No Israel, But Africa?

February 25, 2007

Plans for Israel with the RD’s are no longer.  I’m sorta sad about that but then again, I’m not.  It would’ve been fun to go with those people but I’m glad I get to save money and possibly do other things.  We’ll see.  It would’ve been nice to go to Israel for the 5th time.

Why are we no longer going, you ask?  Well, Mark Tatlock, VP of Student Affairs (I think that’s his title, not sure), will be going to Africa to hopefully pick up his adopted son, Paul and adopted daughter Olivia.  Sooooo cool!!!  I’m exicted for them.  Gunner and Cindi have also received their court date to pick up Judah, April 4th.  So fun!!! 

Yeah, no Israel Trip for us this year but we get to have more kids in Student Life, cute little African ones at that!!!

Ironically enough, I am thinking about going to Africa to visit some missionaries.  That would be amazing, Lord willing. 

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Go For a Walk

February 21, 2007

Sometimes your life doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to.  I’ve recently been experiencing that with a lot but the Lord has been sustaining me through it all.  Its humbling, I hope. 

Tonight a friend gave me advice to just go for a walk for about 10mins somewhere and look up at the stars.  I really do need to be reminded of how small I am in the grandeur of God’s greatness, creation and all.  I’m gonna do that and I hope and pray I’m reminded of how “less than” my troubles are compared to a mighty God.   

The lesson here is to remember that everything will be alright!  God’s still on His throne and in control of ALL OF IT!!!  So, go for a walk…

Congrats!

February 13, 2007

Congratulations to Tyler Flower & Stephanie Honett!!!  They got engaged last night.  It was fun celebrating with you and friends (at the Brocks)!  YEY!

For Crying Out Loud

February 9, 2007

The danger of folly is that there is an entirely wide road that leads to destruction.  There’s room to avoid caution.  Warnings and cries for heeding seem very dim and bleak.  What seems clear becomes very blurred. 

There are times when we want to think for ourselves.  True, I understand that.  But that’s entirely different from having your faith cultivated.  There’s arrogance in the former and the latter requires surrender.  That’s humility. 

We justify so many things to make our world work and sometimes, we’re “successful”.  Other times we just have to sit back and let the Lord do what He wants.  That requires being prayerful.  There’s tension there because what we don’t want to do is wait, let alone wait on the Lord.  When we do that, it requires us to be still.  When our patience subsides, we want to “do” something about it because we cannot stand that that way isn’t in our favor.  It’s not as adventurous or risk taking.  Yeah, but again, I suppose we want what we want and we’re going to do anything and everything to get it.  Even if it compromises the integrity to do the right thing or trust in the right person, Jesus.  That compromise is called self-deception.  What we’re called to is self-denial.  

I fear when I do the thing I am very strongly warned not to do.  Whether from Scripture, from the Spirit, from others or even from proven counsel.  Sometimes I don’t fear.  That’s when I am sad that I’ve depended upon youthfulness and immaturity.  But ultimately everything will be okay, right?  Right, it will be okay.  I just don’t want to presume upon grace, especially when all I know I deserve is nothing but walking in foolishness and my own arrogance.  Wisdom says not to walk in that (that’s grace).  I don’t want to walk in foolishness or in my own arrogance.  And I will do everything I can to avoid that, even if it means doing the hard thing and sacraficing what I want to do.   

The only voice crying out in the wilderness was a voice that was used to prepare the way of the Lord.  I don’t know but sometimes, it is noble to think that is what I am called to.  But the fact of the matter is, its not about me.  Its about the way of the Lord.  That’s what made the voice of John the Baptist the only voice in the wilderness (at that moment) so vital.  It was because of the message, the way of the Lord.  It was the only voice proclaiming that message.  And he proclaimed it with authority and conviction.  That’s what I desire, even if I’m the only one.  I don’t want the noble thing for the Lord, I want the fear of the Lord. 

Integrity requires faith.  Folly uses reason to justify against faith.  Dr. Howard Hendricks noted that, “The only thing Jesus rebuked the disciples for was their lack of faith“. 

The straight and narrow requires faith and for crying out loud, the wide road leads to destruction!  Walk in tested wisdom, not youthful folly.   

