February 27, 2011


   Sunday mornings are usually the same, bland routine for me every week. I wake up at 9:30, eat and get dressed, and then I'm out the door to go to church. I fellowship and talk with some friends for a while, do some singing, hear a message, and then go home. That's every week for me...and maybe it is for some of you too. I believe that if we continually get caught in this cycle of "going to church on Sunday mornings" and it begins to become some kind of tradition or normal routine (just like going to class during the week), we will get so numb to God as an amazing Creator and Father and He becomes just some "part" of our life. That's not how it should be. Church isn't about hanging out with friends, hearing an amazing band play, or listening to a very enticing (and sometimes humorous) message from the pastor. Don't get me wrong, we need to connect with fellow Christians and worship bands help lead us in worship (in the singing form), and pastors are supposed to teach from the Word. But in this day and age (especially in the American church) it becomes more of a show and social hangout than being a time to spend with our amazing and Almighty God!

   Today I wanted to step away from all of the programmatic aspects of Sunday morning church and just simply spend some one-on-one time with God myself. We were made to worship Him and what better way to do that than being in His creation, with His Word opened on my lap, and just talking to Him? It is amazing! I know I overuse that word, but what else can I really say? The inside of me can't begin to express externally my eternal love for God! So as I was sitting on a bench at the beach (at 8 this morning), I could just see and hear the waves crashing, birds flying by, small clouds in the air, and the sand between my toes. I took in the beauty of what was around and was absolutely astonished by God's greatness. We're always so busy nowadays with school, work, deadlines, finances and the like almost 24/7. Yet, we tend to only "sacrifice" 3 hours of our time with God on Sunday morning. He deserves much more than that for sure! Anything I do for Him never can fulfill what amount He truly deserves, but I can give all the time I can! Today, I just merely talked to God and read His Word and even read some other books that help with my Walk. It was just incredible and I would have loved to been there all day, but it got kinda hot, haha!

   I would love to actually do what I did this morning every Sunday, but of course I need to connect with other believers as well. But I think I'll do it quite often, perhaps every other week ;)
My love for Jesus grew more today and I don't want to limit that to only one time and continue with my life like nothing has changed. In fact, I'm not done today! I'm still gonna spend practically all of my day in my room, praying and reading His Word! I want to pursue Jesus, His Love, and the ministry every day of my life! I don't need anything else in this world, but Him alone!

Spend a one-on one time with Jesus today! You don't have to figure out what to read or pray, just talk to Him and read a passage in the Scriptures, even if it's something you've read many times! Ask Him to reveal something you never saw before in His Word and allow it to work through you! You won't regret it! In fact, you'll find yourself asking, "Why have I not been doing this before??" My prayer is that you who are reading this will experience the love of Christ the way it was meant to be experienced and responded to! :)

"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go for to You I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

"Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Psalm 90:14

"On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night." Psalm 63:6

"'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth.'" Psalm 46:10

February 25, 2011

Real and True Love

   The past few days have been quite amazing yet very stressful. I had lots of work to complete this week (with an unexpected extra assignment tacked on) and I finally finished it all! But that's not the only thing amazing that happened this week. God has been really working in me (I know that I must sound like a broken record by now, but it's true!) and I realized this week just how much of a change I went through and am still going through! Not only have I been getting ever so closer to my Savior and getting to know Him more and more intimately, but also all of the love He has shown me (and just the love He has for me in general) has been welling up in me for so long that now it is pouring out of me and onto other people! This is absolutely amazing and astounding to me!! I'll tell you what happened that made me realize this. Everyone has heard of the St. Pete officer that was killed (David Crawford, I believe) and how the suspect is only 16 years old! That's just crazy! What I used to feel when I heard about things like that was pure and high dislike (hate is a strong word) towards that person. But this time, I felt something different; something that isn't from me; something that I've been missing out on for so many years; something that only God could mold into me: love. Wow. Like, I have never felt pure love and compassion for someone that mercilessly killed a person! And here I am having really sincere compassion on a 16 year old kid that is now a murderer! I never experienced this before and now I am! Do you know what it is that helps me love someone like that? Jesus' love for me. As a human being, I realize that I am no better or more deserving than this kid. I realize that he and I are one in the same: sinners. And by realizing that love God has for me, I now love this kid, no matter what he did! It's amazing! I can't even begin to describe in words how this feels, but I wish everyone could and would experience it! And this love I have, I realize too, is not for just this one boy, but for everyone!! Especially teenagers!! This love for teenagers, the burden for the unsaved, and the desire for getting into ministry has made me see that God, I really believe, is changing me like crazy for youth ministry purposes! And my mind has changed too in the fact that I am ALWAYS thinking about Jesus, His love for me and all humanity, the lost and unsaved and reaching out to them, and the life to come! I now have a constant eternal mindset and perspective! I'm ready to give up anything and everything for Jesus and the work He has for me! And seriously, by definition, I'm obsessed with Jesus and living only for Him no matter what people think of me! :)

