Posts Tagged ‘love’

Love is just so much work sometimes. Let me explain, for almost the past two months I have been in Guatemala at language school frying my brain learning Spanish. When I came here with my wife I was basically starting at zero. So every day I go to language school for four hours then come home with a head that has worked so hard that thinking becomes a task… So as a result reading my bible has become difficult, praying for anything besides “Lord help me learn this.” has been a challenge. Thinking about deep theology has become nearly impossible it seems and all I want to do is well….. NOTHING!! I’m pooped! Exhausted mentally and I just want to sit here and let my mind go blank! I don’t want to read my bible, pray (except for help), or answer theological questions from my wife. I can barley answer any of my own questions at the moment!

So back to my first sentence, Love is just so hard sometimes… Like now! I don’t want to “stop and spend time with Jesus” or “just get in the word” or “lead my wife.” But the reality is I NEED TO!! Don’t get me wrong I still Love my wife and I still Love Jesus. I just have really dropped the ball lately on acting that love out. I haven’t been working hard in these relationships.. with the excuse of “I’m tired!” which we both know is well… stupid.

Ashley and I have been reading our bibles and praying but I just have been putting in a small effort when I know I need to be giving so much more. I am commanded to Love the Lord with all my heart soul mind and strength. I am also commanded to Love my wife. I know Love is more than just telling them I Love them its showing them, with time, with gifts, whatever is required. I am capable of more than what I have been doing. The Lord will supply all I need to complete His tasks. I just need to stop relying on this garbage that is my flesh and run back to Jesus. I need to continue to work out my faith, I need to continue building up in righteousness, and I need to keep reading the life giving Word of God. I need to pray with all my heart and be honest with God. And I need to lead my wife and buy her flowers a little bit more often.

With the Lord I am capable of completing all of my responsibilities. I am capable of Loving my wife, Loving the Lord, learning spanish, and spreading the good news of Jesus. I’m capable of leading my wife, growing my faith, and learning more about the Lord, my first Love. I just need to have more self discipline, put down the games and other things I’m wasting my time with and do what the Lord my master and King has commanded me to do. For one day I will stand before the Lord and I want to hear “well done.”

Lately I have strayed away from studying the Gospels. I’ve purposely avoided them making the excuse to myself that I’ll get more out of these books from Paul rather than trying to “understand Jesus”. You see when I read the Gospels I seem to over think a lot. I will read Matthew and try to find the “deepest meaning” or “what Jesus is really trying to say”. And it becomes exhausting and really not enjoyable to be honest because I just get confused or read too much into something making my own interpretation. Now let me be clear, I’m not saying that there is something wrong with studying the Gospels. There is nothing wrong with looking at what Jesus says on a deeper level, and there is nothing wrong with interpreting Scripture (As long as its rightfully dividing scripture, 2 Timothy 2:15), but what I am talking about is all this pressure I feel to right now understand everything in front of me in the Gospels. I feel like since this is Jesus, the Son of God, the greatest teacher/Discipler, the master of the universe, if He is speaking then I must hear and I must get right everything he is telling or trying to tell me. To be honest its overwhelming and so I have been backing off and avoiding it. So I, a Christian, am intimated by the Gospels, not because of its message but because of all the lessons that can possibly be learned and I want to know them all at once! The Gospels are where we find our standard of living as a Christian! We are to reflect Jesus and to walk as He walked (1st John 2:6)! But you see, instead of letting the Holy Spirit work through me, I have entertained this thought that I am capable of doing this for Him. I can follow this order and be good! But no, NO I can not! It is the work of the Spirit in me! The Gift I have received that works in me, with me! making me capable but not on my own, I must walk with Him, in Him, I must ABIDE! Or all of this fret is but a feeble attempt of pride and self righteousness. If I abide I will learn the lessons the Gospels have for me, in His timing, and His will, as He is preparing me for His ministry. All of scripture pushes you to the Gospels and are all centered around the Great I Am(Jesus Christ).

Now that I have seen my fault I pray for this, I pray that my heart be thirsty for the Gospels. I pray that the Spirit continuously shows me more and more truth and Love of the Gospels. I pray that I abide in Jesus so that I may be fruitful, John 15:4. I pray that I run from my pride and remember His Grace, I pray that I seek no self righteousness, Galatians 2:17-21. I pray that I just Enjoy Jesus in the Gospels and sit at his feet as a child listening to the tales of a wise man. I pray for patience, for Lord your will be done. And Lord help me in my times of unbelief, and restore my Joy as I let it so easily slip away. And I pray that it will bring me to a better confidence in sharing the Gospel. Thank you Lord for the abundant blessings you give me that sometimes I fail to see.

