Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Who Says I Can't Get Stoned"

(To start things off, I know that is a bold titled and it is so in order to get your attention, now I pray that your attention will be held throughout the rest of this blog.)

After some of the recent things happening with famous Americans I am inspired to write a response to some of things I have heard from people in the media.  My inspiration comes from a couple of things.  One, comments that one of Nike’s spokes person said and two, some things that John Mayer said on a radio interview on Sirius Radio as well as one of his songs.  John Mayer wrote the perfect song for every famous person in America. Heck any person in the world can sing this song and think that it makes them feel good and justified in what they do.  The song is “Who Says”.  Im not sure how many of you have listened to it and if you haven’t I’m not sure that I would suggest it.  It is a very catchy song, one that can easily get stuck in your head.  The main line that is most prevalent in the song is “Who says I can’t get stoned?” and then it follows up things he would do after he gets stoned.  (“There is one good verse that says “Who says i can’t be free? From all the things that I used to be. Re-write my history Who says I can’t be free?” a good verse but even that doesn’t redeem the song in my book. Cause if someone handed me a pile of crap and told me that there was the worlds most famous brownie in the middle of it there still wouldn't be any way I would eat the pile of crap.  Because it is still a pile of crap) Ok, that was a little bit of a ramble, but now on to the main points.  The comment that a Nike spokesperson said was something to the effect that, in 30 years as we look back over Tiger Woods’ career this whole unfaithfulness and cheating on his wife thing will be just a blip on the radar.  They went on to say that Tiger Woods made a mistake and we should cut him a break.   I guess this guy expects us to sing the words “Who says I can’t have an affair?” or “who says I can’t have my wife plus 6 other women?”.  Moving right along to John Mayer he said in his radio interview that people act much more offended than they actually are, this in reference to Adam Lambert’s stage antics a few weeks ago on the American Music Awards.  I am offended by his disgusting display of what he calls “art”.  Many in our culture expect us to all be desensitized and completely tolerant of any and every kind of behavior.  Because “Who says they can’t _______ (fill in the blank)”.  I would agree that each person in this world has free will that has been given to them, and no one should be able to control another’s actions, but all people should be willing to take suggestions and advice to better their actions for the common good of all.  So my response to Nike’s spokesperson is, “You are right we shouldn’t go out and all get irate and try to lynch Tiger Woods for what he did.  He is human and we all make mistakes and one mistake shouldn’t define a person’s life.  But just look over it and express no opinion on his unacceptable actions, I think not. I do think we should express our disappointment in him because he is in a position to influence many people’s lives through his actions.  In the words of Andy Stanley, it is an “unintended consequence of being in leadership” people watch you, people shape their actions after you.”  To John Mayer,  “I think people truly are as offended as they are acting.  What parent wants their child (no matter their age) to see two grown men (or even grown women) open mouth kissing??  What parent wants their kids to learn to say, “Who says I can’t get stoned?”.  People have the right to be offended by the things that the mainstream media tells us we should tolerate, and just because we are offended by such things doesn’t for a second mean that we are uneducated or narrow minded.  You are right, I can’t say that you can’t get stoned but I would advise against it.” So in closing to my long rant I challenge you all (and my self) to  check and see what about this world offends us.  If the Spirit of God is living in you and me like we claim He is, then many things of this world will offend us!  So, I am not advocating that we should all go away and make our own lil community out in the woods  somewhere, but I am saying that we should truly be aware of what we are accepting and tolerating in our lives and what we are allowing ourselves to be exposed to!

tired of just ok,

(disclaimer: I have never been stoned nor have I ever done any illegal drugs)

Monday, November 30, 2009

After Our Hearts

I have long been fascinated with a scripture out of the book of Hosea chapter 6 verse 6. It says “For I delight in faithfulness, not simply sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply whole burnt offerings.” I found this scripture my freshman year of college while I was writing a devotional for my home Church. I was reminded of this scripture again on my drive back here to Artesia on this past Saturday night. At times in my life I think that if I do enough and give sacrifices to God that my duties are done and all the items on my check list have a check by them. I think that the things I am doing for God are all that I need to do, and I forget that the base of a relationship with God is more than just doing things but it is truly knowing God it is loving God it is allowing God to have your heart! In the book of Luke chapter 11, Jesus speaks against the Pharisees. Not because of them not doing things but because of the position of their hearts. Jesus puts it like his “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Christ goes on to call them unmarked graves (in other gospels he calls them white washed tombs) Again, Jesus doesn't say that their gifts or the things they give to God aren't important He is challenging them that our love for God should be more important to us and should be our focus. The other things are important as well though; Jesus highlighted that as well as the prophet Hosea!! But when you get down to the nitty gritty, us knowing God and being known by Him is far more important than the things we do. Sacrifice is good, but faithfulness is better! Sacrifice is good, but knowing God is much better!! You see God in His infinite wisdom knows that if we allow Him to have our hearts that those other things will follow. Yesterday I posted a tweet saying “It's our heart He is after! God knows that if He has our hearts our gifts and talents will follow!". I said that it was the thought of the day, well I believe more than that God desires for it to be the thought of every day! As it says in Hosea 6:6 “For I delight in faithfulness, not simply sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply whole burnt offerings.” God is after our hearts!!

Tired of just going through the motions, ready for faithfulness and acknowledgement of God


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Do You Want That?

A few weeks ago I started reading the book "Forgotten God, Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit" by Francis Chan, it has been a blessed read so far!  (Im just in the beginning of the 4th Chapter, but would definitely recommend it) The fourth chapter is titled "Why Do You Want Him?" referring to the Holy Spirit.  He starts off the chapter with a great story and the story hit home and made me began to think about my walk with God and about the things I have asked God for in my life.  After reading that first page of that chapter the question "Why do/did you want that?".  The that has ranged from anything from maybe a good grade on a paper, that some girl would date me,  to getting a truck, to finding a job, or that God would heal a family member, and the list goes on.... I am reminded of Christ's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Christ prays in Chapter 26 of Matthew in verse 39 "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."Christ is asking His Father in Heaven for something, but knowing that there is a good chance of what He is asking wont happen.  He asked for this knowing what would be ahead of Him in the coming day, but also knowing that it was more important for God to be glorified in Him than for His human desires to be filled.  The end of His prayer "Yet not as I will, but as you will." I am sure has been repeated and prayed a couple million times after Christ prayed this, heck I bet I have even prayed it a few times in my life. Most of the time I pray it though, I prayed it just following a learned prayer from others.  Not actually meaning what I said.  Praying hoping that my will would be done, not His.  There have been a few times distinctly where I truly meant it when I said, "yet not my will, but Your will be done." Most of the time I have prayed that I have been at the end of my rope, and was tired of trying to do things my own way.  One specific time was when I was looking for a job after graduating from college.  I had a few disappointments in the job hunting process.  I was tired of trying to impress people, because obviously a young and single guy applying for a job to work with kids wasn't appealing for too many churches.  I remember on my drive to Artesia I prayed to God and pretty much said, "God, apparently I am not doing the right things to get hired by a church so you know what, I'm just gonna go to the interview answer their questions as open and as honestly as I could then leave and go back to Texas and God if you want me here, then You do what you need to do."  He did what He needed to do, in fact He had been doing what He needed to do way before I even knew about the job!  But, there have been many other times though.  Times when I have prayed out of nothing more than selfish reasons.  I prayed "yet not my will, but your will be done", but lived out a life that shouted I will do things my way no matter the cost.  These thoughts have made me seriously re-evaluate the things I am currently asking God for.  It has made me stop and think about why I want what I am asking for.  Do I want them in order to serve my own selfish reasons, or do I desire to glorify God with what I am asking for?  I am striving to pray and ask for only the things that will ultimately glorify God.  Pray for me as God is once again blowing up the way I think about things in order that He might put them back in the order He desires!

