I cannot tell you all the different things flowing through my mind right now, and for the first time this week I am actually enjoying the multitude of thoughts racing through my brain. I am excited. I am hopeful. I am beginning to dream again! About what you may ask? About the things that will, by the grace of God, help further the glory of the kingdom.
I began writing my New Years Resolutions for next year. They were not even technically supposed to be New Years Resolutions, but when I noticed that everything I had written down was for 2013 I decided to just claim these ideas as my New Years Resolutions! I want to share with you some of the resolutions that are on my heart! These things range from things like a job and a car, to things like setting up an unorganized (in terms of SEU organizing it) inner-city missions trip to Washington D.C.
Yes, I go to Church in D.C. Yes, I am from the area, and the church that will be working directly with the group of people I hope to get to come with me will most likely be my own home church, but this is not about "my church." This is about my heart for D.C. and the inner-city community that surrounds my church. This area is filled with churches, and these churches are either not filled at all, or are filled with older men and women. The young people that live all through-out the neighboring communities? Where can they be found? Out on the streets trying to make it by through gangs, sex, drugs, violence, partying, money, and life lived this way because they do not know that there is more to it through Jesus Christ.
I have met a lot of kids from the area, many of them know OF Jesus. They know OF God. But, that is as far as their knowledge goes. The road is narrow! When are we going to start taking that seriously?! It is not enough to allow someone to go along being satisfied with the simple thought that there is a God! We must as Christ followers show them the truth! The truth is love, hope, and a relationship that outlasts anything this earth can provide! I want to start a ministry within the Inner City that goes beyond just a short-term missions team! I want to see a generation of a new community of believers in the inner city begin to flourish and grow! I do not want these dreams to become just become vague possibilities! I want to carry them out with integrity and faithfulness to the kingdom of God! I want to know what it truly means to live a life that resembles that of Christ!
I ask that you would pray for my heart if you are reading this. That God would start a passion stirring within my heart to settle for nothing less than being completely faithful to the kingdom of God! I am young and this is a great time to dream right? But this dream...it feels so real! It would be detrimental to myself and the kingdom of God to not follow through with it! I need accountability for this! I need prayer for short term missions, for working a job next semester, for getting a car next summer, for starting a ministry within the D.C. area that would truly spend time diving into the hearts and lives of the community, and I need prayer for more faithfulness to the seeking of the kingdom of God first and foremost. Thank you all for your prayers! Keep me accountable to a life of faithfulness and love for the Lord and humanity itself.
So here's the thing, right about now if you look around your neighborhoods and churches you will begin to start seeing signs up from things like salvation army, operation Christmas child, and so on and so forth. But, I want to encourage you to give. It is the Christmas season and I know that in today's economy there is not a lot of money to be spent on anyone else, let alone yourself. But, I hope that you can dig deep inside yourself and begin to see the joy that will spring from your heart and soul when you begin to care for those less fortunate than you.
At Southeastern a group of students have set up a Christmas tree inside of the lunchroom, and all around the tree are little paper ornaments with a child's name, their grade in school, and what toy they would like for Christmas.. This toy drive is not to the kids out in Africa or India, but it is for the kids who live less than five minutes down the street from our campus.. I don't know why, but for some reason whenever it has come to me giving to kids in other countries through things like Operation Christmas Child, I never seemed to really see the children as people...it is sad for me to even think about now, but I just have always heard that people in other countries needed help and therefore I would give them a little something to help them out. It has always been hard for me to grasp my mind around the pain and suffering that goes around all over the world, but what I find more saddening is the lack of desire that we have to give to those in pain who are only right down the street from us.
Many of us believe that in order to impact the world we must become missionaries, and we must go out into the world and reach others. But, we do not take that mindset and apply it to going out into our very own neighboring communities. This is where, if you are a Christian, that you are to believe that God has placed you.
Where you are - that is your missions field, that is the place in which you are too reach out and give to others also! It is important to give to those in other countries too, do not get me wrong! But, let us not forget that pain that is residing within our very own country this holiday season.
I have a little paper ornament for a third grader named Juan who wants a transformer...I have been praying for Juan everyday since I have gotten that little ornament...my heart aches for Juan because I want Juan to be loved this Christmas and I want him to see that love through a simple transformer toy. I only have about $10 to my name as of today. I sometimes feel like I am the one who needs someone to give him something for Christmas...But the words of Christ ring true in my heart, and that is that it is better to give than to receive.