 Galatians 2:17-21-

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

The fall

The Result of the fall

The effects of the fall

The looking of God at this world and having to say “It’s Broken”

That simple childish phrase “It’s Broken” bears weight, it touches our hearts, it breaks our hearts

“It’s Broken” — it’s powerful, it speaks so much, it’s sad

It’s not tarnished, It’s not dirty

“It’s Broken”

When “It’s Broken” it’s either thrown away or you have to go to great lengths to fix it

When “It’s Broken” it’s out of order, it’s not functioning

When “It’s Broken” it’s not accomplishing its intended purpose

When “It’s Broken” it has been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece, it’s rejected, defeated, or despairing.

“IT’S BROKEN”

Now there is pain, now there is impatience

Now there is killing, death, and work is hard

There is sickness, shame, crying, and starving

There is deformity, agony, and abomination

There is hate, jealousy, screaming, and yelling, shouting and war.

“IT’S BROKEN”

Children without parents, children beaten, children starving, children on the streets without home or care

Children without Love

Children stolen, twisted, killing, and crying

“IT’S BROKEN”

It’s broken

So for a while now I have been praying about the direction Ashley and I were going to take in living our lives together for Christ. What I mean is what were we going to do? were we going to stay in the states with Off the Wall making disciples, or were we goin to Guatemala and the Liga de Vida Nueva (New Life children’s home) to disciple the children there… both options were glorifying to God, both are lead by the command of Jesus to go forth and make disciples(The Great Commission Mathew 28:16-20) and both options are good (really there are three options because God could take us anywhere He wants and that could be neither of these options but that’s a whole other topic of discernment.) As I was seeking an answer in this decision I was making sure that I wasn’t choosing an option because it was the easiest or simply what I or Ashley wanted to do. I didn’t want to stay here simply because I was comfortable here and I didn’t want to go to Guatemala simply because that’s what she planned on before we got together, (I didn’t want to go there to just make her happy, because then my heart wouldn’t be in it) to go to Guatemala Jesus would have to break my heart for those kids because although I have a passion for kids and missions I didn’t break for these kids and I had an attachment here in the US. . We are becoming one so everything changes now, our previous commitments change, and our previous plans that we may have had for our lives change. We needed to find out now how we are going to best serve God together. We needed to find out how to have a united ministry. Through prayer and much Godly counsel and discussion it came down to these options; serving God here in the US making disciples, or going to Guatemala and serving the children’s home and disciplining the children and people there.

 

So this past week I attended “Mosaic” a young adult bible group where we come together to read the Word and be challenged. That night I was asked to help lead worship, Josh was playing the guitar and I was playing the cajon. So things started off normal we sang and worshiped and then Don came up to lead the discussion/message. The topic for the night was Discipleship, after showing a video Don got up and prayed to start things off. After he started with a question like “do you ever feel like all you hear is the pain of this world?” then something took him and he began to break down and cry, as I sat I began to cry with him. He collected himself and prayed a few more times, then asked what are we doing about it? Are we disciples? Do we act like it? he began to cry again. As I began to cry again all I could see was a child standing before me. The child and I were standing in the dirt and the child was looking up at me and smiling. I bent down to the child and put my hands on his shoulders looked into his little eyes and said “I want to help make you more like Christ, I Love you.” And I had children around me and I wanted to disciple them. My heart broke for these kids and somehow I knew that this represented the children in Guatemala. My heart was broken for these kids that I have only heard about and I wanted to help them, I wanted to invest in their lives and teach them how to be godly. Don collected himself finished his lesson with the Great Commission. Josh and I went up to finish up the night with a song and we sang “With Everything” and my heart just continued to break. By then end of the song all I could do was sit on my drum with my head in my arms crying, weeping for these children. I was filled with a Love and a desire for these kids, I knew now that this was the confirmation I had been praying for. The Lord did exactly what He needed to do to send me on this path, He broke my heart for the children that I will be going to disciple, He broke my heart specifically for them.

