Friday, December 23, 2005
Oddly enough I was just alerted that my name comes up on a search engine search that leads people to a site that says that Jesus is not the only way to Heaven. I am not sure how that happened. When I went to the site my name appeared no where in the text and I am wondering if whoever did this has linked other Youth Pastor's names into their meta language that web spiders read to include you in search engines. If you are in ministry you might want to goggle your name and see if it happens to you as well.
As for me, let me be clear and plain on this issue. This is my blog where I, Jasper Rains, am the sole author. I believe that there is only one way to eternal life. I believe that Jesus Christ, God's only son and the one God-man who lived without sin is the one and ONLY --- I repeat --- ONLY way to Heaven. He is not the same as Buddha, Krishna, or Mohammed. He is Jesus Christ, God. The ONLY way to salvation is to repents of your sins, believe that JESUS CHRIST IS GOD'S ONLY SON and God himself in human form and commit to living a life of following Jesus and His Word as recorded in the infallible Holy Bible.
That's all I have to say on that. I am going to be e-mailing the webmaster of that site and demanding he remove me from any references to that site. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY!!!!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The Quiz Speaks:
You are Schroeder!
Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by
This works out pretty well since Kendra always says that if she were a cartoon character she would be Lucy! Must be true love!
The Quiz Speaks:
You are a Lover, a feeling type, whose spirituality comes primarily from the heart or emotions. You value freedom, independence, and spontaneity. Along with your gift of enthusiasm, you show us how to have fun and appreciate beauty. More than any other type, you know how to experience joy. This puts you in a unique position to experience God in the moment, to revel in what is happening around you, and to be in the present tense.
To Lovers, God is a nurturing parent. Prayer for you is often extemporaneous, speaking to God about what is on your heart at the moment. Music moves you deeply; so does heartfelt preaching and worship. You believe that real faith must be shared. Consequently, many Lovers are interested in missions or in spreading the Gospel through the media. You are passionate about holy living.
On the other hand, a Lover's impulsive behavior can get you in trouble. You sometimes focus on satisfying immediate desires to the detriment of investing in longer term needs. You have been known to exude a "holier-than-thou" attitude toward other spiritual types. That does not endear you to us. Guard against thinking that to be right everyone else must share a spiritual experience similar to yours. You also may need permission to acknowledge anger, disappointment, sadness, and doubt, and to allow yourself to be less than ideal.
Learn about other types: Sage Prophet Lover Mystic
Snoopy Aunt Bee Alanis Morissette Billy Graham Julia Butterfly Hill Andrea Bochelli Joey Tribbiani His Holiness, Mary Magdelene Captain Kirk Ida Mae Brown (in Ghost)
Read about some Saints who were Lovers
What is your Spiritual type?
Wow! I would say this is pretty right on about me. It's not easy being so loving! LOL!
The Quiz Speaks:
|Your Christmas Song Is|
It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you
Be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year
Hands down, Christmas is your favorite holiday ever
And you always enjoy every moment of it
The Math (GULP!) TEST SPEAKS:
|You Failed 8th Grade Math|
Oh no, you only got 6/10 correct!
Uh ... at my school 60 is a D so technically I DID pass! Yeah math was never my best subject and honestly I just gave up in the middle and started randomly filling in circles. That method didn't help me on the ACT either.
So it has been SO long since I last wrote. Things have been very busy. I am officially halfway through the first week of my Christmas vacation. As of today all of my Christmas shopping is finished and I finally have time to breathe.
God has been good to us! We are looking forward to our first Christmas with family in six years. Although that event comes with the usual family stress and goofiness, we are grateful to be back in Missouri this season.
God has taught us so much in the year we have been out of full-time ministry. In all He has done, He has remained faithful to us. We are itching to return to full-time service but want it to come completely on God's terms not ours.
I hope I can get a few more entries in over the next few days. I have missed the opportunity to "speak" here. I hope you all are having a great Christmas season!
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
So I am writing this from the school computer lab this Tuesday morning. Yesterday was a particularly hard school day for me. On top of that I was not feeling well. I have been having some chest pains and if they persist I will need to call my doctor to see if the meds I am on are the problem.
