Friday, September 24, 2004

The Hunger

Hunger, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Appetites for somethings can be good, but then there are appetites that are destructive and lead to death. I've been reading Genesis lately because it's the first of the five books of the Pentateuch. We have to read through the Pentateuch for VLI this quarter as well as various books. I've been digging into the Word like mad. Thursday I went over to Andre's and we worshipped and read and discussed various things in Genesis ch. 1-9. It was incredible! We dug into the passages, asked questions of each other, and really enjoyed studying the Bible. God has given me an appetite for studying and trying to understand the Bible. The Lord has developed a Hunger in me for the things of His Kingdom. I'm hungry, and only You can fill the Hunger. I cannot be full. Your Word is better than the best of foods and drinks. It satisfies, yet makes one long for more. Makes one think and dig deeper. Food makes one full, and too much will make one fat. When you eat food and it's processed its biproduct is a stinky waste that is useless. When you eat of the Word you'll never be full. You'll never get fat and it's biproduct is a stronger Christian and a better understanding of the things of God. You can also share this biproduct with others and they too can grow stronger. Jesus was right when He said that "man does not live on bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord". Seven Day Jesus has a song out called "The Hunger" and it's awesome. In fact their entire album is great, but that song applies to this blog.

Lord continue to make this fire burn and burn hot, white hot. Make the hunger you've placed inside me grow deep and wide. Let me become consumed with the thought of knowing You. Let my desire be to eat and drink of Your Word. Help me to cut off the chains that have bound me and kept me somewhat caught in the things of this world. Keep my heart in a state of brokeness for the lost and for missions. Don't let me become complacent in my walk with you. Use VLI to mold me into a battle hardened warrior who's only desire is to fight on the front lines with a fury and reckless love that strikes fear into the heart of the enemy. Be my shield, be my Sword, be vision, lay before me a path that is rock solid. Let my enemies fall before me, to the left and to the right let them fall before Your mighty right hand. Prepare me, then lead me into battle. You are the Potter, and I am the clay. Today my heart is Yours to mold. Make me into the tool, the weapon that would make me useful to You in advancing Your kingdom. I love you, and the thought of doing anything other than serving you makes my heart cringe.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Good times, exciting times, and uncertain times

Haven't posted in a while. Don't have my own PC, and my roommate isn't to keen on letting people use his. Don't get to post much cause of time constraints and lack of a PC.

This is going to be a book, at least I think it will be. So much has happened since 9/12/04, namely my brother Luke coming down to visit. That was such a good time. You never really know how much you'll miss somebody until you they're gone. I've considered moving to Kansas many times. The funny thing is that there are only a few reasons to go, but so many reasons to stay. Luke was one of my reasons to go, but the Lord was doing things here and He was my reason to stay. Didn't get to hang out as much as I would have liked, but he'll be back in Feb. To test for Tempe Fire. Hopefully they won't hire him for another year and a half to two years. That should give him the time he needs to do what he went to Kansas to do.

Work has been really busy. The Lord has been good though. A couple weeks ago my buddy Mike came down to check out the shop and while I was showing him around, my boss came up and asked me for some help. Mike followed me so I introduced him to my boss. My boss offered him a job on the spot for the most part and a few days later Mike was working with me. We car pool now, and share lunch, talk loads during breaks and I'm getting to show him some stuff too. I hope that the Lord brings a few more Godly men like Mike in so that we can be an even better witness to those that work there. Right now they have us working 10 hr. Days again. Probably for the next 3 weeks.

Vineyard Leadership Institute (VLI) started up last night and boy was it exciting. It was just orientation night, but to hear the heart of God behind Steve Robbins the director was incredible. I'm so excited, but at the same time filled with a nervous energy. They say that to learn the info and apply it well in ministry, one will need to study etc. For at least 20 hrs. A week. With work picking up again and night school and college group all of my nights were used up. I knew that doing VLI would require some sacrifices, but that ultimately it would be worth it. The Lord has so much to teach me through the mentoring, lecturing, and hands on ministry projects. I dropped my welding class on tues./thur. Nights because it took up 8 hrs. A week that I needed to devote more to reading the word, studying, and focusing on VLI as opposed to getting my certifications taken care of. Those will be good here, but probably won't benefit me loads overseas. However, the things I will learn through VLI will help me here in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world. The next couple years will be filled with exciting yet, uncertain times.