not ok with just ok,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Unexpected Arrival

I don't usually use stories to illustrate ideas, but this past week I heard a true story from some people I met and God began to speak to me through that story so I am gonna share it with you all. So this past week the local coffee shop and local Church Youth Groups brought in a band named Silverline. As I was hanging out with the band a little bit they told me what had happened to them the day before. They had been booked to do a show in a town about 3 hours away. They said as they showed up and called their contact person that he acted almost surprised that they had shown up, even though he had booked them. He then began to tell them that he hadn't really promoted the show that much and also that there were now some scheduling conflicts and that they wouldn't be able do the show that night. They also said that they wouldn't be able to compensate them any for traveling expenses or anything like that. Some of you might be already thinking, wow that's pretty poor on that churches part for not honoring their booking of a band and even worse on their part for not compensating them for their travel expenses! I would completely agree with you! I was brought up and raised to have the mindset of, if you commit to something you stay committed and you finish what you started. I was thinking of this story yesterday when God pressed this message on my heart, "How many times have you invited Me into your life, but when I show up you are surprised I showed up and even more than that you come up with some excuse why you don't want Me to work in your life?" How true is that for your life? For my life sadly its so true. I have prayed and asked God to be active in my life and for Him to move in my life, and when He shows up to Do Work for some reason I am surprised that He actually showed up. I then proceed to try and figure out some reason why this isn't a good time, and try to brush Him out the door before He starts moving things around in my life. Because I know that if He does start to work it's gonna cost me, not in money value but things will have to change and many times I am not willing to pay the price of change because where I am is so comfortable. For so long I have lived a life like this. A safe life where God is kept out of the areas of my life that most need His change most. A safe life that keeps me in a comfort zone where my Christian faith costs me nothing more than an hour or two during the week. A safe life that is powerless and keeps God away from the controls of my life. I want to live a life that matters! A life that isn't safe. A life that longs for God to show up and Do Work! A life that expects and longs for God's presence and for His life giving change that comes with His presence! I think that's all I have to say on this subject today. Pray for me as I pray for you to find the passion that God so desires us to have about our faith!

tired of just ok,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What consumes my life?

Over the last week or so God has really been pressing a bunch of things on my heart. I could probably right a small novel on what I feel He has been speaking into my life (which I probably should do in my handy dandy journal, but will save you all the painful reading of disjointed thoughts and ideas); but I will give you a small glimpse into a few of the things. The first came in the way of a pod cast from Matt Chandler I listened to on the way out to Catalyst '09 while riding in the van with my good friends James and Penny. It was a challenge to make prayer a larger focal point in our lives. (Something I have struggled with off an on throughout my Christian walk). This is also something that over the last 4 months God has really been pressing in on my heart to live a prayer centered life. So I heard this message and like most messages I thought to myself that's good, but at the very moment there wasn't much change in my life. A couple days later during the Catalyst conference Matt Chandler was also one of the presenting speakers/pastors. He talked about how if God is calling you to anything there is a hitch on your part from following through with what God is calling you to, that is sin and that you need to repent and act on what God is calling you to. That hit me square in the face. So looking back over the last 4-5 months, and possible longer I see that I have been living in disobedience to God, I have been living in unresolved sin because I know God is calling me to something but yet I am unwilling to listen to His beckoning calling me to lead a life centered on prayer. So, last night on the way back from the Bible Study I go to on Monday's I listened to a podcast by Mark Driscoll on the book of proverbs focusing on how we organize our lives. I felt convicted on what and how my life is centered! If you know me well a good portion of my time is spent being well connected with the people around me as well as those around the world via facebook, twitter, etc. So, not only am I not obeying God in some of the things He is calling me to, I have also arranged my life where it is often hard for me to connect with God because I am so connected to the things around me that there is no space, no room for any more connections, no room for the God of the Universe to speak into my heart. (btw, most of the times God has pressed these things on my heart has been in times when I have been disconnected from all or part of the world) So, today I tried something new. I will get to that in a bit but I want to give you a glimpse into what a normal day for me at work looks like this. I go into work. If I am not too busy I chat a little with others in the office to see how their days are going and such, and then I sit down at my desk and then proceed to check my email, facebook, and look at all of my friends most current tweets to see if there is anything I have missed out on. (the email is somewhat essential to my job, but facebook, and twitter?? really? should that be a priority in my daily work schedule?) I then proceed to keep my email, facebook, and tweet page up for the rest of the day just incase there is something I cant do without hearing for a few hours. These three things often cause distractions as well as a open door to hours wasted while at work. So, like I said, today I tried something new. I got to work, visited a little (I think it's essential for working relationships), checked my email, then I proceeded to not even open up my facebook or tweet pages. Now some of you this may be a no big deal type of thing, but for me in my world it was a first step towards aiming my life towards more of what God has called/is calling me to. You see we are so easily distracted by the things around us. It is so easy for us to become consumed by irrelevant and insignificant things. My life, without me even being truly aware is being stolen from me before my eyes without me even putting up much of a fight for it, by things that in the bigger picture of God's story have no eternal significance. So, I would ask for your prayers for my life. That I would be conscience of what is consuming my life. That I would be conscience of what God is speaking into my life, and even more than that, that I would be obedient to what God is calling me to because He is truly what my life should be consumed by! I think that's all for now..

striving towards obedience.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

WOW! What A Day!!