 

So now starts the final preparation of raising support and preparing to go to Guatemala with the Love of my life to do the work of discipleship in the lives of the children in Liga de Vida Nueva (New Life children’s home). This is going to be hard but I trust the Lord to lead me in the right direction and I trust Him to take Ashley and I through any challenge before us. I know this is crazy but here we go, we are going to Guatemala for a minimum of 2 years while facing the challenge of a newly wed life! But we Love Jesus and we Love each other so I think we will make it standing bright and strong for the Lord. I believe the Lord is taking us in this direction and I intend to obey.

 

Mathew 28:19-20– “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

SORRY!

Posted: May 13, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while.. It has been a crazy past month or so. I have had many trials and troubling situations that Jesus and I walked through. i think that’s what I want to talk about in this blog, walking through these trials and troubled times with Jesus.

All the time you hear about the analogy of the “yoke” You know sharing your burden with Jesus, letting Him guide you through your walk. Like how an elder bull trains a young bull to walk the right path. Yeah that analogy, well I think theres a part that we often don’t think about. The part that the yoke is still a tool that is used to pull a load. We forget that “sharing this burden” means that sharing! It dosent mean that Jesus takes all the weight, there is still a load we must carry the bible says “he makes our burden light” not remove it all together. Its still hard its still a struggle! the important part is that we go through this struggle with Jesus. Its easier to carry the load with Jesus than to fight both the load and the yoke. Jesus works hard with us to tend the field that is our soul. Our souls are hard and need to be tilled and softened so that we may plant and bear fruit. Our souls are not just all ready to go, it takes work and its work is hard and sometimes painful. But we must have Joy because it is all for our good, and for our relationship with the Father. And with that work will come fruit, but like i said the fruit will not simply appear. I dont mean for this to sound discouraging, what I want is to explain that this is a process. thats why we are “being sanctified” we are not fully sanctified until we have been placed in glory.

If you have any questions feel free to comment or just go talk to a leader in your church or even just a friend I encourage you to search and dig through the bible to see these things for yourself and explore what you just read.

 

So a side note I will be posting on here every week this summer! I will be writing about my weeks at Lincoln Lake Camp in MI and I cant wait to get started. God does allot of work at this camp and I’m simply blessed to be part of His plan here.

The other day I stood in front of our houses ministry calender and I saw something that I really didn’t want to see. I saw that I only had about a month n a half left before the end of my first year at Off the Wall. So much time has passed and so much growth has happened. My love for The Lord has never been this strong and yet all I desire is to have so much more LOVE and so much more PASSION. There is so much more to be revealed to me in the word and I know that it will only increase my love for Jesus. My community here at Off the Wall has been the difference maker in my growth. They push me to be more like Jesus and they love me. We love each other. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We fight this battle together, this physical spiritual battle, this battle called life. We push each other every day to be more like Jesus and do our best to hold each other accountable. I love every single one of my new friends here. I don’t use the word love lightly and I mean it! This is why it breaks my heart to see that I only have about a month n a half left with them. In most cases people only come for nine months and then go into life, so at the end of this semester we will split and go separate ways and most likely not see each other in person for a long time. We go from spending almost all of our time together to meeting possibly once a year. Now I’m coming back next year so I will be coming back to a few of them but three forths of the group will be all new members. It will be a completely different community not bad but different. I have such a love for community, biblical community, and it rips me up inside to know I will be away from it. It will be good to find a temporary biblical community when I go back home this summer but it just wont be as strong as the one I have here. My heart will urn for its great return next fall.

I love the people God has brought in my life and I cant wait to share eternity with all of them. Together in the eternal worship of Jesus. My heart is heavy for all of you.

2nd Corinthians 13:11-14 “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Well last week in one of my classes I had to write a poem. I had chosen the word contentment and so that was what the poem needed to be about. I wrote this poem with how this word applies to me now and to be honest I’m impressed with this poem. I’ve never really wrote poetry before but this might become something I do every once in a while. So here it is!

