9 06 2009

– listen to this before you read!

So yesterday I found Tedashii’s new album “Identity Crisis” and immediately bought the album.  There is a song on the CD titled “Make War” that is unbelievably good!  The song’s intro is a clip from one of John Piper’s sermons on Christians who whine and murmur about their circumstances and never do something to combat the one who brings pain and destruction into this world.  This songs gets me so excited everytime I listen to it.  In fact I am listening to it right now.  In its entirety it’s a song about Christianity’s stigma that we are to be a weak, manipulated, oppressed people.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the majority of Christians that think our Christ-centered, love-oriented way of life is a call to be weak and oppressed.  THAT’S NOT THE GOSPEL!  Love is not weak, Christ wasn’t weak, and the power and authority found in Christ is not easily manipulated and controlled unless we ignore Christ.  Christ was direct, Christ was not afraid to attack the issues of the time, Christ talked about a love “that casts out all fear”, love that “never fails.”  That means the love we find in Christ ATTACKS SIN!  It doesn’t sit back and defend itself against sin.  It attacks sin!  Just as Christ attacked the sinful when He was here.  


For too many years of my life I ignored the power of the Gospel.  I ignored the power that inhabits who Christ is.  That same Christ lives within me.  For too many years I thought that if sin were not attacked it would just go away.  WRONG!  There is a reason our faith and the aspects of our faith is called ARMOR.  It’s because we are to be prepared for battle!  WAR!  With the prince of evil and his minions.  WE ARE THE KINGDOM OF GOD with the MOST POWERFUL GOD LIVING INSIDE OF US!  In Christ WE CANNOT FAIL!  One of my students said to me a week ago that he doesn’t know why he cowers and fears sin… he said that he will no longer shrink or tremble before sin but instead MAKE WAR against that which is against Christ.  It is time for Christians, those who really have Christ and not just the t-shirt, to quit running from sin and quit hiding from sin but to take up our cross and make war against sin from sun up to sun down.  Christ did!  Why do we run?


Bottomline:  sin is not Christ it is the opposite of Christ and if we stand on the side of Christ we STAND against sin and that means we MAKE WAR against the sin that attacks the people of God and the Christ who laid down His life for us.  MAKE WAR!!!

Conquered <>

Spencer   – that’s the song


Sad Day

22 05 2009

So today I had another reality check that abruptly brought me back to the truth of what is really going on in today’s culture and how students are being impacted.  Many of you know that I am taking a “Issues in Women’s Health” class this Maymester.  Many of you have asked why in the world I would choose that class but to be perfectly honest it looked more interesting than comparative literature and it had a higher final GAP average (though I didn’t consider that most of the class would be women talking about their own bodies not men talking about women’s bodies which we know nothing about).  

However, today as part of the class we spent an hour and a half lecturing about the different types of contraceptives and birth control.  Now most of you will just shrug that off as part a college health class and I did too until near the end.  What surprised me was the conversations near the end of the lecture.  Our teacher showed us statistics and verbally informed us of the average age kids were losing their virginity… 12 YEARS OLD!  She told us that kids began experimenting as early as 5TH GRADE and by the time high school rolled around sex was just a part of life.  As I heard these statistics my heart began to hurt and my attitude went from the happy for the weekend to depressed for our youth.  Sex has become not just right or normal but expected by the time kids enter high schools.  Many school systems are educating 5th graders on contraceptives and how to use them, and now middle school kids are offered free condoms anytime they want them without parental disclosure.  

The most depressing thing about the class was how our culture and our teachers are impacting these ideas.  Instead of teaching and promoting abstinence, the youth are being taught prevention.  Instead of being taught responsibility, our youth are being taught to abort the “problem” before the heart starts beating.  The specific teacher of this class made morning after pills, condoms, and birth control available to her children from an early age because she said “she wasn’t so naive that she knew they were going to have sex she just wanted to emphasize to them that she wanted them to be in love.”  

The biggest reality check for me was that maybe I am being naive.  When I look at high schoolers and middle schoolers today I can’t make myself come to grips with the idea that most of them are having sex with multiple people multiple times.  Maybe I am naive.  Are the youth that I know and have a relationship with a part of this statistic and I am just too blind to see it?  I certainly hope not but the statistics are definitely not in my favor.  Sad Day!  

The Bottomline is this:  I realize that Jesus informed all of us who choose Him that we are choosing to be counter-cultural in a drastic, sometimes painful, unpopular way but it always take slaps in the face like I felt today to wake up and realize just how unpopular Jesus really is and just how few followers He really has.


