Posts Tagged ‘life’

Well as you can see I have gotten two new quite large tattoos. I have a bear paw on the left and a lion paw on the right. These two tattoos basically take up my entire rib cage space and they took over 4 hours to complete. It was a long day on the table and it was quite a challenge for my body to lie there that long under the needles pressing the ink into my body. I knew these tattoos were going to be big, and I knew they were going to be a challenge to receive, so I needed to be sure of the reasons behind these tattoos. Which by now I’m sure you want to hear the story.

Well it all begins with the story of David and Goliath in 1st Samuel 17. The story is probably my favorite mere man in the Bible, the story of a young man anointed by the servant of the Lord (Samuel) to take the thrown and lead Gods Holy people. A man who with his faith was able to take the head of a giant and lay it at the feet of king Saul, the very man who he would take the throne from. An inspiring story that is taught in Sunday school at churches but they tend to leave little parts out… Like the removing of Goliath’s head haha. Or the shouting match between the two warriors where Goliath spits in the face of God and says he will rip David apart and leave him for the birds and the beasts to eat… or Davids response of “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”-1 Samuel 17:45-47 I encourage you to read the story yourself if you haven’t.

But to narrow the focus I want to take you to a particular part of the story, I want to take you to 1st Samuel 17:32-37 “And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”  And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”’  This is the part of the story where David is standing before Saul telling him he will fight the Philistine. For days the armies of Israel cowered at the thought of fighting this giant, even Saul the King was afraid and would not fight even though he was most likely the biggest man and most equipped man of his army. But when David arrived to deliver a package from his father to his brothers on the battle field he saw the tremendous lack of faith in the men of Israel and took it upon himself to silence the giant who insulted and shook his fist at the Lord our God. David knew that he was capable of defeating the giant for the Lord had delivered him the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear and this Philistine was no different he too would be defeated for the Glory of God. For this giant stood before the people of the Great and Holy God and spoke against God Himself and nothing stands against the Lord and remains for long, especially in the old testament. So David told Saul the story of how the Lord has prepared him in his faith with the lion and the bear and with the blessing of the king went to face the giant with the confidence given to him from the Lord.

What my tattoos represent is the “Lions” and “Bears” that God puts in our lives to build our faith for the battles ahead like a “Goliath Battle”. My tattoos are a symbol of the Power of the Lord to defeat anything before us in our path of a life Glorifying to God. A symbol of the preparation He gives us in our lives for challenging things ahead. And just a symbol of the Greatness and the Holiness that is our God and that nothing can stand in His way. Its a reminder that I need to work through the Lord and not myself. This tattoo represents allot of things I need to be reminded of, things that keep me confident in the Lord. When I can talk about my tattoos I get to share some of the “lions”, some of the “bears”, and some of the “Goliaths” of my life and bring God the Glory and point to Him. To point to my Savior, Provider, Defender, Lord, and King! And encourage others in the Faith

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At the end of this middle school Wilderness week at camp one of my campers wrote me this thank you letter,

“Dear Shaun,

Thank you!! Thank you for all of the sacrifice of your time to keep me in check by telling me to shut up when I’m running my big mouth, to stop having attitude, and for not slapping us like you could have many times. Thanks for talking to me about my life and my problems , and also for praying for me. This week you taught me so much about God and His message. You inspired me to put aside my differences and my “False Idols” and read my bible and pray. That Thursday night when you took your night to stay outside and pray and talk to God. That made me feel so good. Because that inspired me so much! I definitely think that you have done what is carved on your bracelet that you got from your girl. (Ashley… Wait you already knew that’s her name shes your girl. so yeah!) I am so glad that you could be here with all of us this summer. You are awesome. And even though we stress you out sometimes you still pull through for us and you are still awesome. I hope that you have a great time touring the country with Off the Wall and have a great time in life just in case I never see you again. Thank you again for the bracelet it means allot to me! And one last thing keep being awesome, kind, cool, thoughtful, cheerful, thrifty, brave, and many many MANY more things, keep being the christian you are!”

My camper handed this to me on Saturday morning after I woke everyone up to start our last morning together. It really toughed my heart and I was amazed my the words of this twelve year old child. I Love all the kids I get during the summer and the little things like this, the moments where they see more of Christ and change their lives, make it worth it. My ministry this summer at the camp has been an amazing summer where the Spirit worked mighty things in the hearts of many every week. My bracelet says “Inspire” and I have told many that that is my job, my job is to inspire others to Jesus. It feels so great to get this thank you letter and be reassured of my work this summer.  Praise the Lord and to Him be all the Glory.

Sorry I have not had time to gather everything from my weeks at camp yet, now I am on week 3 and the Lord is being shown to many. I will try and get more out but here is a taste of the start of my journey.

Life Guard training, a experience that I truthfully have feared for the past 4 years sense I started working at camp. You see I have always herd all the stories about how hard and intense it was this made me want to take it and prove I could do it! This was a fear that I wanted to conquer, this is the story of my Life Guard Training.