Small Group

February 8, 2007

So my first Small Group went really well.  I was so excited in my heart to have these guys here. 

Here’s who showed up: Joe Barnes, Josh Beakley, Scott Gilmore, Aj Woodsum, Dave Zimmer, Jonny Duncan, Matt Dixon and John Lafferty. 

It was cool.  Objective?  To help them develop what they want, help them think through issues, be sharpened by each other’s thoughts & convictions, get to know each other, pray for one another, spur one another on towards tested/proven faith that is marked by love and good works and last but not least to help them be doers of the Word and not merely hearers of it.  I don’t know, there could be more said. 

We read James 1:19-27, then we exchanged expectations, worked through what 3 things we all want to be known for at the end of our lives…then I impromptu-ed a time of having each guy ask another guy a question, in order for us to get to know them (it was also to have them immediately put into practice one of my expectations of them: To be invovled).  They didn’t hold back, that’s for sure!  I was encouraged and challenged at the same time.  My faith was cultivated.  I hope their faith was also cultivated. 

Prior to starting this Small Group, I sought counsel and advice about how to do this (being my first Small Group apart from my RA team).  I was going to go through a book with them, but I decided not to.  I don’t want to impart “more” information to these guys, I want them to work out what they already know.  I want to get to know them better.  I want them to get to know each other better and they want that.  It was so cool to be there with guys that really want to be there.  

Nothing really new was presented or formatted.  I just implemented things I’ve learned the last couple of years as an RD and especially from Young Shepherds.  All in all, the guys have already communicated to me that they were so excited about it.  Yey for God!!!

I can’t wait to learn what the Lord will do in the light of this all.  I have tons to learn and I am so thankful to God for such a privileged task of being apart of ministering in the dorm.  I’ve already experienced a few life long relationships and unfortunately some broken ones.  It’ll be interesting to see how this all continues to unfold in His plan of redemption. 

Here’s a quote from a message I heard Dr. Howard Hendricks say regarding discipleship relationships, “You can impress people from a distance but you can only impact them up close”.  If you want to have a significant mark on someone’s life, you have to get involved.  And being invovled takes a lot of work, significant time and self-less love…I know, I’m still learning this. 

I am very thankful for the many ways I get to be a part of that with this small group of guys!     

Still Wiser

February 5, 2007

“He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you.  Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy one is understanding, For by me [wisdom] your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you.  If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.”  -Proverbs 9:7-12 

It’s interesting to see how many people do not walk in wisdom.  I’ve been in this camp way too many times to know the folly in making decisions on my own or decisions that are hasty, which is why I am so thankful to the Lord for surrounding me with SO many people who will help me.  I’m still learning that, I hope. 

There are so many people that help me.  People who will point me to Job 12:13.  People who will get in my face without fear of hurting me, for the purpose of setting me straight.  People who will ask the hard questions, who draw me out of myself so that I can see my true self, honestly.  People who will objectively give me what I need to hear and not what I want to hear.  Its good for me, I need it.  I just pray that I would not resist it and if I’m tempted to do so, I pray that I am burdened with it to the point of willingness and not arrogance.     

I’ve been praying that the Lord would give me wisdom, knowledge, discernment and understanding (and more recently, that I would be motivated out of genuine love).  The difficulty is having those things [wisdom, knowledge, discernment and understanding] tested so that it is approved and refined.  No one likes that process.  No one likes to have to be told to do anything.  If we’re honest, then we would admitt that.  If we want to change, then we would increase in our learning (teachable spirit).  Its not always fun though.  Its hard to tell someone something they don’t want to hear.  Just as well, its hard to be told what you don’t want to hear.  The testing and refining will prove what is genuine. 

That’s why it is SO stinking important to have wise people who love you enough to tell you the hard thing.  Usually its the best thing.  I suppose either way, whether you’re the person being told or the person telling, its so good to have the Bible to guide and clearly direct you in the way you should go.  

There’s no life in your own opinions save for the life in the Words of the Bible.  I hope I hold fast to that as I am being told by others to walk in wisdom or the one telling others to walk in same.  Still wiser, Lord willing…Lord willing.