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! :)