The district where I work is very challenging. I hear thee Quentin Terantino movies full of foul language in a day. Most kids are lethargic about their work. Many question each assignment. I have also had a few days where I was the subject of a student's profanity filled malay. Not fun.
I know I am here for such a time as this and am trying to trust that God will use me. Every once in a while I get a flicker of that. In many ways that is what keeps me going.
Autumn, one of my college kids who went through High School in Maine with me as her Youth Pastor, was here until this morning. That was nice. It was good to be reminded that God has used me and that I really do love teens. It is sad that she is leaving today. I will miss her!
So, I must get back to work. I have to review Puritan Literature in three different classes today. And the beat goes on ...
Monday, October 17, 2005
Just wanted to say hello and thanks for the welcome back to the global community many of you have sent. Please pray for me as school can be VERY stressful. The cool part is I am teaching Puritan Literature at the moment and am requiring the students to learn the plan of salvation for their exam. It actually appeared in a box in our text entitled "Puritan Beliefs" so, I am running with it.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I have my quiet time every morning in my classroom. I started this mainly so I could remember to take time to pray for each of my students every day. The morning I started this I prayed that God would bring me a passage of Scripture that I could claim for those mornings. He led me to Psalm 20. Now I read this passage every morning along with whatever else God leads me to for that day. I want to share this passage with you and talk about some of the things God is teaching me through this passage.
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah
4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.
9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call!
I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like I live in the land of distress. I feel like I am completely overwhelmed. A lot of times I feel like I am just treading water. I hate that feeling. I wouldn’t say that I am a control freak but I am a plan freak. I don’t have to be the one controlling the situation but I do want to have gone thoroughly over the plan. I don’t mind following if I know what is coming.
Unfortunately that is not the best way to live out the Christian faith journey. I want to get out my black sharpie when I come to verses that say things like we walk by faith not by sight. I don’t want to do that. I want to walk by faith and by sight. God doesn’t see it that way though. Because when I get distressed, sometimes, my faith-o-meter just gets run down.
But what God has been teaching me lately is that I have to learn to let the Jasper needs to know the plan side of me take a back seat to the God always knows the plan side of me. I don’t know about you but I find that to be terribly distressing. It really freaks me out. Again, I don’t mind God having the control if he lets me know what the plan is. When I don’t know that plan I get distressed.
I think if you just read this Psalm without meditating on it, it can be a dangerous passage of Scripture. I think you can read it to say God will get you out of distress and give you your heart’s desire. But when you meditate on it I think it tells you something very different.
When I was in ministry one of my catch phrases always was don’t overlook the little words. In this Psalm there is a three letter word that changes the passage’s meaning substantially. That is MAY. I think this Psalm is more of a reminder of what God can do than what He always will do. David is praying that God would act in a certain way but there is not a promise here that he will. Look at verses 3-5. It says may he remember your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. This a prayer that God would act this way. I think sometimes we can struggle wit living on yesterday’s faith. We expect God to sustain us on what we once had rather than on what we do have now.
I have had several awesome experiences in my life. I have had a lot of moments when I am walking in God’s will and he is showing me His power in my life. I mean I can recall some knock your socks off moments. I can also recall times that I have been walking so close to God that distress was the farthest thing from my mind. Those times are incredible and I am so thankful for them.
But sometimes I get stuck there. I look back on those times like some people look back on their high school sports accomplishments. I can tell you some great stories about what God has done in my life in the past. Some of those stories can reach epic proportions just like a last minute overtime touchdown. The moment was incredible but it is yesterday’s news.
When I meditate on this Psalm it get me thinking that God is not required to remember what I have done for him in the past. He is much more concerned with what I am doing today. I think of the story of Peter on the water. I wonder if when he started sinking he thought, “but wait a second before you pull me out of here Lord! Don’t you remember that just a few seconds ago I was focused on you? Isn’t my past faith enough to keep me walking on the water?”