I cant begin to explain how good today was! I heard so many good messages and the Word of God preached!! I would write a more detailed description of everything but I am kinda tired tonight but I will give a short over view of some things that really stuck out to me. Andy Stanley talked about not being a leader in authority but being a leader under authority and also about allowing God to properly position your life in order that He may make His mark on the world using you. Malcom Gladwell said that incompetence can irritate you, but that over-confidence is a scary thing. Shane Hipps' message challenged me! He talked on how the ever changing Gospel never changes. (that just by itself doesnt full capture the fullness of the message delivered, it was good though!) Rob Bell encouraged us that no matter how large or small you may view your ministry that it is significant! Also said there is a big difference between walking a hard road and carrying a heavy burden. (The road we walk may be hard, but there is no use in carrying a un-needed heavy burden!) Tony Dungy encouraged us saying that we as pastors are needed! Reggie Joiner reminded us of what was at stake in our lives, and what we are fighting for! Matt Chandler talked to us about God beckoning us to obedience and when we have catches to that beckon we have to recognize it as sin and repent so that we may grow stronger and deeper in our faith! Then Francis Chan topped the day off by reminding us of our salvation through the reading of the scripture and then probably close to 12,000 people taking communion together! A pretty amazing experience!! I cant fully explain or process all I heard today but am praying that God continues to work in my life, growing me in my faith, and rooting me in my trust of Him! Thats all for tonight, be blessed!

resting in my Salvation,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fat Matt's BBQ!!

We ate at Fat Matt's tonight! It was quite amazing! Here are some pics I took!
I have no idea how I got the fat matt's sign to reflect and invert like that, but it turned out to be a sweet pic!!

My plate! A half rack and coleslaw and bread!!
Perry the tourist taking a pic of the menu! I was tryin to take one as well but his head got in the way!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Drive Through the Mountains

Well today on the way back from Las Cruces I stopped along the way to take some pictures in the mountains! It was a lil foggy so it made for some cool shots!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pics of Cross Country

I got a new lens on Wednesday and got to put it to use a lil today!! Also edited them a lil on Photoshop putting a gradiant or two on them. Enjoy.

Start of the race

Run Chris Run!

Alex and Kory racing towards the finish!
Yay for new toys!! Maybe I will get to take some good stuff on my road trip next week!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Do I Measure Up?

(Please don’t read this and think, oh gosh he must be depressed, believe me! It gets better towards the end!!) This is a question I have asked over and over again throughout my life. As a young child desired to be a tough little boy who didn’t cry when he was hurt, but I didn’t measure up. I wanted to be able to speak clearly, but obviously this was another place I didn’t measure up. I wanted to be liked by all but for some reason in my eyes I never measured up, and so I began to act in ways I thought would impress others. But no matter how much I acted out or how much I thought I was doing what they thought was cool. I still, in my eyes, didn’t measure up. I got to junior high and started really noticing girls. The only problem was, I was too shy to let any of them know that I really liked them. And so, it added another area of my life where I felt I didn’t measure up. I came to know Christ at an early age probably around 10 years old. You would think this would have been good news for me and my life, but from the time I came into relationship with Him I began to see that this too was another area in life where I didn’t measure up. Throughout junior high and high school I struggled with lust and the guilt and anxiety it brought just continued to fuel the fire that burned inside of me that continually let me know that I didn’t measure up. I got to high school and then alcohol became a temptation and failure once again set in on my life; and in the area of measuring up all I could see was that in no way did I measure up. So, how did I deal with not measuring up? Most of the time I didn’t deal with it; I suppressed things and held them inside. When I was really hurt I just didn’t react I just cried when I could get away from people, I just didn’t talk to anyone I didn’t know, this cut down on that anxiety, when it came to girls, I would date the ones who would pursue me, but pursuing them was nothing that I would ever do, I couldn’t handle any more of not measuring up. That is how I dealt with not measuring up with most things in my life. When it came to God the only reaction I ever had to not measuring up is to turn and run from God because obviously I didn’t measure up to His standards either and he was definitely mad at me. This was a continued response, and actually has been a regular response of mine. I have had this picture in my mind, this human picture of how I view human relationships and have attributed human relationship characteristics to a Holy God. I have come to think that the way I react humanly is the same way that a Holy God reacts to His people/His children. But is this the truth of God’s reaction? Is God shocked by my continual sinning?? Is God ticked off at me because I can’t seem to follow a few simple commands He has given me? Does God look at my life and say “Oh, that guy Scott, yeah he doesn’t measure up!”? Yesterday and today I watched Rob Bell’s lecture titled “The God’s Aren’t Angry” and like a rushing flood an answer to all of these questions came to me. For so long I have viewed my repentance as a transaction where I say I am sorry and then God is happy and then God does things for me. Rob Bell states that “If you are repenting in order that God might do something you are bargaining with the wrong kind of God.” When I first heard that I was kind of confused, I thought “but repentance is good… and doesn’t God desire for our repentance so that He can forgive us?” The thing is God HAS already acted!! Right?? Did He not send His son in order that we may have forgiveness?? Is payment for our sin and rebellion already paid for? You see repentance is joining in with what God has already done (that’s how Rob Bell puts it). Going to church and hearing a message that convicts our hearts that we need to be more in line with Christ isn’t intended to pile on guilt, anxiety, and worry. It is intended to place our hearts back into proper alignment. To allow us to see, to remind us, to show us that a price has been paid! The work has been done! When God looks at our lives He doesn’t say “they don’t measure up!”. He sees people that He died for. He sees people that He is doing a work in, perfecting them to be who He has called them to be. Us measuring up is not a worry or concern for Him. He is a God that sees all time! He determined many years ago that we were worth dying for. As we approach a weekend event focused on Purity in our lives, it is easy for us to look at our lives and say “I don’t measure up!” But my prayer is that this isn’t our reaction. I pray that our reaction is to see and remember what God has done, that there has been a price paid for our lives, and because this price has been paid we should live as a forgiven people! A people who have had a price paid for their lives and their forgiveness!! I’m not sure how to end this, but this morning my heart has been heavy, worrying about, and having anxiety about a weekend focused on purity. Looking at my life and seeing that I don’t measure up, and feeling that I need to do something in order that God might not be angry with me. Feeling that God is looking at me and saying, “Scott you don’t measure up.” But there is this voice, a still small voice, a voice calling to me from the silence saying “Scott I saw it fit to send my son who died for your sins, and is for all times the only sacrifice needed. The work has been done my child, all I desire from you is for you to line yourself up with the forgiveness that has already been offered to you. The question isn’t do you measure up the question is do you accept what has already been given to you?” So this morning, this day, whenever you may read this, replace my name in the italicized text with your name. That is what God desires for you to hear!! This is God’s message to a people who continually ask the wrong question of “Do I measure up?”

