world and how I can acclimate my heart to God’s will. But recently He has called me to something that I didn’t think I would diving into anytime soon – church leadership. My first experience was both good and bad. I am always appreciative of Cornerstone church for giving me my first shot at leadership. I really learned a lot from that experience (and a lot about myself). But the biggest thing I regret about it is that I never had any formal training. I was hand-picked for the job and thrown to the wolves by doing it on my own. I was still a pretty new Christ follower and had lots to work through with myself. The last thing that the Pastor of that church told me when I left was that I had all the potential to be a leader and that I should continue to aspire to be a leader after I have taken care of my stuff first. I really took his words to heart that day. Today I am in a totally new phase of life and through praying with many of my mentors and people I trust, God has led me back to the first steps of returning to leadership. I honestly have no clue what this looks like as I refuse to try to define God’s will for me. But I do feel God is allowing me back out in the world and He is saying to me that this time we are going to do it right (that would be His way). I am beginning an intense lengthy training on church leadership next week with some of the most predominant church leaders in the valley. I am so looking forward to soaking in some teaching and learning the biblical principles of what it means to be a leader from some of these Godly men. I am excited because the training doesn’t just include leadership in the church, but also at home and in work field. I do have some nervousness yet at the same time I am excited to follow in God’s footsteps. It’s good to be in His will and take the proper steps for growth.

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Advent – Day 5

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And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7 (ESV)

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Christine Asobora is a one year old baby. Yet she can’t walk and weighs only 14 lbs. She also has a skin rash that has spread all over her body. That is because she has stunted growth caused by malaria. Her mother, Rebecca has to provide for the family because her husband has a severe liver problem. They have a brick laying business that she has to run on her own. After paying off laborers, she is left with about US$30 a month to provide for the family. Christine’s medicine is about US$6. Proper nutrition is important for her as well for her health and their family can only afford to eat cassava (a type of woody shrub) and beans. She is being breastfed because they can’t afford cow’s milk. Rebecca’s situation is essentially ‘helpless’.

I love to travel and marvel at God’s creation (Genesis 1:31). But as beautiful as it is, this world is not free of sin. There is poverty and stories like Rebecca’s everywhere in this world. I’m sure it is hard for many people to see this world as beautiful. I am so blessed – I have a home, a car, a job, an education, a good church, etc. Even when I go through financial hardships, I have opportunities to get a loan or make extra money. I can seek counsel when I have relationship problems or get medicine when I’m sick. I can even sit in a hot tub when my back hurts.

We have a tendency to blame God when we look at poverty or when there is a crisis in the world. We want to know why He would allow these things to happen. Does He even care? What we don’t get is that it is our own sin that causes this (Romans 5:12). Not only do we hurt each other, we haven’t taken care of God’s creation. Because of how greedy and corrupt we can be, it has left this great imbalance of wealth and poverty in the world. Rebecca and her family are a perfect example of a family suffering from humanity’s sin in the world.

While we go through these trials, we have to be careful to not give into temptation. It’s easy to get desperate and allow temptation to cloud our judgement. We like to count on ourselves to make things happen and not trust God. I’m not one to give up easy and at times have found myself doing what it takes to make things happen or get out of a situation. I have spent money I didn’t have many times and even restored to stealing in my younger days. I want to rely on God in my circumstances, not myself. I need to trust God to take care of me.

HOPE  –  I love this word. Hebrews 9:15 says Jesus came to rescue us. Having that relationship with Him gives us endless possibilities that He can do with us. God can even heal the little girl in the story from malaria if it be His will. But coming to Christ doesn’t always guarantee our deepest desires and answered prayers. When I came to Christ after my wife left me, I prayed over and over that God would heal my marriage. But that wasn’t in His will for me. But during those years of being single, I was able to draw close to God. He molded me to be a better father and used my singleness for His purposes in ministry. Even though it was a difficult time, God blessed me and rescued me from my life of sin.

“Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

In a perfect world, I would love to see all hearts turn to God and worship Him. I pray that His will be accomplished here on earth. Ephesians 2:10 says that God created us (when saved by grace) to do good works (His will). So it is up to us to carry out His plans. God created me with a purpose and I want to carry out His will accordingly.

World Water Day – March 22, 2011

The U.N. designates March 22 as the day of the year when we spotlight the global safe water and sanitation issue and the collective efforts underway to get solutions to those struggling and in need.

The Marsabit district – a very hot and extremely poor, crumbling dry area in northern Kenya.

Below is a video about Sabina. She has to walk a long way to get water – Pray for the nearly 1 billion people worldwide who lack access to a clean, safe source of water. Pray that many more communities will be transformed by the gift of clean water.

Every day, 1.1 billion people have to wash with, bathe in and drink dirty water.

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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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