I am still getting used to this whole blogging thing. I began reading a blog of one of my friends and quickly realized that I had a blog of my own that I never use, so here I am.
I started school back up a few weeks ago and I can honestly say that this semester is going to be an adventure. I don’t think I have ever had to put as much time/work into school work before in my life. I’m very much a social person and its difficult to sacrifice time with my friends here in San Marcos as well as Austin. However, I know that if I persevere through this summer session the fall gets substantially easier and will be able to take part in a lot of the things that I really enjoy that I haven’t been able to do in a while.
On a different note, I was able to head to my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama over my break from school back in may for 2 weeks. The first thing I did when I pulled into town from my 12 hour car ride from Texas was drive around and see the devastation that the tornado on April 27th created. I tried to prepare myself for what was to be seen but words could still not describe the tragedy. Homes and businesses that were mangled and some that were not even there anymore.
I had the incredible opportunity to help out many families who had lost everything with my home church that had been sponsoring families from a community called Rosedale. Once the city provided the family with a place to stay, we would take donated furniture and completely furnish their entire apartment. The expression of gratitude and joy from the families that we helped kept us pushing for more families to move in and when I left Tuscaloosa to head back to Texas, the church had moved in more than 45 families! The tragedy of the April 27th tornado was a horrific experience for many people and families, but I have never seen the Church more alive than what I saw. That is what the ministry of Jesus Christ was all about…helping your brother and sister in need. Why does it take a tragedy such as this to awaken the Church? Why can’t the Church begin to dedicate more time and energy to this cause? I’m not saying that it has failed to do this by any means! I would just love to see more of a combined effort and cause for the sake of the beaten, battered, and bruised of this world.
I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer.
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
Tonight was really hard and it was difficult to wrap my mind around circumstances as of late. It all kind of came crashing into a reality that I was hoping would never happen. Nevertheless, I am confident that God has a plan so much bigger than me and that in this somehow He is glorified. I began to dig through scriptures and came across these verses in James:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
- James 1:2-4
“Blessed is the man who perserveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will recieve the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
- James 1:12
Whatever trails we may face…consider it pure joy? Wow, that’s a crazy concept to understand fully. The way I feel after tonight’s reality set in, it is hard to say that I am joyful. However, I feel as though this joyfulness that I speak of is only in a wordly sense and the PURE joy that God speaks of is only through Him and recieved only by trusting in Him and His plans for my life. To perservere through whatever gets us down and to focus on Him is what brings glory to the Father. After realizing these things about my own circumstances tonight, I was brought to peace and comfort knowing that God is in control of everything.
This is the attitude that I want to pursue with all my heart…
“In himself, nothing; in God, everything.”
- A.W. Tozer
My prayer for this semester is that lives would be changed for the sake of the kingdom…
“Are we willing to obey the orders of Christ? Are we willing to be like him? Are we willing to risk our lives to go to great need and to great danger - whether it’s in the inner cities around us, the difficult neighbor across the street, the disease-ridden communities in Africa, or the hostile regions in the Middle East? Are we willing to fundamentally alter our understanding of Christianity from a luxury-liner approach that seeks more comforts in the world to a troop-carrier approach that forsakes comforts in the world to accomplish an eternally significant task and achieve an eternally satisfying reward?”
- Radical by D. Platt
Sometimes I wonder what would happen in the world if more and more in the faith family would step into uncertain circumstances to see Christ glorified. I am in no way saying that I am perfect in this area and I long to be at this place of sacrifice. A place where I could abandon everything I know and have ever known for the sake of the kingdom. Let us change to way we see the “American dream” and be disciples for Christ.
Trust and ask that God will set your heart ablaze for the person and work of God.
The Time is Now, Come Church Arise
What love can bring us to our knees, bring overwhelming joy, perfect peace, stillness and comfort, freedom, hope for things unseen, surrender, life everlasting other than the love of Jesus Christ?
…none but Him, the one who was and is to come
No weapon formed against me shall remain…