So this holiday season do not be afraid to give! Give to others! Love others! Be excited to lay down your life for someone else in order that you may see their lives benefited in return. Be humbled this Christmas season and if you are having trouble with this, then do not fret because you are merely human and just like the rest of us you must pray for guidance and for the softening of your heart in order to do the will of God.
Hey everybody! I have been keeping up with this blog lately called HeartSupport and I just wanted to kind of promote them I guess? They have some really good stuff to say about relationships. From family members, to dating, to marriage, to divorce, just everything they have to say is just so well thought out and spoken, because it is spoken from probably one the best and most persuasive perspectives and that is experience itself.
I would like to encourage everyone who is dating, single, married, or thinking about being married to watch every single video that Ben and Emily Sledge have done. Those videos are really good and both of them are just honest and soft-spoken people and it really has been just a huge pleasure to watch every single one of their videos! So, click on the picture so you can be directed to their video page and copy and paste the link below to go to their blog page!. I hope you find everything they say encouraging and honest.
You're probably wondering to yourself right about now, "what is he back from" and/or "why does it sound 'like a roar'"? To put it simply I was on Thanksgiving break and went back home to Maryland to visit my friends and family. I will later this week, probably, divulge into some of the details of this trip, and some of the life altering experiences that I had. But first to explain why I am back with a roar.
I am back with a "roar", because I have been encouraged, confronted, tempted, convicted, strengthened, and loved over this past week and it has lead me to wish to live a life of grace, peace, and love. I have come back with a roar to college because my eyes are open to see what it means to live this life out properly. I now see that in order to show Christ to those in my immediate area of community I must become involved in my school. I must become a servant to those around me. I must dedicate my life to showing love in every situation and in every opportunity I am given.
I am excited to be back at Southeastern University. Walking around campus it is as if I am viewing the school with a whole new set of eyes. From the buildings to the people, I just have this over-joyous feeling of love and passion and commitment to the things and people all around me! It is important that I understand that I am here, and while I am here I might as well enjoy it in the best way that I can. I am a firm believer that the best way that I can enjoy my life, and the things that I do, is by giving glory to Christ, and I believe that is given through love. In the love that I show others I will not only be praising God with my actions but I will be fulfilling the deepest parts of my heart and soul with happiness.
I have so much I wish to say tonight, I really do.. I want to share with you all about my disappointments and my encouragements, my temptations and my convictions, my anger and my peace, and my beliefs and my knowledge. I want to let the whole world know about what is all going on in my heart and mind and I do not think I can properly be at peace until I begin sharing these things in a deeper level. I fear that I am not preaching the gospel enough through my music, through my actions, my integrity, my passions, my writings, and more. I fear that if I do not share all that I have to all those who read what I have written, I will have missed a chance to share love someone else.
I fear I am beginning to babble, so I will stop.
Be encouraged by the testimony of the young man who just weeks ago wrote about his confusion and distress with where he was at for college and now by the grace of God is excited to do exactly what God has called him to do, and that is to love.
I'm going to be honest I do not have much to say tonight. I am in a very quiet and reserved mood and on top of that I have a paper and homework assignment due tomorrow that I need to get done. I wasn't even planning on writing tonight actually, then I just finished praying and spending some time with God when I realized that there was something really short and to the point that I could share.
I wanna remind you if you're a Christian about a little test you can take to see if your heart is in the right place. And, by right place I mean if you are focused on loving God and following his commands and loving others. This test is something both Christians and non-christians have heard of, but most of the time go about it in the wrong way. This test is taken through a person's prayers. If you want to see if your heart is in the right place you must pray and see the kinds of things you are praying about. A person fixed on the things of Christ does not just pray for themselves but more importantly prays for others.
This has been extremely convicting for me. today. I had a friend ask me if I had any prayer requests and I told him my requests, but as soon as I told him I realized that my requests were all "me" focused. And then, the next thing you know he told me his prayer requests and they were not just for himself, but for the broken-hearted, sick, lost in this world. When he said these prayer requests to me I just cringed cause I realized my heart needed to be in check. I need to be deeper in God's word daily, yes, but I need to be out in the world serving and loving others and looking like Christ too! I need to be desiring to imitate Christ, and that is something I have been struggling with lately, and that is simply whether or not I really truly want to live like Christ. I have the head-knowledge of who God is, but will I step out and seek to be one with Christ in action. Will I see everything as a loss in order that I might gain Christ? Will I seek to put to death the misdeeds of the body every single day? Or will I wake up every morning thinking about myself?
Just a little convicting and encouraging word for all of you out there. Seek to love God and follow his commands, and his commands are to Love him and Love Others.