That sounds silly but I don’t know about you but that is sometimes how I have lived my Christian life. Hey God remember the past. Remember how cool I was, listening to you and taking with you and trusting you? But I think that God may get to shaking his head at me at those times as he is thinking, but what have you done for me lately? Then I get all upset when I don’t see him rushing to me rescue. I sometimes get all huffy with God when I am trying to live on yesterday’s fuel. I think God honors our past devotion but I think he is not required to act for us because of it. He wants us to walk in fellowship with him today. He wants to de-stress us now by taking what he is teaching us today and watching us use that knowledge to succeed. I think God is much more concerned with consistent growth than with a great historical record. Verse 3 says MAY he remember all your sacrifices, it doesn’t say he has to.
It also says May he give you the desires of your heart. The next part of the Psalm is very similar and says May God grant all your requests. May again. It doesn’t say he always will. I don’t know about you but I am thankful for the may there. When I look back at all the stuff I have desired that God has not given me, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. You see when I am living in that past reminiscing mode as far as my spirituality goes, my desires can shift. My desires will differ from God’s desires. The hard thing is when we are living on yesterday’s fuel, it makes it completely difficult to see past our current situation. We end up wanting things that will satisfy us right now. I think we can even fall into sin by wanting a past spiritual moment back. What I mean by that is we can become so desirous of how God moved in our lives in the past that we can lose sight of what he wants to do in the here and now. IF we spend our lives looking back and desiring a past spiritual moment we may be limiting the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives now. We may not even realize that God has a new and exciting way to teach us or show us his love because we are too busy desiring the past.
My hope and prayer is that in the end of my life I won’t look back and realize that I spent a lot of time desiring things God wouldn’t want for me. I think Satan can really trick us into a lot in this. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is John 10:10. It reminds us what we are up against in all this. IT says that the thief comes to steal kill and destroy. I think Satan wants to steal our joy, kill our witness and destroy our lives. I think he does that sometimes by distracting us from what God desires for us. He distracts us and leads us to focus on what we want not on what God wants. That same passage tell us what God wants for us. It says, A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
God wants so much more for us than our desires can ever know. Our minds are so limited in what we can want. But God’s plan is to give us more than we ever dreamed of. WOW! This is a time that the word MAY is a sweet word because it reminds me that God’s desires for me are so much greater than my own. I can even dream of his desires for me and if that means I have to sacrifice some of my desires and he chooses not to give them to me, I pray that I will learn to keep focused on John 10:10 and know that God’s desire for me is to give me more than I ever dreamed of.
Next the Psalm makes a definite and sharp turn when it says I KNOW that the Lord saves his anointed. He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. David remind us of some thing we know to be true. God will save us out of distress. But it will be in His time on His terms.
So what do we do? Some trust in chariots, and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Trust in the end it is all about trust. Are we living a life of trust. What does that mean? How does that look? If we are trusting in Him we are learning to have His desires.
How do we do that? I think in three ways:
1. Commit to live God’s WAY.
We admit that our way isn’t working. We try to use the Bible in a very practical way to help people through the struggles of life. And you know that nearly every person we talk to whether they are 14 or 84, most of the problems in life this is what people say.” My life was going fine until”… and really what they’re saying is “ I was living my way and it didn’t work”. If you want to live beyond the ordinary, you commit to live God’s way.
2. Commit to look for God’s WORK.
We need to look for God’s work around us. Some of us cruise through life and miss out on God’s blessing; we don’t even know that He’s answering our prayer. We’re not even looking at other people and seeing how God’s working in their life and being blown away. God is working all around us and when we commit to look for it, we go through life with a sense of awe and wonder. Whoa, that was God, that’s cool. A lot of us think it’s our own doing or that it was a coincidence and we miss God’s power.
3. Commit to spend time with GOD.
If you want to live beyond the ordinary, you live his way, you look for his work and you spend time with him. I just want to challenge you; do you ever wake up in the morning with that eager anticipation that you can’t wait to spend time with God, to be in his presence? To just thank him for the day, to think about him as you drive to work? Spending time with God can happen all the time. You want to live beyond the ordinary, commit to live God’s way, commit to look for God’s work and spend time with God.
