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Posts Tagged ‘shining light’

This song has always had special meaning to me. We sang it a lot on my first mission trip 6 years ago and every time I would hear it I would think of that particular trip and how God called me to be on mission. How I have interpreted what ‘being on mission’ looks like has changed so much over the years. Today my Pastor talked about being on mission and afterwards we sang this song. It was a moment I needed to just stand in the back and really listen to God what He was saying to me in that moment.

Chris spoke about his heart to be on mission to both the ASU and Tempe High campuses (funny – both schools I went to). I spend about 80% of my time in the surrounding community building relationships and serving people – it’s kinda how God wired me. I form relationships pretty easily and I attribute that gift to God.  I just formed a partnership with an amazing faith base coffee shop and was just offered an opportunity to teach english classes to international students in both Tempe and in China. These are just some of the ways God is calling me to be ‘on mission’ to the community and the world.

Even though these things are exciting and rewarding, I’m still a family man at heart. As I pack for vacation here, I am reminded of how much I love spending time with my boys and being there for them. I’m enjoying my time with my siblings and friends as well. First and foremost, being on mission for my family comes first. This is something I have confused many times in the past. It’s also a common mistake with Pastors who put their ministry above their families.

A few years back I was in a great relationship with an amazing girl and I began to withdraw from her as we got more serious. As I look back at that, my fear was I wouldn’t be able to do ‘big and great things’ for God if I married her. My heart and identity was wrapped up in a mega church that I was grossly over-volunteering for and a mediocre missions program that I was trying to inject life into. Being on mission meant that I was doing the noticeable things for God and I made sure ‘Facebook world’ knew about it. Now I look back and laugh at how arrogant and selfish I was back then. It wasn’t about God, it was about me. Who am I to interpret what ‘big things’ for God looks like?

I’m very thankful for the opportunities that God gives me to go out into the world and serve and for the serving opportunities here in the valley. They really do enrich and reward my life and it’s my heart and I love telling the stories of what God is doing (not me). But at the same time, I love being on mission for my family and watching my boys grow to be amazing men of God. God has really rewired my thinking and shown me what the Kingdom is all about. Jesus says over and over that the Kingdom of God is near and for me, that could just be chatting with the guy next to me in a coffee shop. Only Jesus can move mountains (the ‘big things”) and I am here to be His servant so He can use me to be that shining light to others. His will, not mine and I am thankful to be even just a small part of His plan for the world.

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I spent my whole night with God tonight in front of this candle. I’m at a place in my life where God and I just talk all the time. I had a very interesting week this week. I shared my story with someone I deeply care about Saturday night and it got me processing a lot about where I am at in my walk. God’s really pulling me out into the community to share the gospel and my testimony to others. The brokenness of this jacked up world is really weighing on my heart. I really care and love people  and I find myself hurting for them. It kills me to see people make the choice of turning from God when Satan throws his punches our way.

Church for me exists in the world. Sundays are great for fellowship and teaching, but I’m growing in my walk meeting with people out in the surrounding community. Tonight I spent hours in the smoky atmosphere of Coffee Rush with a brother that just went through divorce. It’s a shitty thing for anyone to have to ever go through and I feel for this guy cuz he has little kids. But what an encouraging night that came from hanging out with him. God used me to impact his life in our short time together and he in turn was a blessing to me. I knew of him when he was married and was always encouraged when I saw his family. But then last summer I saw him at a small group alone with a look in his face that was all too familiar. I knew right then and there his marriage was over and I felt for him. But hearing him speak of his desire to cling to Christ through this tough time made me knew that God was going to take care of him. Tonight we had the opportunity to meet for the first time.

What an amazing turnaround God has done in his life! God is really working in this guy. I’m not saying that life is easy for him – he’s lonely, he’s struggling with lust and finances. Yet he has peace because he knows God is going to pull him through this. That’s God!!!! He doesn’t let go. We can have peace and hope because he is our anchor when life sucks. He is ever faithful and true and we can cling to hope when disaster comes. I love this verse from Hebrews..

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  – Hebrews 6:19

I’ve gone through more pain and trials since coming to Christ than when I lived life without him. Coming to Christ doesn’t guarantee things will get easy. But when we surrender our lives to him, He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us and we can have peace in that. He is the anchor to our souls and we can navigate through the crap when we cling to the cross. I have experienced the type of trials that can destroy a man. But at the same time I can honestly say that I am where I am today because of Jesus Christ. His grace and love for me are the only things that got me where I am today. I don’t fear man or this world because God continues to show me that he will bring me through whatever I go through and give me exactly what I need. What an amazing God we have!

Tonight I saw my new friend and the power of what God can do when we turn to Him. This guy turned to the cross of Christ – the place where God loves us and where Jesus shows us that he understands what we are going through. And now his testimony will be used to change the lives of others who are experiencing trouble. This guy prayed for me and told me how much meeting me impacted his life in a short few hours. I laugh because I feel the same way about him. He was a light to me tonight and a reminder of who God is when life beats us down. I love how the body of Christ is used to encourage each other.

Tonight I realized where God wants me after spending some time with Him. I know a big part of that is being out in the secular world and serving these men that are struggling and going through painful situations. I get pain and I don’t fear it. Jesus is my rock and I’m secure in that and pain has always brought me closer to him. People call me modern-day Job or whatever, but they also know that Christ is my foundation and the trials of life just make me cling to Christ. I want to share that and proclaim that to others. God may allow freedom in this world, but He doesn’t lose control. He knows what we go through and he offers himself as a source of hope to overcome it.

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