In need of Him!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pictures from Honduras

I posted some pictures last night from the the Honduras trip for all of you. I have decided that the fastest way to upload and get all of the pictures out to all of you is to put them on Facebook, so that is what I have done. Follow this link to get to the pictures Honduras Pictures. I hope you all enjoy, you all should be able to access the photos because most of you are my facebook friends but even if you arent i still think you should be able to see them, if not get a Facebook account and add me as a friend haha!!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pics from Honduras

Flying into Teguc

another shot of flyin into Teguc
A group of houses on a hill side.
it was pouring rain once we got through customs in Honduras so therefore we were soaked once we go to the yellow dog bus.
Seth was tired from a long day, Johnny laughin at Seth!
Water Buffalo, its whats for dinner!!
One of the boys making a sweet rocking chair!!
The Chapel at Escuela El Sembrador
One of the many massive trees that are prolly close to 400 years old and one of the houses at the school.
They paint billboards on the side of rocks

Working on de-tiling the dormA game of Futbolito!!
That black figure in the center of the tree is a Hollar Monkey, and let me tell you it may look small but it has the deepest hollar i have ever heard from a small animal!!
My first coke in over a year! Gosh it burned the junk out of my throat!

Four guys crammed in the back of the WGM VanFresca ahh refreshing!!

These are just a few pics of what went on in Honduras, I am trying to post a few here and there as I get the opportunity. I hope you all enjoy!! Blessings!

The Final 2 Days of Honduras

Well I didn't have Internet access the last night we were in Honduras and haven't gotten the chance to write about those days just yet, so I am going to do that now. I gave you a run down on the last blog of what we were planning to do on Friday and Saturday and well some of it ended up happening but some of it didn't. The day started out really well! We got up ate breakfast and were pretty much on schedule leaving El Sembrador. We continued to be on schedule till about 9 or so when we were about an hour or so from the school and our yellow dog bus decided that it wanted to overheat on us :-( while we were going up some pretty big hills. (Had I mentioned before the driving in Honduras??) Well if I hadnt, being on the side of the road is not a safe place to be at all. Anyhow, we let the bus cool down and headed back into Juticalpa so that we could catch a bus into Tegucigalpa. It was about 2 hours until the next bus so we went to a small mall and then had some Chester's Fried Chicken. We then headed out to go to the bus station where we loaded onto the nicest bus I have ever ridden in in my life! We even had our own stewardess who gave us a light lunch and a coke. We left at about 12:45 and were into Teguc by about 4. Once Travis got there with WGM's van we headed to a few souvenir shops to do a little bit of shopping. After we all bought things we really didn't need we headed to the guest house of WGM, we got settled in and then went and ate at a restaurant where I had one of the better steaks I have had recently!! (I might have mentioned it before but I will mention it again, it was kinda crazy to see people at almost all stores and restaurants who were security type people who had either some sort of rifle or most likely they had a pistol grip shotgun!) After we ate supper we headed to Baskin Robins for some ice cream!! (That's probably not very Honduran but it sure was good!!) We went back to the guest house and had a good time of visiting and then some headed to bed and some stayed up visiting some more. I had the privilege of sleeping in a hammock on a screened in porch and for the first time of the my stay in Honduras I actually got a little bit cool while sleeping which was pretty nice. The next morning I awoke about 5:40 or so and we had breakfast and started our journey back to the states! I once again had to go through the ringer getting through security. I had my carry on bags searched completely through twice and had to get wanded as I was boarding the plane. Good thing I wasn't trying to bring anything illegal back. I was asked by the Customs agent in Houston if I had brought back any dope or guns, I told him no and he then asked me how come I hadn't. We joked a little bit so that was comforting and fun! From there after getting through a few more security check points where I luckily didn't have to go through the ringer again. After that a few of us went to Pappadeaux's for supper where I had some Alligator for and appetizer then some good ole fried shrimp for the main course and a great big ole huge piece of cheesecake with strawberries for dessert!! Needless to say I was completely stuffed!!! We then had a couple more hours to waste in the airport and our plane finally departed for Midland at about 9:30 central time and we got into Midland around 10:45cst after we went through a few clouds and a sorta rough ride, but I thought it made things good and exciting!! After arriving in Midland we began the journey back to Artesia and arrived back here at about 1:30am! The trip was a great time and a great blessing! I thank all of you for all of your prayers and support during those days we were gone! And I look forward to the prayers and support that we have as we go on our next few trips for the summer!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last day at the farm :-(

Well today is/was the last full day here at the farm. It was def a good day though! Mos of us were up and at em for breakfast at 6:30 (a couple of us were up earlier than that, I wasnt one of them.) We started working on a few different projects this morning. Some of us took some grates off some windows while others took down a couple of doors. After those projects were done some people knocked the ceilings out of a couple of the rooms and hall in the dorm we were helping prep for remodeling while some of the ladies took all of the nails out of those boards when they were carrying them out. Seth, Johnathan, and I after we finished with some metal grates off windows finished putting on the metal roof on the remodeled part of the dorm!! We just worked till lunch today because there were other things planned for the afternoon, which I will get to later, but I think I still sweated more today than I did the last two days. My pants and shirt were completely soaked and I was nasty dirty! This has been a common occurance throughout the week! Thankfully they have graciously let us wash some of our clothes!! I have been pretty nast each day after working, I have a pic of Jeffrey and I yesterday and then also a picture of just my pants and I am pretty sure my dad would be proud of how dirty I was (the dirtiness might even compare with the dirtiness of his pants sometimes mom!!) After lunch we went to some caves that are near Catacamas and explored them a little, def werent as big as Carlsbad Caverns but were def very interesting there was a river flowing through the whole part we walked through which was pretty neat! After that we went into Catacamas and climbed some 580 steps to the top of a hill where there was a cross, needless to say all of our legs will be sore tomorrow!! (oh yeah on the way from the caves(cuevas) we came upon a ginormus dead snake!! Where Travis (who is Bev's brother-n-laws grandson) decided he would pick up the snake and wrap it around him! It was pretty gross and he got blood from the snake on him I think it made me throw up a little in mouth!! After that we went and ate at a resturant in Catacamas, the food was good but a little bit different. They did serve some cooked banana chip type things that were super good!! After that we came back here to the farm for some more Futbolito (fast soccer) and then a little game of our own football in the courtyard where Jeffrey made one of the most amazing catches I have ever seen while triping over and into a flower bed stumbling, loosing his glasses, and still was able to catch the ball! It was quite amazing!! If any of you were wondering about the football game that was supposed to be last night, well it got cancelled since the Honduras National Soccer team was playing. Anyhow this might be my last blog from Honduras depending if we have internet service tomorrow night at the guest house that is in Teguc(that is what all the people here call Tegucigalpa) at the World Gospel Mission headquarters. But in case we are not able to have internet I will give you a run down of tomorrow. We wake up tomorrow for breakfast at 6:30. We then leave the farm at 7:30 to head to Teguc where we will have lunch at a McDonalds. After that we will go to the Valley of the Angles which is a shopping center where we should be able to get some souvineirs and stuff. After that we are going to go and check in to the guest house and then after that go out to eat at a nice resturant there in Teguc. Our flight leaves somewhere around 11ish on Saturday morning from Teguc and we should be into Houston by around 3 or 4 I think. I cant remember what the time change is. I hope this has given you all a small chance to take part in this week with all of us from a distance!! Thank you all for your comments on the blog as well as all of your prayers!! I have definitely appreciated both of them!! Blessings and goodnight from Honduras (possibly this will be the last time I am able to do this :-(. ) Goodnight!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 5 From Honduras

