May 31, 2011

So Much on My Mind...

Have you ever noticed that sometimes God never makes sense? That seems to be the case for me recently. He sure knows how to keep me on the edge of my seat! At times it's kinda exciting and I can enjoy it, but other times it's annoying and I just want it to stop. When will the shifting sand ever settle? I have a feeling that it won't be super soon :P

So I had a pretty sweet Memorial Day. Spent it with family and ate to my heart's and stomach's content! And all the while I was thanking God for the freedom I have in this country and the freedom I have in Him! I can never fully comprehend that fact: God loving me to the point that He would not only die for me, but die a long and torturous death. Tough to swallow. And I'm not too sure if I could actually die a torturous death for somebody...I'm glad He did though :)

Today I met with only one of the middle schoolers, so it was cool to have the lesson and hang out one-on-one! I did the lesson on prayer and let me tell you, I never knew I could not only learn, but also be convicted by a lesson I put together! God really likes to speak in crazy ways if He wants to! I mean, today, I never thought too hard about prayer until I (ironically) prayed about it and read God's Word. It made me think about the simplicity yet the power prayer really has! And also, it made me think of where my heart and motives are when praying for something or someone. Convicting stuff, but also so amazing!

A lot has been on my mind recently and I honestly don't know what to do with the thoughts! I do cast them at God's feet on a daily basis, but there are just some things that can't leave my mind because I know it is my duty to deal with them one-on-one. I'm not thrilled about it, but at the same time I know it needs to be done.

Strangely, one of the biggest lessons I'm learning right now is love. I'm not talking about "baby" this and  "baby" that; chocolates, roses, fancy dinners; love letters, hand-holding, kissing. I am talking about "Love". Agape. Sacrificial, true love. The love that Christ showed us. The love that holds all real relationships together. The love that says "I care about you from the deepest part of my being and I would die for you if that's what it takes". Love that has nothing to do with you, but the other person entirely. Love that desires to see a person through the toughest of times. Love that is always by one's side even when the night is the blackest it has been. Love that looks beyond all feelings and that comes straight from God. Sadly, it is rare and this world makes true love harder and harder to find. It confuses the youngest and oldest of souls alike. It can push two people apart when true love actually glues them together. This world doesn't make anything easier. It's a broken world. What does one expect? I'm convinced that the only way we can experience true love in its absolute, genuine form is through Jesus' love. It's an example that is tough to follow at times, but it's the reason we are alive and the reason we are to live. The lesson of love is one that will take a lifetime to learn, but I am determined to understand and live it to the best of my ability and God's overall strength.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"When will Fear and Darkness flee
When will we begin to see
That there is Something great out there
A Love that goes where no one dares?"-Unknown

May 27, 2011

Why Worry? God Provides!

So much has been going on lately! I mean really, it can be quite amazing how one second your life is kinda slow in a sense and then BOOM! things pick up again! I'm not saying it's always enjoyable, but it can be quite overwhelming and interesting at times :P

I finally started my online summer class, which is turning out to be pretty easy at the moment, but I don't want to speak too soon, you know? So far it's actually been math that I actually am going to use! I guess I have been so used to stupid Algebra that I forgot what REAL math is! But for sure, I'll be done before I know it!

I now have a new obsession and I am enjoying it! I'm now hooked on the show CSI: Miami! I know it's kinda random, but one day I was thinking to myself, "Hmmm, what should I watch on Youtube?". I then remembered that me and Sarah were talking about Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, and the like. I then thought, "I'll watch CSI!" And so now, I'm liking it! Now I'm thinking of buying the first season on DVD because I can't find any more available season 1 episodes online :P How dumb is that?? lol! But it's all good I guess...haha!

Man, this summer better kick in soon! I think, or at least I hope, it will be a good one! I can't count on it, but a man can hope, can he? Unfortunately, I can already think of a few things that are gonna mess up my summer right now, but I'm not gonna think too much about it right now, which I think is a wise choice :) I'm quite optimistic, which at times can feel like a curse, but I figure it this way, "better that than being so negative all the time".

Have you ever prayed to God like crazy about something?? Not something for you to gain (in fact it's the opposite), but for someone else's gain? Yeah, that's what I'm experiencing right now... I won't go into details, but I'm just concerned about something that has been bothering me like crazy for the past few days :P I'm trusting that God will work things out perfectly and it will all be okay :) That's all I can really do...well...not entirely, but mostly.