February 15, 2011

Seriously, I'm Serious

   As many of you already know, I work at my local library, and we have a system where we can put any particular item on "hold" from another library and it will be shipped to ours to be picked up! A neat system I only have worked with until recently when I actually used it! It was such a great feeling putting David Platt's book Radical on hold (which won't be ready for pick up for at least another week) that I also put three more books on hold: Christless Christianity by Michael Horton, Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry by Doug Fields, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Today I picked up Christless Christianity and Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry and let me tell you, amazing books so far!! Christless Christianity is about how the Gospel is slowly being twisted and distorted in our American culture today; a more self-centered, self-pleasing, and self-help Gospel leaving out the saving power of Christ's death and resurrection. Since reading it, I see how some of these "therapies" with a "Christian" label have slowly made their way into churches I have attended! Insane, isn't it? It has opened my eyes to the fact that I even accepted some of the teachings, trusting that the pastor knows better when in actuality, he is even unaware! Crazy stuff!

    But the one book I've been super loving is Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry! Like I told my friend Sarah yesterday, "I'm really serious about getting into youth ministry. I know it's where God has me headed. I'm excited, but also, quite frankly, I'm scared too." There are certain things (like specific biblical education available at Bible colleges) that I have to wait a while for. It makes my impatience skyrocket because I really want to get into Bible college right now! But you know what? I realize that the most important aspect of the path to youth ministry is my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is super important to mature in my faith and grow spiritually everyday before I start working for the LORD in youth ministry. So right now I'm currently focusing more on Him before I go any further. I also knew that if I am serious about getting into the ministry, I should probably seek some advice from other youth pastors or just pastors in general and read some books on how to start and/or get involved in youth ministry, hence why I have Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry. So it's definitely a process that is going to take some immense time, but it will be well worth the efforts in the end.

   And another thing that is on my mind that I just want to add, I look at how on fire I am for Christ and the ministry and it is, more or less, the opposite of what I was two years ago. I am definitely a different person and much more spiritually-minded than I was in the past. And I sometimes feel that people (saved and unsaved) think that I think I'm better than them because my relationship with Christ is growing and maturing daily. I do not think that I am better than anyone at all because I myself am I sinner and in need of a Savior just like everyone else! And something else my friend Sarah said yesterday has really stuck in my head since then was this: After I said that I don't want people to think that I'm some preacher person who can't have any fun, she said in response, "I don't mind when people think that about me. I like it." How cool of a response is that? She's not here to please others, but doing the Will of Christ! And if that means people thinking ill of her, so be it! Her boldness for her faith inspires, empowers, and influences me daily! Thank you Sarah for being so bold for Christ!!! It has helped me greatly!

   I am serious about youth ministry and it's not just talk! I'm really working towards it; doing what I can for the moment and waiting for God to open doors in the future. But for right now, I'm going to grow in Him and pray and read His Word and get council about how to start a ministry until it's time to move even further! I could use a lot of prayer because I can't do any of this alone. It's exciting, scary, but rewarding :)

February 13, 2011

The Best Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day Eve!

I've never really been much of a Valentine's Day kinda dude, but this year I think it's going to be pretty nice. No, I don't have an official "girlfriend" (like all "lovey-dovey" and such), which to me is quite heartbreaking. But you know what? I'm in the ultimate relationship ever! I'm in a relationship with Jesus!!!  How awesome is that?? My relationship with Christ is honestly better than any relationship I'll ever get into. And that's why I think this V-Day will not be so bad :) It gives me time to focus more on the One who loves me more than any girl ever could! And it's a relationship that I don't have to fear about ending! And quite honestly, for me personally, I believe dating can be highly distracting; taking my focus off of Christ. To me, it's important that I grow in Him first and foremost before getting a girlfriend. I haven't fully gotten out of the "idolizing" stage yet. And perhaps, one day, I will get married to a wonderful God-fearing and God-loving girl; a girl who loves Jesus so much, that she could never, under any circumstance, love me just as much or more; a girl that has the same vision in ministry as I do; a girl that will always love and care for me no matter what idiotic things I do; a girl that is willing to sacrifice anything and everything for the sake of the Gospel; a girl that desires to be more like Christ in everything she does; a girl that will encourage me whenever I am not feeling too great. Is that girl out there? I believe so. Have I already met her? Very possibly. Is she waiting for me and only me? I sure hope so. I know that God will bring her around in due time; I have nothing to worry about :)

I know a lot of single people who wish that they had a boyfriend/girlfriend to be their "valentine" this Valentine's Day, but are depressed that they don't. And if you feel this way, this is what I have to say: if you're a believer in Christ (that is, you have put your faith in Him and asked Him into your heart to be the LORD of your life), that's awesome!!! If you find yourself thinking all too much about getting a girlfriend/boyfriend and less about the relationship you already have with Jesus, you may want to grow more in your relationship with Him before you get involved in a relationship with someone else. Idolatry can consume you so badly that when everything falls apart, you are left more alone than ever..believe me, I've experienced on multiple occasions. And Satan desires for that to happen. Don't give him that foothold! And if you are not a believer in Christ, I highly encourage you to to get to know Jesus...today! For it is the day of salvation! Learn what it means to be saved. Learn what your purpose is in this life. Get into the Ultimate Relationship that can't and never will end no matter what! Don't you want to be with someone that will love and care for you despite the mistakes you make; someone that will not cheat on you; someone that will always be faithful to you and provide your every need; someone that you can TRULY depend on? Then get with Jesus! Seriously, you will NEVER regret the decision...ever!