It has been another good day in Honduras!! This morning it was Cooper and my turn to do breafast prep so my morning started at 5:45 this morning!! That seems super early but in all reality I have had a good amount of energy even waking up 2 hours before I normally do, hehe!! We had pancakes for breakfast and they were amazing!! That is one thing that has def been good here!! The food!!! There is no shortage of yumminess and most of us will most likely come back a few pounds heavier than when we left. But we have worked fairly hard so maybe our work has kept up with our food! Today we continued removing roof tiles (tejas) from the dorm they are remodeling. We got a good amount done this morning and after a good roast beaf lunch we went back and finished the whole roof!! (We actually didnt think we would finish that until tomorrow so that was super cool!) Also a few of the people went to an awards banquet this afternoon while some of us were finishing up the roof to show our support to the boys there as well. After that there was a faculty vs. students soccer game. I watched the first half and it was good an exciting and it was tied 2-2 then. After that I spotted some boys playing some basketball and couldnt resist going over and in my broken spanish ask if I could play too. So I played a game similar to around the world (if you know what that is) where I think they were making up some of the shots I had to make. They were laughin a bit so i figured they were prolly saying haha look what we are making this idiot do. But then another guy got to the same point in the game as me and he was having to try the same shots so at that point i felt a little better about the whole thing. We were just gettin goin when the dinner bell rang so our fun game was cut short. We had supper then which was some BBQ Chicken and baked potatos then a good ole peanut butter pie thing that was super good!! After that we thought there was church, but when we showed up we learned that it was just small group and so the ladies went ahead and went to the girls small group and us guys headed back here to the conference center porch where we had a short Bible Study slash discussion! After that the some of us went and watched the first half of the Honduras vs El Salvador World Cup qualifier match. Then came back for the nightly meeting and then everyone else was tired so I decided to go back and finish watching the 2nd half so I did!! Honduras won 1-0!!! It was a great game!! Today has been a good day and as our week here is winding down I am a little bit sad. It has been such a good time and it has gone by so fast! Tomorrow is our last full day here on the farm since we will be making the trek back to Teguc on Friday for our flight that will leave Saturday morning. Oh yes, funny story for today. (Well actually a few) 1st. I have been meaning to write this in the last two blogs but have forgotten. On Monday after seeing the Holler Monkeys that morning Beverly and Pattie kind of went crazy and began swingin from trees, they actually ran off into the jungle and we couldn't find them. Kinda of a crazy story. The good news though is that they showed back up today and seem to be back to normal!! (ok the part about running into the jungle and being gone for two days was a lil bit of a stretch, but they did sorta swing from a tree while they were trying to break off a dead branch.) 2nd funny story- tonight while in our nightly meeting I noticed that my shorts were unzipped and I then thought to myself alright when the meeting is over I will walk kinda somewhere and discreetly zip my shorts back up. Well if you know me, you know I dont have a great memory sometime so I forgot to zip my pants up. So i stood up from the meeting and kinda stretched and then I hear Seth and Johnathan laughing then I remebered. So I sat down but then all of the attention was on me so to make the moment even more awkward I danced strangely around the corner and then zipped up my pants. Ok, maybe that story isnt as funny to yall, but it was to me!! Anyhow I know this post has prolly been pretty lengthy and I do thank you for stickin with me through it. I wont give you a preview of tomorrow so it will keep you all in suspense until the next day!! I hope all of you have a splendid Thursday!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 4 I suppose?!?!

Well my days are getting all mixed up but thats ok! We had a good day today! Its been a long day but it was def a good day! Today we had a fairly good day of work! We finished one side of the roof we started on yesterday and started on the other side. It was a little bit hotter today and I prolly sweated about a gallon of water but no worries mom I drank plenty of water!! Funny story though, so while working on this roof I sweated pretty profusely and then sat on some dirt so on the way to lunch it looked like i had a small case of the hersey squirts in my pants but it was just a mixture of sweat and dirt, but it was quite gross!! So that was a funny story for today. I also have a pretty crazy tan as well from wearing just one glove!! A part from working on clearing all of the spanish tiles off of the roof we didnt do a whole lot more than that today. Some of the ladies did help make some cupcakes for a multi-month birthday party for the boys. They had the party for them where they sang and played some interesting games that I will bring back to the states so that we can play them as well. They had the party and games and the cupcakes and then from there we just kinda hung out and relaxed the rest of the night. Tomorrow looks like another day of removing tiles off the roof and then watching a soccer game in the afternoon between the faculty and the boys and then have supper and church and then hopefully a game of football where we can redeem ourselves from our poor performance from Sunday. I will blog about all of this tomorrow night, so there is alot for you all to look forward to hehe!! I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Wednesday!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 3 from Honduras!

Wow!! What a cram packed full day of stuff today!! This morning we went on a tour of the whole school and farm. We started out going through all of the vocational buildings and then moved on to the dorms as well as the kitchen and laundry area. The tour this morning took about 4 hours. A few pretty interesting things happened on the tour, first of all I found the rocking chair I want (its one they made here on the farm and its beautiful, the only problem is getting it back to the states!!), next we heard a gunshot as we were going into the boys dorms (no worries though, they were just shooting a water buffalo!! I got pictures of them hauling it up to be slaughtered a few pics of them in the process of processing it, pretty interesting!!), and finally I broke my fast from cokes today at the snack shop here at the farm (they have pepsi in glass bottles, it was quite good, but it stanking burned my throat!!). We had a wonderful lunch and then had a good work this afternoon clearing some of the rooms of the dorm they are remodeling as well as doing the beginning work to take the roof off of that same dorm. Tonight for supper we had tacos with homemade tortillas (gosh they were amazing!!) and then got to watch two matches of Futbolito (Fast Soccer) which is soccer played in a small court and and it is very fast!! My team the Amarillo Team (yellow team for those of you who dont know spanish) lost, but it was a great match!! We finished the day off with Banana Splits over at Travis and Lorie's house (those are two of the Missionaries here at the school)! I think everyone is having a great time with all that is going on and things can only get better!! I hope everyone has a splendid Tuesday!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 2 from Honduras