Last, but not least, a pretty huge thing happened this week that I'm so excited about!! Well, you all know that I've been interested in going to a Bible college in order to get the education and training I need for youth ministry, but the only problem was that it is pricey. Not only that, but also I needed to somehow keep my job, otherwise I would pretty much be stuck. I know God could provide all of that, but I needed something convenient, so I asked Him to provide an opportunity for me to get the education I need for an affordable price and, preferably, maybe even online. Some Bible colleges offer only a few course online, but not every single one. Well, in a last attempt to find something, I Googled "Online Bible/colleges" and you know what I found? An online Bible college! Typical result, I know. Now it's not your ordinary Bible college, but I read into it and even wrote the president of the place. Basically, it's an all online university that offers all of the same classes any other Bible college offers in an AA degree in Biblical Studies plus more that train in ministry! But here's the kicker: it's all FREE! Yes, I know, it's sounds kinda sketchy, so I prayed about it, read about it, and asked questions to the president of this program. This is their ministry. What they focus on is actually training people for ministry. Not just head knowledge, but real training as well as knowledge! They really focus on "equipping the saints". Basically, if I were to do these courses, it would take about two years to complete everything; it's all online; I would get to keep my job, which means I would get to keep my car; I could stay home and get to be with friends and family and not have to spend any money on the classes. So, if it turns out to be a dud, I won't waste any money, which obviously is great! :D So, once I finish my AA degree at SPC this fall, I plan on starting these courses next spring semester, Lord willing of course! It's an amazing opportunity God has opened up! It may not be the number 1 path people interested in going into ministry would take, but there isn't just ONE solution for every person desiring to get into ministry. We'll see where God takes this. I'm still continuously praying :)

God really does provide for our every need :)

Matthew 6:25-34

May 17, 2011

A Journey I Still Want to Take

It feels like a lot is going on in my life recently, but really I think it's all in my head :P I started my summer class yesterday, but technically I actually started really working on it today, haha! I'm taking Liberal Arts I so it's not a big deal. Pretty easy stuff because it's not Algebra, lol! I can't wait until I'm done with it so I can enjoy the remainder of my summer! Sarah and I plan on playing racquetball at least once a week and maybe more! I can't wait 'til we start because I could use a good workout and she could use a good owning in a game ;D haha! We were gonna go mini-golfing on Sunday, but it didn't work out, so we went to play yesterday, but it looked a lot like it was gonna rain, but apparently it didn't, lol! Typical :P So we went to the mall to hang out. It was fun!

I met with the middle-schoolers again tonight and it was successful again! I really enjoyed just loving them again :) There was another boy who came only because he was dropped off way too early for whatever it was he wanted to go to at the church. So I had him along. I don't even remember what his name was, haha! It made it a bit of a challenge, but it all worked out anyway :)

I'm still continuing to ask God for guidance in my career. Well actually, I'm asking for guidance in EVERYTHING in my life! It's tough. I feel kinda stuck most of the time and not sure what to really do or where to go. A lot is going through my mind and I can't sort it all out at once. Seriously, everywhere I turn, an emotional roller coaster ride is waiting for me. I'm not too much of a fan of that since most of it results in confusion one way or another :/ I'm really feeling uneasy in a number of situations in my life, but I'm trusting God to work things out according to His will :) We'll see!

Today I took my sister to Burlington coat factory so she could find some clothes and I ended up buying a shirt and a pair of shorts! What was awesome is that the shorts were originally $40 and I paid $10!!! The shirt was also originally $40, but I paid $7!! Seriously, there were A LOT of clothes I wanted to buy and could afford, but I didn't have enough money with me :P I think I found my new shopping place, lol! There was also a $10 pair of skinny jeans that were my size, but purple isn't my thing, haha! I'm probably gonna change up my wardrobe a bit now that I can actually afford it! :D

For those of you reading this, I could use a lot of prayer, as usual. Life is quite a journey, I can tell you that, but I'm also excited about continuing it!

