October 03, 2012


   The past 4 months have been a learning experience for me. If I could sum up everything I've been going through in one word, it would be "refinement". That is exactly what God is doing in me right now.

   In times of difficulty, you really do learn a lot about yourself that you didn't know. Sometimes, God will even reveal something that is in your heart that you didn't know existed. For me, He revealed a sense of pride and self-centeredness that has been brewing in my heart for quite some time and it is only natural that I initially didn't see it because pride does a very good job of concealing itself. I confess that I have been dealing with this prideful, self-centered, and self-glorifying attitude in my heart, trying to snag a little glory for myself without really seeing it. But I am eternally thankful and grateful for God's grace upon me and that He is dealing with it, even if the refining fire wasn't/isn't pleasant.

   I am now turning from this sin and focusing on the one Who really deserves all the glory! God is changing me and I offer myself to Him in order to experience this change. Total surrender isn't easy nor did I expect it to be so, but it is oh so worth it in the end! I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed day today!

July 17, 2012

Life Continues

Hey all! It sure has been awhile since my last update! I just like keeping you on your toes, that's all ;)

But seriously, all jokes aside, things are going quite well for me. Just been trying to stay in the Word and in constant prayer! The Lord is good through the bad and the good. He has a strange way of doing things in opposition to my plans, which always turns out better than my plans anyway! Reminds me of Isaiah 55:8, 9.

Lately I have been learning about God making me strong through weakness. Not the easiest lesson, I will admit, but I think it will be a life-changing one nonetheless. My desire is to consistently grow in Him and His truth. I know that all sounded kind of vague, but details aren't needed at the current moment. All you need to know is that God is changing me and helping me to grow in ways that I never thought possible!

Many of you may know that I'm a reader and I like to read lots of theology books, whether they are commentaries on books of the Bible or books about Christian growth, like Francis Chan, John Piper, etc. As I have been growing in the Lord and getting to know Him better as well as learning about Him, I have had a desire to write my own book. Actually I have been in the planning stages of a book since 2009, but only recently have I expanded on it and actually started writing it. I would love to at least complete it. Maybe later on I'll send it in for publishing or something. We'll see where God goes with this!

School is still chugging along ever so slowly, but progress is being made. In fact, after I'm done with this post, I plan on working on my paper. After this paper is complete and submitted, I only have two exams and a workbook to complete and then I'll be done! It won't be for a while, but still!

I still continue to pray for guidance from God about where He plans to lead me. Fortunately He gives us people in our lives to counsel us, and in my case it's my dad. We talked about where I see myself going in life, especially ministry, (and most importantly, where God sees me going) and my dad has been very helpful in this process! I want my life to count for Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and the Gospel! After this certificate in Biblical Studies is completed, I need to decide where to go next and I need the guidance of God as much as I can get! Praise Him that He knows what He is doing even when it doesn't make sense to me! To God be the glory!

June 07, 2012

I Could Not Think of an Appropriate Title for This Post, So This will Suffice

    I am truly amazed right now that we're halfway through 2012. It just seems to get busier for me as the months roll by. I guess that's okay though because I wouldn't want to be bored the entire time. Work, school, and friends keep me on my toes. The rain we've been having for the past few days has been relaxing, but its been pulling me away from schoolwork because it gets me thinking and praying and then nothing productive gets done (and I'm not saying prayer isn't productive, but you know what I mean). Even still, I trudge along and do the best I can with the time I'm given.

    Something has been really getting to me lately. It absolutely annoys and bothers me when Christians follow in the footsteps of the world, whether it's thinking like the world, speaking like the world, or engaging in the sinful activities of the world. They will use profanity, watch the raunchiest movies, tell the most perverted jokes, drink excessively, and even engage in premarital foreplay and/or sex. I have even seen my fair share of Christians get into dating relationships with non-Christians (which 2 Corinthians 6:14 clearly speaks against) and watched their lives slowly go downhill from there. And to think, all the while, these Christians go to church, never read any of the Bible on their own, and believe they are all right with God. In fact, they hate it when another believer confronts them about their sinful living, thinking the believer is judgmental or "too conservative". Does this kind of living fall in line with Scripture? Absolutely not. And it seems like fewer and fewer believers are doing anything about it, in other words, approaching the "Christian" individuals in question about their lifestyles. Something is clearly wrong and it needs to be put right. It is only by basing our beliefs on the source of truth (the Bible) that we can see with clarity what God intends for us. If we're not rooted in the Word, we will be uprooted and planted elsewhere.