I'm going through VLI training so that I will be better equipped when I make the transition into full time mission work sometime after VLI is done.

College group is going well at the Living room. Since they broke the group up into 3 nights, the wed. Group actually meets at someone's house and consists of about 15-20 people instead of 40-70 people. Great small group, great worship and study, close by and lots of open discussion.

Life is busy, yet I'm glad. The Lord is moving in me, through me, and around me. Things are changing, I'm changing. Can't put my finger on it cause it's so subtle at times, but it's happening. My natural instinct is to be apprehensive about uncertain times, but now I'm more excited because that means that I'm not in control of the situation. It's a new adventure that is always going where the Shepherd leads, not where I want to go.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Blessings of the Lord

What is the greatest thing in this world or the greatest gift. Some might say the birth of a new baby, especially their own, or seeing their children grow up. Having not experienced either of those I cannot say how great they are, but I know for a fact that one of the greatest pleasures I've had in my life is to see someone who is young come to have a relationship with Jesus. I got to witness this today during Adventure Bay. I was completely unprepared. Stayed up late last night, was busy moving and setting stuff up in my room so I lost my schedule and "script" for today's lesson. I wake up late and miss 1st service. I end up quickly jotting down some notes and reviewing the script for the pirate and cameo we have before changing into my Captain's clothes. After that I play with the kids and meet the new ones. We had this one boy that did not want to be there. He wanted to be home and was visibly upset or maybe scared. Paul handled it quite well and one of our 5th graders stuck by him the entire day helping him to have fun and get connected. Props to both of them. As the hour wore on he gradually loosened up, worship was awesome, we boarded the ship and then I proceeded to tell them about our destination. We were going to Easter Island (Easter was our lesson plan for the day), but it donned on me that some of these new kids might have never heard about Jesus. So I asked them, and sure enough 4 of them had not heard the story of who Jesus is and what He did for us. I proceeded to tell them the greatest story ever and made sure to make eye contact with all four of them throughout the story. They never took their eyes off of me. It was amazing! I was put in the same room with 4 new kids (2 of whom were brought by their friends) that had never even heard about Jesus, and I got to tell them about HIM!!!! What joy! I couldn't believe my luck! I'd struck gold in them thar hills. The seed was planted, now it was time for some water. I continued on with the lesson plan and the kids as always were right on the money with their answers. In the end I gave them an opportunity to accept Jesus into their hearts. Here's the best part! The new guy that didn't want to be there raised his hand and recieved Jesus into his life!!! What an honor, what a blessing. I saw 3 other hands shoot up, and was nearly positive that these were hands I'd seen go up before, none the less I was excited. I had been praying the whole time while teaching that one of these kids would come to know Jesus and one did. The seed planted, the water poured, and the harvest reaped. So young and ready to be poured into. How great it is to see a young one saved. They have the rest of their lives to proclaim the name of Christ and grow while they're young, whereas adults are already grown and it's often harder for them.

Lord thank you for the gift you've given me of being able to teach in Kid's Church. Help me to be more and more cognicent of what you're doing and where you're going so I can lead them in the same direction. Do not let me or the lesson plans or anything else ever become a stumbling block for your will for these little ones. Smash and destroy anything or anyone that gets in the way. They are yours and so are we. Lead us, guide us, and hold us close to your side.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