I may live in the land of distress but I also know that God is in control. He doesn't have to remember my past spiritual highs. He just needs to know that BEFORE all else fails I am putting my trust in him alone.
So I am still here and still alive. I just have been wicked busy with school. It has not been the most pleasant experience. I have had some real struggles but I am trying to trust in God's plan.
We have FINALLY moved into our own apartment. We are happy but finances are tight. It is a beautiful place and we are blessed to have it.
I turned 36 yesterday. Now I am officially closer to 40 than 30. YUCK! Autumn Welt, one of our college kids from Maine flew in to spend her fall break with us and surprise me. That is AWESOME!
So, I am here and alive. I would love to hear from any of you who might cruise by!
Saturday, August 27, 2005
So we got back safely from Maine on Monday. For me it was in the wee hours of morning for Kendra it was Monday night. Anyway, I went back to the classroom Monday morning. I was swamped with papers to grade and stayed until 5:00PM Monday evening. Tuesday it was back to school and then another 5:00PM day. Then I went to an interview for a YP position that evening. So I had left home at 6:00AM and then not returned until after 9:00PM. I was a little wasted since my trip to Maine had been such a whirlwind.
Then Wednesday morning I woke up at 4:00 AM (not an unusual time for some reason I always wake up at 4:00AM anymore) and I just didn't feel "right". After going to the bathroom I came and fell asleep again in our computer chair. I woke up an hour and a half later (which is way late since I leave for school at 6:00 AM every day) and really felt odd.
After taking a shower I touched my chest and my heart was racing. I woke Kendra up and she felt it and was alarmed as well. I had missed so much school I knew I needed to go. So I told myself I would go but if I didn't feel better by lunch I would leave.
The drive to work only added to my heart issues and by the time I got to school I really felt very bad. So I immediately went to the nurse's office. She put a pulse monitor on my finger and my heart was beating 210 times a minute. She insisted I go the hospital right then.
My building secretary took me to the hospital. I had never been in the hospital before except to be born. I am used to being the guy on the other side of the bed. I called Kendra and told her I was there. It was a hospital in North Nowhere because it was the closest to school. They took my stats in triage ands though my heart rate had gone down, it was still pretty erratic.
They took me back to the ER and shortly after Kendra arrived. I was strapped up to a heart monitor that was recording my heart rate to be between 140-170 petty constantly. As the morning progressed I was pumped with drugs and my sister Darla, my dad and my sister Pattie all arrived. The initial dosage of medicine didn't really work so they gave me a second dose. When it kicked in my rate literally went from 160ish to 70 in a split second. The room started going dark and I was sure I was going to hurl. This was the point when everyone else got scared because I lost color and kind of fell back on the bed. They made everyone but Kendra leave and after about ten minutes I felt a little better.
Unfortunately, I was admitted. I had several visitors that first day. My friends, Jose, Jeff, and Michele as well as my pastor Darren, all three of my sisters and my parents. It took until about 8:00PM for the medicine to really take affect. The cardiologist said that I have a condition known as arterial fibrillation. Sounds exciting, huh? It means that the electricity in my heart is off kilter and the top part starts pumping way hard and the bottom can't keep up. It is genetic as my mother has it as well. It has nothing to do with me being a fat man or anything. On a side note God is good and I am still a very healthy fat man with low blood sugar, good blood pressure, and great cholesterol.
Anyway, the doctor said if the medicine didn't work, they would have to use a defibrillator and shock my heart back to the right rhythm. Okay, not such a fan of being electrocuted. So, I was very pleased when the doctor came in the next morning and told me I could leave. I am on medicine pretty much forever now but I should be fine. I even went back to work yesterday.
I am glad the weekend is here but I have a huge expand afile file folder filled with papers to grade. It ought to just be great fun! So, that has been my busy week. I pray that next week will be less eventful.
Saturday, August 20, 2005
So here I sit back in Maine. I am at my friend Angela's computer waiting for she and Nate to get home. What a long week it has been. I started teaching on Monday. It will be a challenge. Although there have been some nice moments, I know that the first couple of weeks are the honeymoon period. I just pray that God will give me strength and the right words throughout the year.