    On the flipside of the sobering paragraph above, I have an opportunity to possibly go to Haiti for a week sometime in October or November. I would love to be a part of what God is doing in that region, especially in sharing the Gospel with the people there. Be praying for me as I prepare myself mentally and spiritually for this trip. God is good, all the time!

May 20, 2012

Life Goes on as God Works

    I think it has been exactly forever and one day since my last update, haha! As usual, I guess you could say I'm "living life". Although, I'm not too fond of that phrase, only because it sounds like a life that is without God and filled with my own ideas, desires, and pleasures. As much as my sinful nature desires that kind of life, that is NOT the life I want to live.

    My youngest sister finally graduated high school and it was such a blessing to be at the ceremony. Now my parents have no more kids to watch graduate...but marriage is still around the corner, haha! It's gonna be exciting to see where my sisters and I go from where we are right now. I believe God has much in store, but He is only revealing little by little as we step out in faith.

    This past Wednesday, I had a chance to talk with one of the volunteers at work that I have developed a good relationship with. Earlier that morning, I prayed to God that He would provide an opportunity for me to share the Gospel with somebody, or at least to talk to somebody about Him. As I was shelving books, this volunteer came up to me and said, "Do you know what somebody outside asked me? If I was interested in the Bible. But I said 'No, not today'." What better of an opportunity than that? So we started talking about God, Jesus, salvation, and the Gospel! He listened and was intrigued and never said anything bad against me or even God (which he had done to others in the past)! Please pray with me as I pray that this volunteer and I will get to talk some more. God is working!

    School is still going pretty well and I just submitted some more assignments this week. This also means that I am that much closer to finishing and that is starting to get the old brain working again. I have been doing lots of praying about where God wants me to serve Him. I desire to be in full-time ministry, but it's "where" and "how" that I can't figure out. I was pumped after talking with the volunteer on Wednesday and it made me want to expand my boundaries (perhaps geographically?). God continues to work on my heart as I delight in Him and trust in His ways and Word. To Him be the glory forever and ever!

"By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." 1 John 2:5b-6

May 03, 2012


   I am continually amazed by the work God is doing in my heart! The more time I spend with Him, the more His desires become my desires; His view becomes my view; His love becomes my love. The way that I have been maturing is far outside myself; I know that it isn't from me, but Him!

   A few days ago, I was up in the morning and praying that God would speak to me and reveal some kind of truth through His Word. I didn't want to have an idea of what I wanted to hear, but instead I wanted to be open to whatever He wanted to say (as we all should pray for). What followed next was very cool and challenging! I had opened to and read three different passages in Scripture. All three passages talked about the exact same thing: being lights in this world. I was very amazed at the "coincidence", which, obviously, I don't believe was a coincidence. Clearly, God was making a point to me and it challenged me to be a light in this dark world. It wasn't something that I read for that particular day and then forget about it as time went on, this is something that I have been meditating on and striving to be and do each day following! In the future, I'm not sure where God is going to place me to minister, but right now, in this present time, He has placed me where I am and I need to minister each day. It was a really convicting and challenging revelation from Him that spoke directly to my heart! I strive to grow in Him each day until He calls me home!

   And here is a thought that I have been dwelling on for a while. As Christians, our lives are supposed to conform to God's likeness. As one of my Bible college professors said: we don't do goods works to get saved, we do good works because we are saved. But here's something to think about: we can say all the right things in front of people, we can do all the right things, and we can even post the most "Christian-ized" statuses on Facebook all the time. That's all good and fine, but the question we should ask is this, "Do my words, actions, and thoughts conform to and glorify God in the privacy of my own time?" When nobody is around to see you, do you still live in a godly way? Think in a godly way? When I ask this for myself, I regret to say that I indeed have my own failings at this. It just makes me more thankful for God's saving grace because I sure do need a Savior! And I have one! So I have been challenged in that way as well, conforming to God's likeness in all areas of my life! That includes the thought life as well (Philippians 4:8).