To be like a child

Jesus said in Mar 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." After this sunday I have a better grasp as to what that means. The children I teach (or atleast they tell me that's what I do) during our Adventure Bay program in 2nd service are incredible. They worship with a fervor that even the most spirit filled worship leaders would be in awe of. They sing and dance with reckless abandon praising God not because I or anyone else told them to, but because they want to. There is evidence of this in the testimonies of parents that are constantly saying how their kids are singing their own worhsip songs around the house or start doing the motions and dancing when they hear a certain song the recognize played on the radio in some store. What's even more amazing is that when these young one's get too old for the class and go into 5th and 6th grade, they fight tooth and nail to stay in Kid's Church. They don't want to leave. They have now become a vital part of our team of helpers. They want to get involved in every aspect of Adventure Bay and Kid's church from picking out songs for worship, to cleaning up the water that Shriver the Diver has a tendancy to leave when he shows up. And they hold each and every task very dear. None is more important than the other. They're all involved with little cameo's or help out as a puppeteer or as a little mate as we call them. We've had to work out a deal with them since we do want them to be in their proper class and continue to learn and grow. If they stay for multiple services then they have to attend their class during one of those and can help out during the others or if they're parents stick around for only one service, then they can help out every other week. Every single week I've seen kids raise their hands to accept Christ into their lives or to reaffirm their committment to Him. They're always bringing their friends or other new people and are practically dragging their parents out of bed so that they won't be late. I don't know about anyone else, but I never dragged my parents out of bed for anything but Christmas. These kids are demonstrating this extreme behavior on SUNDAY MORNINGS!!! Praise God for the heart that he has placed in them. I cannot wait until they have moved on into high school and are regular hell razers. They are the one's who will be leaders on their campuses because they do what is right and will not give in to peer pressure. They will worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. They will be a light in the darkness, and the gates of hell will not be able to hold them back. God is raising up a mighty army right before my own eyes. He is using the outcast and pushed aside. The excess baggage that some parents begrugingly carry around. He has given me the wonderful blessing and opportunity to pour out what little I have to those who are so little in the eyes of this world. Is it any wonder that Jesus stayed in the temple as a child to talk to the priests instead of waiting till He was of the "proper" age. God uses the wisdom of fools to confound the wise. Paul told Timothy to not let others look down on him because he was young, I say that we should not look down on little kids, because of their age or size. They have more to say, and more to ask than we know. If we take the time to listen we would learn much.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, and yellow, black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

Lord continue the work You are doing in these little ones. Protect them from satan's devices. Do not let them be snatched away, but instead use them as hunters, deadly warriors to snatch others out of the enemies grasp. Even at this young age they are preparing to reap the harvest You have prepared. Instill in them a heart for the lost, a heart for missions, and most importantly a heart of worship. In the end Lord, it's all about You. Regardless of how much we care for others here or in other countries, if it all doesn't come back to worshiping You then it is done for the wrong reasons. Let them learn to love, for it is the greatest commandment. Teach them to love each other, but even more so to love You with all of their heart, mind, and soul. Continue to bring up parents, young adults, and even younger students to help out with this awesome ministry opportunity you've given all of us.

Friday, September 03, 2004

College group questions

I have been so wiped out and tired as of recently with long work hrs., school, college group, and church that when I do get time any more to check this stuff it's late at night and I'm really tired. If anyone should feel so inclined as to get the background to this post check out my buddy Obie's blog at

Lots of good questions were asked. The one I feel that needs answering the most is Suzie's which Ben also reffered to. Why not step up in our church and meet new people, start a group or whatever. To borrow a line from Obie, at this moment I want to be somewhere where I'm not expected to be in a leadership role. I've been a jack of "many" trades a good portion of my life. I don't want that to pour over into my spiritual life so much. I want to be good at one thing. Right now I'm teach Adventure Bay. I want to be the best I can be at that. Those kids have been pushed to the side by so many people because their kids. Many people think that kids church is kind of a place where they take their kids to be watched while they go to church, and don't take it seriously. I cannot give myself over to anything else as far as ministry goes, especially not with VLI starting up on the 20th. This semester is going to be slam packed for me. Then the question is, why can't I meet and hang with new people at Gilbert. Well, I can do that, but there are a few things that really hold me back. Time is the biggest one. I go to first service and right after it ends I hurry over to Kid's Church to help out and get ready. No time to meet people. Second if I did and we hung out, then it would only be right to bring them to the Cellar to get hooked up and not to the Living Room. However, if I am not currently attending the Cellar then that would mean that I'ld be taking people away from a group that is obviously trying to get something started. I don't expect everyone to understand, and there will be more questions, and possibly some hurt feelings, but what's a guy to do? You can please some of the people all of the time, but you can't please all of the people some of the time. Even when they're you're best friends. Right now I'm in a place where I'm being blessed, lots of great stuff is happening, I'm active all the time, and I see God using me in all the lives around me and God is using all of them in me. Does that mean that the above wasn't happening at the Cellar? No, it doesn't. All I know is that a few months ago I was struggling with temptation on and off, things were just ho hum, but now things are going well, I'm enjoying life and developing new, deep relationships with people that have had a positive impact on my life. I hope in someway that this clears the fog up and answers some questions.