Matthew 6:25-34

May 11, 2011

Looking Ahead, but Living Now

I haven't been getting the best amount of sleep lately, but hopefully that will change soon! Throughout the day I'm so tempted to have coffee, but I know that it definitely takes a toll on my sleep pattern later on and that's the last thing I need at the moment :P And it's not like I go to bed late and get up early. Usually I go to bed pretty early (around 10:30 to 11 p.m.), but it seems like my body already has a schedule of its own and it's not letting me in on it! I start beginning to feel sleepy around 2 a.m. and after walking up a few times during the night, I get up at 9:30 a.m. I know that's late for some of you, but that is pretty early for me, lol! I believe what keeps me up late at night is that the fact that I am always thinking. Thinking about where I am in my life. Thinking about where I am going in my life. Thinking about God's overall plan for my life. Thinking about things a little too early. But not only do I think at night, but I also pray a lot. I pray for guidance, wisdom, knowledge, and of course I pray for those whom I care about :) Maybe I need to cut back on praying, haha!

So this past Tuesday, I met with those two middle school boys again and this time it went much better! I put together a better lesson plan. But you know what? My youth pastor told me something that I sure won't forget. He said that it doesn't matter how much theology I discuss with them. What matters more is loving just like Jesus did and does. Wow! Seriously that really put my perspective back in place. And what's more? I got to talk with a friend of mine, Alex (the former youth pastor's son), while he's visiting for a few weeks and you know what he said in response to me telling him about the discipling I'm doing? "That's awesome man! The church really needs more people doing that! What's so great is that you just love the kids, just like Jesus, man! It's awesome!" He had such passion telling me this that it greatly inspired me! It really ignited the Holy Spirit in me again! I'm really bummed that I had never really talked to Alex as much until now. We have a lot in common regarding ministry and it's just incredible! Hopefully we'll get to talk more often, but it'll be a little tough considering that he now lives on Catalina Island off the coast of California! Seriously, being around Alex, you totally see Jesus living through him! It's crazy and awesome! I hope that one day people will hang around me and see Jesus living through me! That would be totally awesome!

My passion for youth ministry kinda felt like it was dwindling, but man, it's been reignited! Sometimes we just need a little boost when we don't feel too hot about ourselves. And a lot of times that passion we get reignited in us reignites someone else's passion as well! It's seems to be very contagious! :)
I'm still constantly praying for God's guidance to where I should go. It's tough to figure out on my own. One thing is for sure: I tend to look too far ahead into the future. Not worrying, but planning, or at least seeing where I'm headed. I take a lot the future aspects of my life seriously. All I wanna do is what's right and best for me according to God's Will. So far, He's coming through...

May 05, 2011

It's All Unfolding...

Isn't it weird how sometimes your life seems to unfold in front of you, yet at the same time it seems to fold up as well? Yeah, that's what it's like for me. Lots of new things going on, other things closing up. Quite honestly, I never really know where my life is going. I can speculate, guess, and dream, but it always has a way of working out in the end, one way or another. God, as always, has been doing some amazing things recently. The way things have been coming together boggles my mind and it makes me ask Him,"So, what are you up to? 'Cause I know it's not random."

Boy, oh boy! I am just getting older and older, I tell you! The responsibilities and the accomplishments seem to keep reminding me that I can't be young forever. That can be a depressing thought, yet it also can be exciting! I finally finished this school semester and somehow I passed all five of my classes! It sure was a tough year, but I got through and now I'm looking ahead to what's next on the "agenda". This semester was the reason why I barely updated this blog, that's how busy I was! But it sure feels great to look back and say, "Wow! I did all that work? What an accomplishment!" I only have three more classes until I acquire my AA degree, so now I'm trying to think of where to go from then on. There is so much on my mind and the last thing I want to do is drive myself crazy!

This past Tuesday I started the discipling with those two middle schoolers I mentioned! Honestly, it was a poorly put together Bible study, but at least I got acquointed with them. After it was over, I kinda felt discouraged. I felt like I didn't do a great job and that I didn't accomplish anything. But then again, I know it's God who really does the work and accomplishing and I'm merely the hollow vessel being used. I try to remember that it was the first day, I'm new to it, and Satan is gonna do whatever he can to discourage me. The thing is: I'm not going to let that happen! Hopefully next week will turn out better! I'm gonna trust God with it all the way!

You know? Sometimes it feels like my life is a soap opera. I mean, it doesn't have any extreme drama, but it sure does have so many unexpected twists that I'm sure soap opera addicts would get hooked to my show instantly! I guess it's all part of the "fun" though. It keeps life interesting that's for sure! Lots of new things unfolding; can't wait to see the entire picture in the end!