   "Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13, 14

April 18, 2012

He is Greatest

God is big. If you're like me, you've probably heard that statement uttered a hundred million times during your childhood. And strangely enough, there are days when I forget that. In today's world, filled with its insane busyness, it can be just way too easy to forget the immensity of God. It shouldn't be, but it just always seems to be the case.

To help you see just how awesome, vast, huge, and out-of-this-world God really is, take a good, hard look at the photo below.

I was on Yahoo! today and saw this image. This was taken by the Hubble space telescope. What you're looking at is called the Tarantula nebula. It's relatively "small" (650 light-years across), but doesn't it just blow you away? This is literally a snapshot of the universe outside of earth (and yes, there is a universe outside of this earth that has nothing to do with you...but everything to do with God).

As humans, we get too caught up in ourselves (my schedule, my free time, what I want to do, the right girl for me, the right guy for me), we tend to forget that there is a Creator so far beyond us, Who somehow loves us sinful humans enough to pay our sin debt for us, and yet we sparingly give Him our attention and time for an hour on Sunday morning, only to begin Monday morning with us.

We worry about the things we need each day, whether we'll get them or not. We question whether God is doing the right thing because everything is going wrong (according to us).

Whatever happened to just trusting Him? Whatever happened to just standing in awe of Who He is, forgetting about us? Whatever happened to realizing that we just don't see the whole picture and He does?

In Psalm 8:3-4, David says some humbling words, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?" This is one of the greatest mysteries of God: why does He care? There is nothing about us to love, yet He loves us still. The Bible never says the "why" of God's love and care for us, but do we really need to know? Not really. Personally, I have no complaints whatsoever.

If God is really as big as His word says and we can evidently see it in all creation (including all the galaxies, nebulae, and stars out in space), doesn't that mean that He's got every single, little, tiny detail  of our lives under His divine control and is doing the job a billion times better than you ever could in a million years? Absolutely! So why take more on our shoulders than we need? "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

I am learning this every day as well and sometimes my pride can get the best of me. But each day I work on following the simplest, yet hardest-to-follow command that God gives us: "Be still and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10a

Have a blessed and God-glorifying day and week ahead!

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8, 9

March 30, 2012

In God's Hands

As I write this, it is 8:25 a.m. I'm sitting down with some coffee and God's Word next to me. I just finished reading some devotionals and memorizing Scripture (1 Corinthians 10:13 for today). This has been my routine for about three weeks now, give or take a few days. I get up every morning at 6:30 and pray to God, followed by reading His Word, and then I memorize some Scripture. It's not something that I feel like I have to do every morning. On the contrary, I want to do this every morning. I have truly been refreshed each morning by spending time with my Savior. For the longest time, I have neglected the absolute authority and power of the Scriptures, replacing any time that should have been spent in it with other stupid things that will eventually fade anyway. I have a rekindled love for the Word and I feel like Christians (especially in America) are losing appreciation for it day by day.

On Tuesday I decided to go to the beach and spend some time walking along the shores, just praying; being in a constant state of communication with the Lord. I thanked Him for so many things, even the seashore! And I talked to Him about my future, most especially, where I'll be ministering (if that's where God will place me) and if I should get married one day (if God desires that for my life). A part of me wants to get married, but I wouldn't want to settle down and raise a family; I would instead want to serve the Lord 100% with my wife. The other part of me doesn't want to have myself tied down to a commitment like that, period. I think of 1 Corinthians 7:32-35 regarding all of this. These are important issues that I know God has fully in His hands and, therefore, I try not to think about it. Isn't it great to know that God handles the big and small decisions in our lives if we surrender to His will? I think so!