Conquered <><


8 05 2009

So I have been in Jamaica for almost 5 days now and in the 5 days I have had just about every emotion possible.  I have felt the greatest amount of frustration when I saw how behind educationally this school and this whole country is but I felt some of the greatest joy as I saw some of the students understand for the first time Math concepts and English concepts and they pride they felt from that.  A lot of times I got angry and frustrated at some of their theology here and the fire and brimstone surrounding it and other times I couldn’t help but see the Lord in the kid’s smiles and joy they felt at this school that doesn’t occur much in Jamaica.  All in all it took some time with the Lord and some scripture to help me realize that I am not here to change people or to change how they teach or to even change how they think about Jesus. If the Lord wants to do that through me He will but He has to do it not me.  I am just here to walk alongside the Lord and work WITH Him not for Him because I can not do the work He wishes to be done without His power.  I am nothing alone and without His will and His power I am useless.

Bottomline:  He must become greater and I must become less.

As of now I think I am just here to be a kid…

Photo 76

Yea mon!

4 05 2009

So here I sit one lazy afternoon at the Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf surrounded by a deaf world in a country more beautiful than anywhere I have ever been.  I have no clue why the Lord has brought me here or why in the world I am having so much fun signing with all the students and faculty but this is one the greatest feelings I have had in a long time.  In fact the last time I can remember feeling this used by the Lord and this challenged spiritually in my faith was BigStuf internships two years ago.  From the day I stepped onto this campus my faith has been pushed my limits been tested in a really strange way.  At home all year long I was pushed in my time and pushed to be organized and pushed to be diligent in my faith and my time with the Lord.  Here, like at BigStuf, it seems like I encounter the Lord everywhere I go.  Here, Christ’s work isn’t so much work as it is my greatest blessing.  Granted, here everything is soooo laid back (including the schooling which I see problems in) and that allows me to really take time to spend with the Lord and take time to bask in who God is and all that He has done.  It encourages me to take time like this, time where I can bask in God’s breath and His faithful love for me and bring that time back with me to the States.  It is an absolute need to take time to be with the Lord on more than just a morning basis and to do more than just read and pray.  In the two days that I have been here prayer and communion with the Lord has gotten so much easier because I am not looking at my watch or looking at a schedule that I have to follow.  I just have time with the Lord and that’s all there is to it, then I go about the rest of the day with His work on my brain and in my thoughts.  Jamaica truly has already opened my eyes to to what I am lacking in my walk back home.  Yea Mon!  

The Bottomline is that we get so caught up in places to go and things that need to be done that we are slaves to the time and slave to our schedules leaving us to be slaves to two masters… God and Time… and we can’t be slaves to two masters.  


Conquered <><


PS- oh and the kids love the macbook!  Apple entertaining worldwide!


22 04 2009

So I decided to start this whole blog thing mainly as a place to get advice and really for friends I don’t see very often to keep track of me (not that there is anything real interesting to keep track of).  Then I found myself having to create my first post.  Thanks Mom and Dad for the dilemma by which I can create this first post.  

So Mom and Dad are being super generous and offering Megan and I the opportunity to go on a cruise with them down the Mexican Riviera for 7 DAYS!!!  The only catch is that I will be with my youth group on the day they leave at a local mission trip.  There are two possible weeks we could have gone on this trip and my initial thought is that everyone would sign up for the week that doesn’t finish on the day we leave.  God laughed and now I have 14 people going to that week as opposed to 6 on the other week.  That brings me to a DILEMMA.  

The last day of the local mission trip is comprised of the youth who participated giving their testimony about the week and telling what all they did as well as what they week has meant for them.  They also sing, as a group, the song they practice all week.  Normally this is the most moving and heart-wrenching part of the week because I get hear how God has worked in the lives of these students all week and how they saw God during the week through being His hands and feet.  The biggest reward comes Sunday.  

The other side of the coin is that our family has not gone on a family vacation since my ninth grade year if that recent and this trip is going to be one for the ages.  My entire family, plus my girlfriend, plus two friends of the family are all going and to add to that they are all going out of LA and down the Mexican Riviera.  A trip that will probably never happen again with the people who are going.  Though I can do the cruise later in my life.

The Bottomline, I know that for me hearing those students speak about how God works in their  lives and how they felt such fulfillment and joy from giving of themselves for no earthly return by far outweighs the cruise but I do feel a little selfish pushing my family away for my job.  I know the Lord’s work with my youth is way more important than a cruise but it wasn’t the cruise that I was looking forward to.  It was the family time, that seems to be nonexistent lately, that I am going to miss.

Conquered <><n741785474_3315870_2665