Well it is now 9:15Sunday night here in Honduras! It has been another great day! We all feel that we are the one's being ministered to and blessed. Today was a day of rest mainly with a few Sunday activities as well. We woke up this morning and had a great breakfast!! We have our own personal cook down here, here name is Andy (pronounced Aundy) she is quite a great cook! After breakfast we went to some singing before Sunday school and then off to Sunday school where we all divided up some and went into different classes to see how they do Sunday school. After that we went back to the Sanctuary and had worship. We sand a couple hymns and other songs and then heard a sermon from one of the students who is in the Bible College here. (Oh and we sang When the Roll is Called Up Yonder! I was excited about getting to sing that in Spanish!!) We ate lunch with the boys in their cafeteria, the food there was great as well!! We had chicken, what i would call cole slaw, rice, and then tortillas (Im not sure what part of the chicken I ate there were a few unfamiliar bones I havent seen before??) But it was very good food!! This afternoon we taught the boys a little about Football Americano (the football we love so much in Artesia!). The actually picked things up really quickly and we got to play for an actual game for about an hour, unfortunately us Americans got our tail ends handed to us :-(. We are supposed to have a rematch possibly on Tuesday night!! After some rest this afternoon and some good pizza we had Sunday night worship! It was a really awesome time!! Then after church we played volley ball with the boys where we once again got beat, but we were improving! Overall day two was a very good day! The language barrier is somewhat hard and makes us feel a little uncomfortable at times but I have actually found it comforting because during those times I can rely and lean on Christ!! God is definitely at work here at Escuela El Sembrador!! In the hearts of the people here as well as working on the hearts of us that are here to serve. We pray that tomorrow we will get to serve some since most of us feel like we have been served since we got here. It is a blessing knowing there are many of you praying back home for us!! I hope you all have a great Monday and I should be able to update you all again on what happens tomorrow!! But for now I will let yall go.

Blog from Honduras #1

Well it is Sunday morning in Honduras! We have arived and are safe at Escuela El Sembrador! We had good flights yesterday and made it through all of the customs and security. I got put to the side for a random search in Midland which ended up them just searching my pockets?? Oh well. We got into Honduras at around 2:30pm mountain time and we got away from the airport a little bit before 4pm. We arrived at the farm school at around 8pm after a good an exciting and quite interesting bus ride down a variety of roads. There was lots to see on our trek from the airport here and lots to process. There are many here who are much less fortunate than we are at home. Anyhow, my posts will be short so that I dont hog the computer, I also wont post any pics cause i dont have a way to upload them.
Blessings from Honduras,

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Embracing Accusations

So I was recently informed that I haven't written a blog in a long time, and so I feel that it is time to write another one. It also seems to help me process what all is going on in my life. Over the last 6 months maybe even going back a lil further than that it has been a rough road. Emotionally and spiritually I have struggled and often felt just completely drained. Part of it is going through a dry time in my life and part of it has been because I have pretty much refused to allow God into some parts of my life and allow Him to heal those parts. Recently, I have struggled to make God a priority in my life (this is often called sin) and I have felt super condemned and even really unable to be used. I see signs of God working in my life and through me but for some reason the joy of that I have allowed to be robbed from me. I love music and often a single song can really minister to me, if you read two blogs back it is about a song. But the song that really began to minister and speak to me last night is a song by Shane and Shane called Embracing Accusations. I will just give you the lyrics and then do a lil explaining afterwards.

Embracing Accusastions by Shane & Shane

The father or lies, coming to steal, kill, and destroy.
All my hopes of being good enough.
I hear him saying, cursed are the ones who can't abide.
he's right, Hallelujah he's right.

The devil is preaching, the song of the redeemed.
That I am cursed and gone astray I can not gain salvation.
Embracing accusastions.

Could the father of lies be telling the truth of God to me tonight?
If the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine.
I hear him saying, cursed are the ones who cant abide.
he's right, Hallelujah he's right.

The devil is preaching, the song of the redeemed.
That I am cursed and gone astray I can not gain salvation.
Oh the devil's singing over me an age old song,
that I am cursed and gone astray.
Singing the first verse so conviently over me
he's forgotten the refrain,

He redeemed us from the curse of the law!!

So this is where I have been in a place where I have allowed the devil to sing a song over me but he has only sang part of it, as the song says "he's forgotten the refrain! JESUS SAVES!" I cant count the times in my life that I have allowed the joy of my salvation be robbed by the father of lies who tells me that I am not good enough, which is true, but I only listen to that and forget to listen to what Christ is singing over me. Christ is singing over me that He saves! So that's where I am today.


Monday, June 1, 2009

A Pic From the Farm

just a cool pic, i was gonna upload more but it takes stinkin forever so this all yall get for now, more to come later maybe.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Worth It All Number Two

I wrote a blog yesterday on a song by Rita Springer called Worth It All. And as I think about today and Good Friday I wonder what the disciples initial response was on that first Good Friday. Do you think that they saw Christ hanging on the cross and said "Its gonna be worth it all."? These men had given up years of their lives to follow a man who many of them thought was going to be the "One" to lead Israel our of their bondage to the Romans. I think my reaction might have been one of dissappointment. One of wondering why in the world I had just given up so many years of my life to a cause that at the time seemed to be completely lost. I imagine I might have had the same reaction as some of the disciples and return to what they used to do, as it says in John 21. They had returned to what they used to do, they had lost hope. Christ then appears to them and when Peter realizes this he cant wait to get back to the shore where Christ is and jumps out of the boat and swims to him. I long for those times where Christ appears to us and in His own way tells us "Its Worth It All". Its at those times that we feel like all hope is gone that we trully long for the reassurance of our Savior letting us know that the work He has started in us He will finish! So whereever you may be, whatever you may be doing hold fast to the hope of Christ!! We know what the disciples didnt know that first Good Friday. We know that Christ arose from the grave!! So if you are in a place where you feel all hope is lost and feel much like the disciples may have felt that first Good friday, God is saying to each of us "its Friday and Christ has been crucified, but Sunday is coming!!" Things may look hopeless and dark but holdfast resurection is coming, hope is coming!!! Well I think thats all I have to say about that.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Worth It All

There is a song by Rita Springer called "Worth it All" and I will just copy the lyrics because she says better what I am feeling at the moment.

Worth It All by Rita Springer

I dont understand Your ways,
Oh but I will give You my song.
I'll give you all of my praise.
You hold on to all my pain.
And with it You are pulling me closer.
Pulling me into Your ways.

Now around every corner and up every mountain.
Im not looking for crowns, or the water from fountains.
Im desperate and seeking,
Frantic believing.
That the sight of Your face is all that I need.

I will say to you that,
Its gonna be worth it.
Its gonna be worth it.
Its gonna be worth it all.