Daily I am praying for God's guidance regarding ministry and He has been really working on my heart! The more I get in tune with Scripture and prayer, the more God has been speaking, for I have been opening my ears to His voice! Please continue to pray for me, that I continue to seek His will and not what I want to seek for myself. He is good!

March 15, 2012

My Heart, Cravings, and Desires

I never really know how to start off each post and typically I'll sit there and just think of some kind of interesting beginning. This introduction is probably the most honest one by far. But there, I got your attention and that was the main goal!

I'm still working on my big research paper for class and (I guess) it's going pretty well. I'm having a tough time finding three more sources to use, though. Not only that, but I'm also trying to somehow get motivated to work hard on it, which I'm failing miserably at...but all in all, the paper is looking pretty good!

The kick-off of the Missions Conference at my church last night was amazing (for lack of a better word)! The theme this year (which really hits home for me personally) is "A Heart for Missions". Last night, my pastor talked about how to have a healthy heart for missions. Something he said that really struck a chord in me is this: You cannot have a healthy heart for missions, unless you have a healthy heart for God. Wow. But you know, it's absolutely, positively, 100%, without a doubt, true! After all, what is the point of missions? To share the Gospel with people all over the world. And in order to have that heart and desire, there has to be a heart and desire for God first. Jesus doesn't just say that the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind because it would make a good topic for a discussion or Bible study. He also doesn't say it because it sounds it could make a great Facebook status. He calls it the first and greatest command. Not a suggestion, invitation, or a request. A command. How are we going to respond to that command? How am I going to respond? These are things that God has been working on in my own heart for many months now. My desire for Him grows continually.

This past Saturday, I got to hang out with some friends at the Pow Wow festival that happens every year in Seminole. Two of them I knew kind of well before Saturday and two I never met until then, haha! But it was an absolute blessing getting to hang out with some amazing, godly people that night! Lately, I have been craving godly fellowship with some Christians that are around my age, but sadly, I don't know many people like that. I desire to worship, pray, encourage, grow, and just be with them. Being with the group I was with, though, gave me that opportunity to really bond. Although, to be perfectly honest, I felt quite awkward because they all know each other well and I didn't :P But I hung in there and enjoyed the time spent. And once I get to know them better and stuff like that, it will change. It's easier to be more talkative and out-going with people you know, I have learned. It's getting past that first stage that's quite difficult. What was also really neat was how they all didn't want to put a focus on dating and relationships. They loved how they could (being single) all hang out together without any pressure of dating or anything like that! That's awesome! I need a group like that! Especially since they all focus on God and glorify Him in their lives! Praise God I got to have that time on Staurday!

Before I started writing this post, I went through my USB memory stick and found some documents I had written about 2 years ago. They are rough drafts of chapters that I had started writing for some kind of book I aspired to write. Even though I knew, realistically, that I probably wasn't going to get it published, I still wanted to write anyway. What was very cool wasn't necessarily what I wrote, it was how I have changed from then to now. After reading some things I wrote, I was saying to myself, "No, no, no, Zeth, that's not right." I was just surprised at how my train of thought was not 100% biblical back then, but I craved to make it more biblical as I continuously read the Word and prayed. Seeing how I think now and how my worldview has formed from a biblical standpoint, I have matured greatly, and I continue to as well! It was just a blessing reading those "chapters".

My prayer everyday is that I glorify God in my words, actions, and life! And most importantly, being ready in season and out of season to share the Gospel with the people around me!

March 09, 2012

Slow Year, but More Opportunities

Well March is here. Some would say that the year is going by so fast ("It's already March?") and others, like myself, would say it's going by quite slow ("It's only March?"). To be completely honest, February was deathly slow. So many events took place in that one month that it was hard to believe it was only one month! I guess the slowness makes up for the years where I don't even remember 2010 or 2011 ever taking place. Rest in the midst of chaos is always nice to have once in a while.