May you all have a blessed Valentine's Day! Make it the day you grow ever so close to the Creator of the universe! Get into the Best Relationship Ever!!

"It does not do good to dwell on dreams and forget to live." -Albus Dumbledore

February 07, 2011

Let Go and Let God

This school semester is turning out to be my toughest yet! Not only do a majority of my classes have difficult content to comprehend, but they also require a lot of work from me. I guess having 5 classes might play a role as well :P I've got a lot of work ahead of me and not much time for myself or others, which I really don't like. Today I had an Oceanography test and I'm pretty sure I got a D on it; a C if I'm fortunate enough. I hope my whole academic semester doesn't turn out like this. I also got a D on my Psychology test, which I'm not too proud of either. It feels like I'm falling apart educationally and that doesn't comfort me in any way. But God has definitely blessed me with a friend that I can study with, so that gives me hope :) The things is, I don't want to have to put off spending time with my friends, especially best friends, and family, all so I can study. I need to have some kind of recreation time to myself as well, otherwise I'd go insane, you know? This all has caused my motivation to get into God's Word to dwindle a bit and that's not good 'cause that in turn can give Satan the foothold he desires. I've also had a lot on my mind recently...All these changes God has been doing in my life can sure be overwhelming (or seemingly) at times, but I remember that God's Word says that He will never allow anything to happen to us that we can't bear. And Jeremiah 29:11 says that He has a great plan for my life; a plan to give me a hope and a future and not to harm me! What a promise that is! It gives me peace at heart when I remember that promise of His. I know everything will turn out okay, it's just a matter of when and how. But that's where the wonderful virtue of patience comes in (note the sarcasm). Although, I have seen the benefits of patience in my life and let me tell you, it's great! So right now I'm gonna let go and let God! He's got a wonderful plan for me and you! It's time to let it unfold :)

February 06, 2011

Why the Brokeness?

   The past few days have been...um..."adventurous", if that's what you want to call it. Work has been the most interesting lately because of the fact that I've had more of a realization of how broken our world really is. I like to have that kind of "revelation" re-revealed to me from time to time. For instance, at work I saw a guy looking at pornography on the computer so I reported him. I mean just to think that this man is so lost that he wallows around in the degradation and objectification of women to satisfy him! My feelings for him weren't of hate or dislike, but of actual sadness because of his lost state. Many people may have heard of Jesus, but most of the time He is just "a man" to them and they don't realize the gift He gave to them. They would rather immerse themselves more in every sinful act because it's "fun" than even give a  thought of hearing about Christ. And the worst thing is, is they always "feel something missing" every time! It's frustrating and sad to see. Another incident at work expresses this state of people. Yesterday (Saturday) we had a volunteer at the library and she was probably in her early to mid-twenties. She noticed my mellow attitude and how I just did my work without complaining or showing any sign of disgust. So she told me that I look tense and that I need to just loosen up. She asked if I had been to any crazy parties, took drugs, or gotten drunk. When I said "no" to all of that, she said I was wasting my life and that I need to have fun and get drunk because it's "fun". She laughed at my responsibility with my finances and kept on talking about my "wasted life". She then asked if I was a "church boy" and I said that I'm not a church boy, but that I do go to church and worship God (I should have used the term "follower of Christ", but I didn't and I still regret it). She continued to persecute me for that and my decision to be Christ-like. And you know? I didn't feel hurt about being made fun of, but I felt more pain for her and her lostness. She gets drunk, gambles, and parties in order to have fun, but she has no idea how much she is wasting her life instead of me! It was quite an experience and it was the first time I was heavily persecuted for my faith and decisions. I still pray for her and hope she will see the Truth instead of chasing the meaningless lies of Satan.

   And I want to touch back on the objectification of women for just a bit. It makes me pretty upset seeing how boys and men would look at women in such a sexually explicit manner! Why can't they see women for who they are and not what they look like?! Why can't they love their girlfriends or wives for their character and the person they are instead of sex partners?? It's insane! I know I hate accidentally seeing any pornographic images (just like at the library the other day) because I want to save my eyes for my future wife! Objectification of women makes me mad and so many Christians slowly start to accept it as normal!! Why is that?!?! I mean it's one thing to accidentally see skimpy images of women, but to intentionally look?? That's a whole different story! Anyways, I just needed to get this stuff off my mind and out because otherwise it eats me up inside. God is amazing and better than anything this world offers and my vision and hope is that everyone (Christians and non-Christians alike) will see that!