Contentment

Beautiful hair kissed by the wind

A sun wormed body smooth and soft

She grasps my hand gentle and firm

Who is this that pulls me

She bites her lip and looks me in the eye

Looking into the soul of another

I see passion love and compassion

Strength in beauty even a love for God is present

I see a face but do not know

Why do I lust so hard

It is not my time I have been told

My mind is consumed with this future gift

Why am I not content

The Lord is more beautiful

The Lord fills me with more passion than lust

His love grace and peace holds tighter than any grip

Contentment in the Lord

Nothing can fill His place

The gift will be given the love will be had

Jesus is enough His gifts come in His will and timing

So I’m going to be honest my biggest struggle in my life has been lust. I never really struggled with talking to girls as I grew up so this didn’t help at all… I think if I was afraid to talk to girls then it would have been easier to avoid this temptation. Sense I had no trouble talking to girls picking up chicks became my hobby. I know that sounds bad but really that’s what it was. Where ever I went the goal became to flirt with a girl. It was fun and I didn’t see any harm in it. I never crossed the line by having sex and I respected any girl I was with so I thought nothing could be wrong with what I was doing. I never did any real “relationships” so I could avoid any heartbreak (witch that plan didn’t work out so great, I broke hearts and my heart got broke as well.)

After a while I grew tired of the “different party different girl” thing and I longed for something more. I wanted someone who would love me back. I have had a few girls from my past that I really did choose to love but there was no commitment between us and so no love was returned. I got sick of being the one that girls went to to be healed, the one to go to to cry on. I was a stable man who wouldn’t abandon them so I took a role that I never should have taken. I became a rescuer, I pored myself into these girls and did what i could do to help them. I was being their comforter, a job that I should have left for God. I tried to heal what really I could not. I gave them the emotional comfort they needed and well then they left me or I left them because I knew that the relationship would only be based on the attachment of what I rescued them from, not me. This led to allot of emotional heart ach fome becoming attached to the ones I “helped”.

So now for the past five years I have been single and have only had a few dates. I went from constantly surrounding myself with girls to just waiting to pursue the right one. I no longer wanted to “have fun and date” I wanted a real relationship and I wanted a Biblical relationship. I had no clue what this even meant! Heck I’m still learning what it is but the thing that led me to write this is the book “Emotional Purity” by Heather Arnel Paulsen. Yeah I know, those of you who know what the book is know its more directed toward women but the book is for both men and women. This book enlightened me to allot of things I was doing in my past and helped me realize why I got hurt even though I never “crossed the line of physical purity” and didn’t have a “relationship” or broke my rules. I learned more about guarding my heart and saving my emotions for my future wife. It cleared up allot of things that I remember hearing growing up in the church but never really understood. It showed me what It really meant to pray for my future wife and what I was really saving. This book showed me how I can have a a friendship with the opposite sex by defining the relationship that way there is no confusion on the intentions of the relationship. And most of all it has helped me in my struggle for contentment. I discovered that the root of my struggle with lust was my discontentment with Jesus. This was a harsh reality to realize but I saw it to be true. It explained why I felt such a need for a woman, I wasn’t content with having God alone. I thought that to be truly satisfied in that way by my wife not God, I realized that that was a lie that somehow entered my mind. But now I see I had unrealistic expectations of my wife and this would have destroyed any relationship I could have possibly had. Now I know and understand that God is the only source of true and eternal satisfaction. Looking into it I feel like this is such an elementary truth that I didn’t understand that ONLY GOD SATISFIES!

This book has been such a great tool for the holy Spirit to show me how to better love Jesus. My Love for Jesus is now at a whole new level and I cant wait to love Him more and more! Being content with just Jesus! It sounds crazy to those that don’t understand but it is truly a great love! I love Jesus and he will give me a wife someday but now I’m happy with Jesus. And I pray that my wife will show me how to love Jesus even more! I’m content with Gods timing for that gift, for now I know he has a plan for my single years. God is good!

“Father, my life is in Your hands. You provide for me moment by moment. I ask that you open my eyes to see your unfailing love for me and help my stubborn heart to trust you fully. I know that I will not be single a day longer than you want me to be, and in that I find rest from this mind game of wondering and waiting. Open doors of ministry for me so that I may serve where you want me to serve. Help me protect my emotions from the pitfall of having intimacy before commitment. All I could want or all that could satisfy me is wrapped up in my relationship with You. Allow me to rest in You and to fall more in love with You each day. In your Son’s Holy and precious name, Jesus, Amen.”-prayer at the end of the book

I encourage everyone to read this book, it has helped my relationship with not only friends, but prepared me for my future wife, and it helped my relationship with Jesus Christ. Witch is the most important! I love my King.