Still, life goes on for me and God continues to guide me faithfully, even when I can get a little stubborn (mainly because of fear) at times. But I am at total peace when I think of how much He is in control, knowing full well that He knows what's best for me. I finished a 500-word paper for school on the roles of the Old Testament prophets and await a grade from my teacher. The next paper? A 1250-2000 word paper on the same topic (from a list of topics to choose from). Naturally I'm going to expand on the previous paper, giving me less work to do.

Next week at my church, we are having our annual Missions Conference! I have never been syked about it the previous 10 years, but this year I am! The Missions Conference is where we have our church-supported missionaries come down to our church and share what God is doing in many other parts of the world. The whole point is to raise awareness of missions work to the congregation as well as provide opportunities for them to get involved. I desire to see what God is doing in many countries around the world and I hope to talk to some of the missionaries as well. Who knows? Maybe God will open some opportunity for a short term trip? It's happened before. I'm not getting my hopes up though; I only want God to lead as I follow.

Somebody in my church who does a lot of prison ministry has approached me on two different occasions, saying that if I'm interested in being a part of prison ministry I should let him know. I would be able to use my musical abilities as well as my ability to communicate the Word of God for His kingdom and glory! So right now, I'm praying about it and seeking God on the matter. I'm not going to just run into anything before consulting Him.

Finally, everyday I am praying that I be ready in season and out of season to share the message of the Gospel to people. Especially at work, there is a great need for that message to be shared there. Unfortunately, I don't get great opportunities to share the Gospel at work, so I rely on the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts there and that my actions confirm my faith. Fortunately, just about all of my coworkers know I'm a Christian, but they also get to see that in the way I act as well. Be praying that I have opportunities to share the Gospel with them!

Each day, I hope and pray that the Light of Christ shines through me in all things I do! I continue to read the Word and pray everyday (early in the morning!) and seeking ministry opportunities. I am becoming more like Christ in thoughts, actions, and words! I desire Jesus! I don't want to be just words, but also actions!

P.S. Feel free to share this blog and/or post with anyone. You have my permission, if you desire to do so. May God be glorified, not me! :)

February 20, 2012

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

It is a gorgeous day outside, so I'm trying to limit my dwelling time inside. God has graciously blessed all mankind with His wonderful creation! Just like Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world [God's] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." God's creation clearly proclaims His majesty and power and we get to enjoy that! He is a good God!

For about two weeks I have been off Facebook, but, after a couple incidents, I'm back on, haha! I actually realized how for some people I'm friends with, it's my only mode of communication with them. Also, I realized I can proclaim what God is doing in my life on there too. The only rule I have is that I am going to seriously limit my time on it! And as long as it isn't interfering with my time with God, that's good!

Day in and day out, I continue to mature and grow in my faith. I'm always blown away by the changes God has brought into my life. I, as a person, am becoming someone I would never be without God's guiding hand! Sometimes it can be hard to surrender 100% to God (usually because we fear the unknown), but I feel like it is the worst thing to hold back our lives from Him. I mean, really, God bought me with a price, redeeming me back into a right relationship with Him and totally cleansed from my sin, so that I stand righteous before Him, not on my own merit, but only by the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross! Doesn't He deserve my total surrender to Him, my life? Doesn't He deserve much more than that from me, but it's all I am capable of giving? According to His Word, yes! And everyday that is my prayer! My desire is to take up my cross and follow Him on a regular basis, laying it all on the line (because He did that for me), no strings attached!

And I don't just want to talk about it and give some "inspiring" speech on it; I really and truly want to live it out! I have always been a "to myself" and "socially awkward" guy (but when I'm around the right people, those descriptions would fly right out the window!). I know that God has made me who I am, but I don't want my social "ineptness" to take over; I want to extend myself and reach out to people! If they're part of the Body of Christ, I want to edify them in their faith as they do the same for me! If they are not a part of the Body, I want to share with them the saving message of the Gospel! I want and desire for God to use me in such a way that it is crystal clear He is working and not me! I want that so much in my life and God is clearly doing that through me. In the words of John the Baptist, "He must increase, but I must decrease." That alone is satisfying enough for me!

