Monday, December 12, 2011

The Key to an Abundant Life

The key to an abundant life is not to store up material possessions but instead, treasures in the heart; because, when the big moment comes I’ll be ready for it. So what I’m trying to say is that if I store up peace and love in my heart, peace and love are what will come out in difficult circumstances.

My mom told me a story this morning about a girl that had Leukemia and she was ten years old when she died. The mom later went home, got on Facebook and what she wrote was proof that she had been storing up all those amazing moments – treasures of peace and love – so that she wouldn’t be emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. She wrote, “Today is a good day. My baby is with Jesus.” WOW. How amazing is that! I mean, most people probably would have gone into a deep depression or gone delusional. But the only reason why this mom was able to cope with such a loss is because she had been storing up and storing up, so when the moment came she was able to allow God’s peace to radically comfort her.

There’s this other story of an old man one Christmas in Romania that Tim Huff met. The man appeared ancient. As their ministry group sang Silent Night, the old man reached for something in the drawer next to him. He couldn’t exactly reach the item and so Tim Huff helped him, noticing it was a harmonica. He handed it to the old man who began to play along with everything in him! When the song was done the old man slid back into his covers and went back to resting.

What is it in an old man that makes him able to play the harmonica despite the state he was in? Or what makes a person feel like they could fly when they can barely muster their strength? It’s that noble feeling of love, passion, and humility – stored up in the heart over many moments. That old man was no way in heck playing for himself but for the King of Kings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Real Men

Now a days it's pretty hard to be a "Real Man" because masculinity is determined by the things we have or don't have, whether it be a nice car or a girlfriend or money or any amount of things. It's not only things though, it's also actions or certain language like not keeping your purity or cussing. I mean why is being a "man" measured by how much money you have or how often you get drunk. Right now I'm reading the book "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge. He talks about what a true man needs and I've agreed with every word he's said about how a man needs to have adventure or do the dangerously hard thing -- and that is definitely true for me and every man on earth. So it doesn't matter if you work in a office or free run everywhere you go, every man craves adventure and danger deep down inside; but so often the wild heart in a man is killed due to things like being told they're worthless or dumb.


 Our village in Germany

The man that is wild at heart will always and forever take risks. It doesn't matter who he is or what he's done he will always be Wild at heart. But that brings something else up, why do people tell boys or men to tone it down or to always be polite or proper?  There's nothing wrong with being proper or polite, but if people are constantly telling the future men to tone it down there won't be any more real men.

I looove to run and jump more than just about anything! I, for one, love adventure and hard situations where I will have to run up a wall or vault  over something in order to "escape" or get out in one piece! Sometimes I tell my mom that I wish bullies would chase me just so I could use my free running skills to get away, don't all of us men wish that could happen to us every now and then? Or to chase the bad guy. After all why would God put that desire deep down inside of us if he didn't want us to change the world. And why do you think that us men love movies like BraveHEART or Gladiator or the Lord Of the Rings series... because God made us defenders and warriors, in order to kill the enemy.

 Me jumping as far as I can off a bench!!!

 (Brugge, Belgium)

 This was one of the highest jumps I've ever done; It was awesome!

I love to live at a hundred miles an hour.  I love to live extreme.

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.

-Cole Porter
                                                                 "Don't fence me in"

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Humility is a hard deal, if you know what I mean.  Recently, I broke my wrist and it has been tough because I can't do as much as I used to be able to do, so I've had to ask for help a lot more often.  I realize now that it's been a blessing in disguise and that God is using my broken wrist to teach me how to be humble.  To simply ask for help when I need it... but that's been more of a challenge than I thought... humble smile...

Practically all the time I'm independent -- which isn't a bad thing -- but ever since I broke my wrist I've noticed that I was being proud not independent.  Humility's definition is being modest, not proud.  This is a struggle for me, but a good struggle; and I'm slowly but surely getting it down. Besides, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Even ask for help.         

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Being a christian, and religion

What does being a christian really mean to you?  To me being a christian means honoring God with everything in me. And honoring God ultimately means that I have to honor my siblings like non stop... and everyone around me. I've realized that when people ask others about what they believe they're usually looking for a RELIGIOUS answer but religion is what separates people.  A bit a ago we were learning about knights and historical figures and it was so interesting that most of the battles we read about were over religion and how rulers wanted to convert everyone. I went to a German school two years ago and the first question they asked me was if I was protestant or catholic. I mean, it's not a bad thing to have religion but let me ask you... is it separating you from the big picture?

The problem with modern day churches is that a lot of pastors are softening up the idea of radical living because they're so caught up with religion they miss the big picture. Like the pharisees who were so caught up with following the law that they made being a good little boy their God! Seriously, even Jesus hung out with sinners like tax collectors and prostitutes and He was the God of all Gods!!! Wake up people!