This is a song I needed to hear today. This along with seeing some kids that inspired me and humbled me more than anything has in quite a while. Thank You Lord for speaking to me through Your people with their words as well as their actions!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a few pics i thought yall might enjoy

Fun with photoshop and my super cute dog Keelee
Kyler learned a new trick (also a typical little boy with nice and dirty finger nails!)

Kason and Jerrad showin me there muscles!
A really funny tree outside of Llano Texas (pronounced Lann-O now lawn-o or yawn-o) I had to pull a uie so i could go back and take a pic!!
Hope yall enjoyed some pictures from my travels and stuff!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

God says "I AM Better"

(This is a blog that was originally in a monthly newsletter I send out to my kids and then on my blog on my myspace. I am working on a blog that ties into this blog so i figured I would make this one more easily accesible to you who may not be in my myspace friends. And I am guessing at some point I will delete my myspace, anyhow. Here it is enjoy.)

God is better
That is the thought of the month, and maybe even the thought for the year!! This week God has really pressed in on my heart the idea that HE is better! So many times I am so caught up in worldly pleasures that I forget to acknowledge how good God really is and how much better God is than any worldly pleasure! Many times we look and say of course God is better that bad things like drugs or alcohol or gossip and rumors. But how many times do we look at the things of the world we enjoy most in life and say "This is good, but God is Better!"? I look back at the excitement of the gifts I received at Christmas and although the gifts I received were amazing gifts, I hear God saying "I AM Better"! It's not that God doesn't desire us to have good things, its just that God desires for us to know that no matter how good or wonderful we think something is, He is still ultimately greater! I think of the disciples when Jesus called them. They each were very much involved and in the midst of their life's journey. I believe many of us would try and reason with Him saying but God you have placed me in this great situation, i am living out my dreams! But the disciples with their action of leaving everything behind and following Christ they were saying "God where i am at is good, but LORD You Are Better!" I then look at the rich young man, who came searching for Christ but when he heard in not so many words, that he had many things but God is better. The Bible says that the rich young man went away saddened because he had many possessions. I think about how many times I hear God telling me, "Scott what you have or what you are wanting is good, but I AM so much better!!" Many times I hear that, and like the rich young man I go away saddened because I think for some reason this thing I am wanting; this thing that I have will bring me happiness. Even though I know and have heard many times that God is better I choose to forget that He truly is better! I choose to run after those things that only offer temporary happiness, only temporary joy. God truly desires for us to see just how good He really is. In the spirit of one of the trashiest movies of all time, like Ron Burgundy on Anchor Man, I can hear God saying "Hey everyone come see how good I AM!! I mean I really AM Good!!" As Jesus said in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, "No one is good-except God alone."

remember to breathe,


Not our will but His!

So, I wrote a blog a little over a year ago about some stuff God was speaking to me. It was based on the idea of a Nooma video I had watched called Kickball, where Rob Bell says that God's idea of better is better. I expanded on that and talked a little bit about how it is easy for us to look at the bad things in our lives and easily say, God's idea of better is better, but how it can sometimes be very hard for us to look at the good things in our lives and say God's idea of better is better. I posted the blog onto this blog so you might have already read it, but if you haven't, check out the blog, God is Better. Anyhow, God has been putting this idea in the forefront of my mind and heart here recently as well, but kind of in a different light. God's idea of better for our lives, is definitely better than any idea we might have for our lives. I think the only true way we can live out this in our lives is to be like Christ in His prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. Here is how that unfolds in the book of Matthew in chapter 26:39-44 "Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what You will. Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, "So , couldn't you stay awake with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away a second time and prayed. "My Father, if this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done." He came again and found them sleeping; they could not keep their eyes open. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same thing once more." Not many of us find ourselves facing certain death like Christ was facing here in this story. But many of us find ourselves in a place where a difficult decision must be made or a place where God is calling us to something we might not exactly want to do. Many of times I feel my prayer being something more like this, "God I know what you are calling me to, but I am going to try my way, then, if that doesn't work, I will try your way." I ultimately say "Not Your will, but mine." What drives us to blatantly choose a path or life that is completely apart from God? Why, after time and time again, of our plans for our lives failing, do we continue to live in that same way? I think part of it is we forget the call of Christ. In the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the New Testament Christ offers a similar call to those who desire to follow Him. He says "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." I often forget that he has called me to deny my own desires, that I must die to the wants of my life so that I might have Him place the desires of His heart into mine. (the previous part was written about 3 weeks ago, so if any of these next thoughts seem disjointed from the others its cause the might sorta be disjointed, but this is a work in progress just as my thoughts and life are) Dying to myself? I'm not sure I even know what that means. I'm not real sure that I know what that looks like. I mean, the picture Christ gave of this very thing was an amazing act of love. An act of love that should truly blow my mind, but sometimes I'm not so sure I live a life that is blown away Christ's act of love. I think my life might look different if I really lived a life that is blown away by what Christ did for me. In fact I know that in many parts of my life if I were to live a life that said, "Lord not my will, but Yours" things would look much different! A life lived like that would be a noticeably different looking life! So pretty much a short summary to a long blog is this. I desire to live a life where I say "Lord not my will, but Yours". But the truth of it all is simply this, I struggle big time trying to live a life that says that. I desire to die to myself, but yet I struggle doing that as well. I'm not sure if others feel the same way or have the same struggles?? If this isn't something you struggle with, the pray for those of us that do. But if you do struggle with this, can we as a community of believers be honest about this? I hope that we can. I pray that we live lives that not only say, but scream "God not my will, but Yours!". I pray that we can live lives that die to the desires of our flesh and have those desires replaced with a Holy desire for our Heavenly Father's work. I think thats about all I have to say about that. But one final thing before I close. (Pretty much this is me writing myself a note and a reminder) To hear or read something and say oh that was good or powerful or whatever (not saying that this was, like I said this is a note to myself that yall get to read) is not where it should end. If I am moved by something, I should truly be moved to action not just spiritually or emotionally moved. The words to the Lifehouse song Everthing come to mind "How can I stand here with You, and not be moved by You?" So, in the midst of a Holy God that is calling us to His will and to lay our lives down for His glory may we be moved to action, to change in our lives!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Some pics I thought I'd share with you all.

Just a few pictures I have taken with my new camera. I need to figure out how to edit them to look a little bit better but I suppose this will do for now. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It isnt something we do, it is something we are.