February 04, 2012

Nothing Is Set in Stone

It is truly amazing how things change right when you think it's all set. I've experienced a lot of comings and goings of friends, family, and trends in recent years, which makes my realize that not everything is here to stay forever. It constantly reminds me of the frailty and swiftness of life. Just like James says in the Bible, "your life is just a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." It's humbling and eye-opening when you see it take place in your own life.

A lot has happened recently, but I can't retell it all in one posting without making it super long, so I'll give you the condensed version of it. A couple of weeks ago I started getting fed up with how addicting Facebook got and how it really made my real friendships tarnish. Most of my friendships started becoming cyber-based and I really didn't like that. So after some prayer and thought, I decided to deactivate my account. And I didn't just deactivate it, I also deleted everything off my page and then deactivated it so that it gives the same effect as deleting the entire account, since you can't actually delete an account off of Facebook. And let me tell you, it is such a relief to finally hang out with real people and not have the nagging addiction of getting on Facebook first thing in the day. It's freeing and it also gets me into God's Word a lot as well. It is a change that I enjoy and plan on keeping for sure.

The other big change that happened to me recently is that I switched my major at Trinity Bible College. Instead of going for my Bachelor's in Youth Ministry, I've now redirected my focus on a certificate in Biblical Studies. I have been praying and thinking about where I'm headed in ministry and considering what God is doing and leading me. To be honest, I hadn't really consulted God on my youth ministry decision; just basically followed my feelings and emotions. That was not good on my part and now I'm actually praying hard about it all. God has opened the door for me into this college, so I knew I didn't want to leave it, but I wanted to consider my other options because, honestly, a Bachelor's was biting off more than I could chew. I decided to back off and start small and see where God leads me after that. I'm trusting Him in all this and know full well that His plan will prevail as long as I submit to Him. One thing I know: I want to be in full-time ministry, but the real question is, "where?" That could be anywhere and God has graciously gifted me with abilities that equip me for His service. I want to make sure I use those gifts accordingly for His glory.

As always, I ask for prayers for the Lord's guidance, leading, and wisdom. Lots of changes, which reminds me that nothing is set in stone...except, of course, for Jesus Christ.

January 01, 2012

New Beginnings

Once again, it is a new year! I have gone through this 20 times and hopefully more! As I have said before on countless occasions, I have gone through a lot of changes in just this past year and I like the looks of it. God truly is molding me into His image and more recently I have been conforming to His likeness.

Lately, I have realized that I haven't exactly been communicating with God like I should be and I am currently changing that! Just think, the Creator of this universe and everything we see (including you and me) has revealed Himself, His plan of Salvation, and His commands on how we are to live in Him all in a book! It's the infallible Word of God and, sadly, not many Christians that I have talked to don't regularly get into it (this includes me). I have asked God for the desire to seek Him and His Word on a daily basis and I have been doing just that! It is truly amazing how He communicates with me through His Word.

As I had talked about in my last post, I still am not sure what to do regarding ministry. My heart yearns for sharing the Gospel with people who otherwise would never hear it, yet, God has opened doors to youth ministry. Right now I'm just praying and praying and praying and praying, continuously seeking God's infinite wisdom, guidance, and leading. I'll continue to walk through the doors God opens and trust that His hand is upon the whole matter :) One thing that frustrates me (and it's because of my own foolishness) is that before I decided to pursue youth ministry, I didn't thoroughly pray about it or actively get into the Word on the matter; I basically went with feelings and desires. That wasn't a good thing and now I'm wondering what's up. Even regarding foreign missions, I'm not following feelings, but God. I still need to experience what it's like out of the U.S. (which, fortunately, I might have an opportunity to go to Guatemala on a short term mission trip in a few months; please pray for me about that). I'm really praying about this whole thing and reading the Word. This time I'm doing what I should have done before. I still ask for prayers from all of you as this is more important than anything else.

The sermon I gave at Pathways went great and I got to talk about the story of Joseph and then tied it into the Gospel message, which was awesome! Thanks for the prayers! I hope seeds were planted :)

I hope and pray that 2012 will be a blessed and Christ-centered year for me and all of you! May God's glory be magnified not only in our words, but also in our actions!