Recently, I was being the kind of person I pray that I don't want to become like. I was playing Go Fish with my brother and I was being a snot.  I didn't lose well and then I realized later that I behaved like a pharisee -- prideful instead of humble, critical instead of affirming. Remember that in the pharisees eyes they always had to be right. I want to encourage you today to keep your focus on the big picture... love people for who they are.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A forty day fast from self preservation

First off, I just wanna say that trying to not be self preserving for forty days is as hard as HECK!  Mostly because my human nature is to defend myself and to protect my wants and my needs; but fasting from being self preserving to me means that I always care for other's needs before mine. 

There have been a couple times since our family started this fast from self preservation that one of my siblings have told on me about an incident that they thought was on purpose, and when I was told on, I had  a chance to defend myself.  Instead, I immediately asked God what to say in that situation and prayed that I would not be defensive.  Afterward, me and my brother went out and shot hoops together. 

This is not easy, but very revealing and eye opening because I was thinking before we started this fast that it would be easy and no problem... but umm ya God had other plans.  Lately I've realized that I have so much further more to grow in maturity than I thought.  For instance, I seem to have a issue with being defensive towards my dad by saying, "I know," in an exasperated tone of voice and I have felt quite convicted lately.  And I really do need all the prayer I can get because I am FAR from perfect.  I want to be so humble after this fast that nothing, absolutely nothing phases me.  So basically, I want to be BULLET PROOF!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Experiencing God

Most boys, like me, at one time in their life envision experiencing God as some mystic power that will empower them to fly or do some super hero type things.  At least that's how I thought I would experience God.  But I couldn't have been further off from the truth.  God knew that I would never be able to fly or lift giant boulders.  But instead He's been letting me see the world with my favorite five people in the world.  

God always meets each and every one of us at our place.  And I definitely felt " MET " on a walk I took with my mom.  As we set out I told my mom that I was hoping to see some wildlife.  On that foggy early morning when me and my mom were walking along a road  we came to a big hill and my mom said, "You never know what's at the top of the hill."  And she was right, because at the top of that hill were two deer.  I knew that I had experienced God just then.

Experiencing God isn't a one time deal.  God doesn't say, "Oh you enjoyed that?  Well good -- because you're never going to get anything like that again.  So too bad."  No way!  God will always meet us wherever we might be to bring us back to Him.  He will never, ever, ever, give up on me or you and if someone just needs to be encouraged and your best friend calls to encourage you when you're feeling defeated, it's not a coincidence -- it's God.  A bit ago I was feeling quite discouraged but didn't tell anyone, and my mom was so encouraging to me because she totally reaffirmed me and that was God speaking through my mom.

God's love is so immense for every human being.  God wants a REAL relationship with me and you!  Now the title, Experiencing God, won't always mean "a walk in the park."  Experiencing God might mean witnessing a miracle in a tragedy. Or being a missionary who heals the sick and helps the poor.  Experiencing God means He'll do whatever it takes to pursue your heart.  It's just like when a father wants his son to come back, he'll do whatever he can to get his beloved son back to him.  God is that loving Father who will love his son no matter what he does, even if his son seeks comfort in temporary solutions.  God is delighted when his children come back to Him and instead of rejecting us He embraces us. 

Thank you, Lord, for pursuing me and loving me unconditionally. Amen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Following God isn't always easy, TRUST ME!

Lately I've been tested a lot with my three siblings. 

I have been trying to be the Third option man I plan on being.  But its so hard to not give in, be complacent and let my own selfish wants take over. While I want to start a rebelution within my sphere of influence...  Well, it's hard not to punch my brother in the arm after he throws my new football in the mud on purpose.  Or not to call my sister a name when she deserves it.  But  being a third option man is about always giving honor and grace to my siblings...

So let me ask you this, did Jesus curse or send people straight to hell when they put Him on the cross? NO! Because Jesus is a third option man!  Choosing the third option means having grace on my sibling or whoever it might be only because it takes some really low expectations  to retaliate against the person that just wronged you!  I mean why wouldn't you get vengeance?  Right?  But the truth is that real men don't get EVEN. Because they know that getting even is gonna end up making things worse than they were before.  Let me tell you this REAL MEN ARE PEACE MAKERS.

The men in this world who are making impacts in this world are the ones who end up in jail because they were sharing the gospel, or are in India working at a homeless shelter serving people food, or are in Africa at an orphanage loving on babies... and forgiving siblings when they offend!  Guys, God wants us to impact the world for Him!  One of my goals right now is to raise enough money so I can sponsor a child for a Whole year!  God wants to make an everlasting impact on the world and the best place to start is with your family and friends.  I want change the world but I'm not gonna get anywhere but my front door if I'm not looking for ways to serve my family with little things.  A Third option man means loving God from where I am.

Excuse me while I go throw the football with my brother.  As I walk by my sister, I'll be sure to honor her with my words.