So, this is a post that I have been thinking about posting since Monday or so and have decided that I should go ahead and post it. As I have said in a previous post I usually don't like upsetting the apple cart, so I am hesitant to post but at the same time I hope that in writing this there will be some good dialogue to help me work through this in my heart and also in my head. So as most of you know I am a youth minister and if you didn't, well now ya do. I look at the ministry God has blessed me with and I wonder if it is a ministry that is truly teaching students how to live a Christian life. I look at students that have gone through youth group and start college and for some reason the Christian life they lived in high school goes out the window, much like mine did when I got to college, and it make me sad because I know first hand that a life apart from God is not a life at all. I have recently shared with my parents a lot of what went on while I was in college and in telling them I know that it broke their hearts that I wasn't living the way they had raised me to live. My mom asked me "Scott, what could have we done differently?" I really didn't have much of an answer for her. My parents were great! They brought all of us kids up in a strong Christian home. We were in Church whenever we could be, we did all of the things that Christian families do and I did all the things that Christian teens do and my brother and I took two completely different roads heading into college. So for me, there is no way in the world that I could blame any of it on my parents, I willing participated in things that I knew were wrong. I did many things late in high school and into college that early on in high school I said I would never do. I sold out. I gave into the idea of, you are young do what you want, have fun and worry about growing up later. (This wasn't my whole college life though. For the majority of college I lived a good moral life and didn't do anything too bad. This falling away was mainly in my senior year of college.) So I did what I wanted to and I also did church on Sundays and most of the time I was good. I would feel bad for my prior weeks partying sometimes and think about changing but no real change happened until around May of my senior year. (That is a whole dif story for another time) But what was it that I had learned growing up that fostered these misguided thoughts?

Well all of that was preface to the meat of this blog. Sorry this might be a long one! Here are my thoughts on what might have occured and I would like to know what all of you think. For the majority of my life and I could imagine for some Christian teens today when asked what their Christian faith is about their answer and my answer then would be something like this. "Well I go to church on Sundays and sometimes Wednesdays as often as I can. Then we go on a ski trip in the winter and then in the summer we go to Church Camp and it is so awesome!! I get on such a spiritual high from Church Camp. Etc etc etc........" Some of you might be thinking, yeah that sounds about right. Kids are busy and that really is all they can commit to do. Church a few times a week and then a couple of trips with the youth group. Isnt this what we desire for our kids?? Being a youth minister I do desire to have kids come on Sunday nights, I do want them to come to Wednesdays, and the trips we take, and the retreats we go on, the mission trips we attend. I think all of these are very valuable experiences that help mold and shape them. It is very encouraging to me to see a big group on a Sunday or Wednesday night! It feels great for me to be able to tell the Church that I am taking over 30 kids on mission trips this summer. But if that is all their Christian walks are about I am one stinking huge failure! If I view my job and lively hood as only focusing on getting kids to come to Sunday and Wednesday nights and trips I am completely misguided and am ultimately setting kids up for failure putting a stumbling block between them and the true God and the Bible talks about that and I dont wanna be that guy. Will they encounter God on retreats, mission trips, camps, Sunday and Wednesday nights? Yes, but if I am not teaching them to seek to encounter Him on a daily basis I have failed. If I am simply teaching them that their Christian faith is solely about what they do and don't do I have failed. If I am teaching them that the only places you encounter God is when you come to youth group or when you go on trips or when you do this or that, then, I think you know what I am gonna say. I HAVE FAILED!

Lets look at it this way. I grew up in Texas, and as most people know most Texans are proud of where they are from. Being a Texan doesn't mean that you do certain things or talk a certain way ,although you do do certain things and most likely talk a lil bit different those things are not what make you a Texan. Being a Texan means u were born there! (Although there are some who have moved their and since claimed Texas, that is fine too.) A Texan doesnt wake up in the morning and say, I think Im gonna be a Texan today. NO! They wake up knowing they are one and even though they may do many things throughout the day it doesnt change the fact of who they are. In the same way this is how we should live out our Christian lives. It should be something we wake up knowing and something we are well aware of throughout the day and then be something we go to sleep trusting. Being a Christian means you were spiritually re-born through the saving work of Christ on the cross and accepting that salvation. Although, we are Christians we may do things differently than the world, those things that we do or don't do are not what define us. Our identity is in Christ and Christ alone, it is in the saving work He did on the cross. So here are a few thoughts and this might be where some of you disagree with me but thats ok, we can talk about it and both gain valuable insight. (And let me preface this by saying I am very much preaching to my self in this whole area Im just trying to figure this out in community which I think God is calling us to do) Often I get my feelings hurt when a kid chooses something else over Church. I often ,and even hear some colleagues, question a student's priorities when they do choose something else over something we are doing at Church or some big trip we are taking. I do desire them to go and be apart of these things. But how arrogant is it of me to think that the only place they will encounter God is when they come to youth or go on a trip? The thing is, we have taught them this. We have taught them that those are the only places to trully connect with God. We tell them about how Christ desires to come and dwell in their hearts but yet when they choose something over us we question if He truly is in their hearts. This is where I think I have the biggest conflict in my heart. We tell kids to prioritize their lives in this order. God first, others second, and themselves third. But when we say God do we really mean God or do we mean our Churches or youth groups?? The bottom line of it all is this. There are people not just kids, continually walking away from the Church because we have created a culture where we have these great spiritual highs and teach them to simply live from one high to the next and forget to teach them how to live a day to day walk of faith. How do we change this whole way of thinking?? How do we being to teach our congregations as a whole that Christianity isn't merely something we do? How do we teach them it is something we are, it is who we are, it is who's we are? (yeah that was corny i know) I know that was a ton to read, and I thank you if you actually did read it all and please comment let me know what ya think. Anyhow I will put this extremely long rambling of a blog to its end.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What A Week.

Well I started writing a blog last night, but then decided that I didnt really know what to write so I stopped. But I know what I want to write now! THANK YOU ALL!! This past week has shown me just how wonderful a group of people I am surrounded with!! Some of you know me well and then some of you hardly know me, but I have been amazed at all of the prayers and thoughts and phone calls and letters and just the general concern for my family and I! It has been great and very encouraging to me!! So i just want to tell you all thank you from the bottom of my heart and let you know that through you all the Lord is blessing my family and i!!


Monday, January 5, 2009

Drive Back To Artesia

Well, as some of you know I occasionally enjoy taking pictures while I am driving. Well this past sunday I was driving back from Pagosa Springs, CO to Artesia and decided to snap a few pics while driving. Yeah i know, its pretty stupid cause there was snow on the ground and all that jazz, but hey it made for some pretty sweet pictures! These are just a few of the over 100 pics I took while driving in the snow! Hope ya enjoy. These are all just with my Samsung point and shoot.

Snow Covered Bushes
not sure what you would call this one?

yeah you could see maybe a quarter mile in front of you at most!

this was crazy pretty!
Hope you enjoy, and as you often here them say on TV please do not attempt to take any pictures while driving a vehicle especially when you are driving on snow and ice, it isnt the safest thing in the world!