I guess I will just have to start at the beginning, that would be life guard training! Life guard training is the first time us counselors as a staff meet and bond together before the rest of the staff get here. We all go through life guard training together get pushed physically and really get to know each other. Meeting everyone went great we all seemed to get along well right from the start. It was a strange network of friendship, almost everyone had a friend working here with them, and somehow all of us friends were friends with each other in some way or another, very hard to explain haha. Life guard training was going to be fun and great phyical challenge and I wanted to conquer the small fear I had of failing..(I’m like 2% body fat.. AKA I dont float!)After little instruction the first thing we did after we got there was swim 300 meters! Not going to lie this made me realize that all that running I did a few months back had defiantly did nothing to prepare me! I was dead tired and the next test was right after.. So as we moved to the brick test with my chest pounding and lungs gasping for air I knew this was going to be hard. For the brick test there is a blue brick at the bottom of a twelve foot deep pool, first you have to swim to the other side of the pool then back to where the brick is, dive down get the brick, swim back to the other side then back to the side you started on! Everyone who went before me either failed or barely lifted themselves out of the pool.. I really wanted this and seeing that its challenging really gets me going, makes me want to conquer it! So when my turn came around my blood was pumping and I was ready! I jumped into the pool and started swimming, I swam down to the other side and was soon treading water over the brick. I took as deep of a breath as I could and went down……… I only got down about nine feet before I ran out of air. After rushing to the surface I tried to catch my breath. I tried and tried but couldn’t get more than a small gulp of air. My chest was wrenching and was pounding with pain. My heart was racing and i slowly realized that there was no way I could finish the test.. I was angry that my body was quitting on me, I was angry but I wasn’t about to let this test take me from this pool so I got enough air to say I’m getting out and started to try and swim to the ladder. When I got out of the pool I began explaining my heart condition. You see a few years back I had a similar problem in football, My chest gets tight I have trouble breathing and there is more pain than I have ever experienced. From what I have been told My heart starts beating so fast that I should be having a heart attack and a pouch around my heart inflates creating pressure in my heart and lungs. They asked me if I wanted emergency care and i said no, you see I don’t have health insurance and I don’t make enough money to really pay any medical bill. They gave me oxygen and soon told me they called emergency care any way.. Soon both me and the instructors agreed that I should be in another room so I don’t worry the others and scare them away fro the test. on my way I became very nauseous and grabbed a trash can and yup you guessed it puked up breakfast… At this time the paramedics have arrived and I’m sitting next to the trash can on a bench. As I was being asked questions my new friend Lincoln came over i asked “how you doing man?” he responded with and “all good” then proceeded to puke into the trash can as well lol it was quite a funny moment I thought. Now as I’m strapped to the gurney it really begins to sink in that I’m not going to be able to concur this fear of failing… I began to try my hardest to hold back tears and I felt the feeling of failure sinking in. After my short ride in the ambulance I sit in a room in the ER alone wires and stickers suck on all over my body. I just sat still disappointed, angry, and sad. Tears began to roll down my face as I sat wet still in my swim suit in this hospitable reminding me of this terrible restriction called my body. I began to long for my glorified body and Became disgusted with the sin filled limited body I had now. Soon a doctor came in and asked me some questions, I told him the same thing I told the others earlier. he said we were going to take some x-rays and after he finds my records we will see from there. I soon again sat alone watching doctors and nurses running back and forth past my room.

After a small while my good friend and boss Jim came in, one of the nurses earlier told me that he was on his way, that comforted me a little. Jim began to make funny statements like “they going to give you a monkey heart?” witch made me laugh and calm down a bit. The he asked me how I was feeling and I kind of broke down. “I hate it that it’s not me quitting! It’s my body I literally cant do this and I hate that!” “I hate that I can’t just go back and try again!” I’m so thankful for Jim in my life for he at this moment began to speak truth to me. He began to tell me to stop getting mad over this and figure out what to do next. After our little talk he went out and called my mother and my sister for me to let them know I was in the hospitable and then came back in to be with me. After a bit a financial adviser came in to talk with me. You see I don have health insurance and soon Jim and I were informed that workmens comp was not going to cover any of this sense this seems to be a pre-existing condition. So now to add to the mix I have been reminded of the medical bill that will be soon on its way. God provides and I’ll let Him take care of how I will pay for this so this was out of my mind soon.

My mother and my sister arrived and Jim said he was going to check on the rest of the staff sense they were now having lunch, so he left me in the care of my family and the hospital. My mom said that she was sorry that I have to go through this pain again. She knows how much it hurt me mentally and spiritually last time. But by now I was back rejecting reality. I was cracking jokes and my mother proclaimed that only would I almost die then be joking around smiling and simply wanting to get out of the hospital soon after I arrived. The doctor came in and did exactly as I expected and told me nothing new, advised me to check up with a doctor and see specialist just like the other doctors said the last times. I already decided that I wasn’t going to the doctor because I didn’t want to wast any more time just to be told they found nothing new. I wanted to continue with life and not sit idle run up a bill and possibly be told there is nothing they can do for me. So I checked out and Walked out of the ER still shirtless in my swim suit, medical stickers sill stuck all over my body, still slightly wet from the pool.

I got dropped off back at Life Guard Training and met back up with the staff. They were still having lunch when I arrived, I hugged my mom goodbye and joined my staff. Everyone was like “He’s alive!!” haha I told everyone I would live. I still had the stickers stuck on because they stick on very hard and they feel like pealing off duck tape, so soon began the game of “Lets see if we can make Shaun feel pain!” all the male staff grabbed a sticker and counted down to pull fast and quick. A great roar from me fallowed my laughter by everyone and myself. It was a great way to be welcomed back. Lunch was over and we began our walk back to the pool and back to training. This walk through these halls was a interesting feeling of slight shame for I knew that when I walked back into class I was walking in as someone finishing the course and only becoming certified in CPR and First AID, not being able to pass the whole class.

The rest of my days went I passed CPR and First  AID with flying colors and the rest of the class passed as well. Allot happened in this one day and I’m still dissecting and processing it fully. but what I do know is the truth, the truth that God uses everything for His good, my good times and the times where I fail. He will use it and He has His reasons for limiting me here and now. I still struggle with finding peace in this specific spot of my life but I just remind myself that this life is not mine. I have given it to the Lord and His will and sometimes I will not understand it but thats okay I have faith that my Father is good.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”