I actually only taught three days this week as I took of the last two days to come to Maine for Jessica and George's wedding. It was beautiful. I will post pictures soon but the bride was gorgeous and the groom handsome. The wedding was speacial and I am confident that they will have a long, loving life together.
It has been odd being here in Maine. It is familliar and home like but in someways it is like watching a tv movie off a story you know really well. Tonight after the wedding Bob and Jen had literaly about 100 people over to their house to see us. It was wonderful being with people you love. Several of the youth group kids were there and it makes me miss them and youth ministry so very much. Still, there is a real sense that we made the right choice by leaving here. Although I miss everyone dearly, I know God has us in Missouri for a purpose. Even coming back and being welcomed with open and loving arms, I still know that our time here did not end prematurely. In some ways that is sad. Still, it is a relief to at least have some part of God's plan figured out.
I have an interview this week for a Youth Pastor position. I would ask that you pray that the Lord will lead that interview and will bless my time with the committee and speak to all of us undeniably about His will.
It has been a long week but God is good.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Tonight I sat on the ordination council for one of my former students, Matt Clements. It is the first time I have ever done that. He is graduating seminary next spring. Man, that makes me feel old. I was proud to be the one chosen to present him for ordination. He accepted the call to ministry when he was in my first full-time youth ministry. I am pretty proud of the young man he has become.
This entry is called full circle because of my history with Matt. I had been on staff at First Baptist Lemay for about six months when I started my student teaching. Matt was in my fifth period class. As a result of our relationship in the classroom Matt (and his younger brother James who has ALSO accepted a call to ministry) started coming to our youth group. James was the first person I ever baptized.
So you see as I go into the classroom tomorrow, I need to remember Matt. I need to remember that I can make a spiritual difference even in a dark place.
I have been training for two weeks for tomorrow. I am apprehensive to be teaching again. The school district is rough and I am rusty. Still, I need to think about Matt and the difference a teacher made in the life of student.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Another Day, Another Ballgame
So I went to my second Cardinals game this week yesterday. This was a trip we had been planning all summer. I guess I won't have to regret not getting to busch stadium in it's final season! My mother-in-Law is a HUGE Braves fan. I mean the woman gets postal if she can't find their games on TV. So, we went as a family to see the game.
The funny thing is, my Mother-In-Law grew up in Missouri as a Cardinals fan and still loves them. So, she went to the game wearing a Cardinals t-shirt and a Braves jersey. A bit of baseball Multiple Personality Disorder if you ask me!
We SPANKED the Braves. It was a win of 11-3. That was very cool! I got to trash talk some.
After the game, my friend Victor picked me up and he spent the night with us before our big party today. I love Vic and wish I could see him even more than I do. He has been an incredible friend to me. I am glad to be back in Missouri where I can see him and our other friends more often.
Well Victor and I are off to buy school supplies on Missouri's tax free school supplies day. Wonder what the look is going to be on the face of the clerk when I purchase 200 spiral bound notebooks?
Monday, August 01, 2005
So today was my first day of new teacher orientation at Riverview Gardens School District In all it was a pretty rough day. I don't make friends so easily at first. it surprises most people but I am an introvert. So, in situations like this one, I just sit back and watch. Overall the day was pretty dull. Curriculum this and standards that and a lot of "it's cute how you think I am listening" moments. After my good week at M-fuge it was hard to take the fact that I will be leaving professional Youth Ministry soon. My heart is still completely in being a Youth Pastor full time. Ipray that this teaching gig is just for a season. I could write more about my feelings about all that but it won;t be productive so I won't.Anyway, the cool part of today was that Kendra called with awesone Cardinals tickets. her coworker Marci had given them to us. They were second row box seats (six back total) right on the first baseline. We could see Albert Puljos' facial expressions the whole time! It was very cool as far as seating goes. At first I had gone through such a long day that I wasn't even wanting to go but in the end I was glad I did. The Cardinals lost but it was still cool. I will be going to the game again on friday night. It is the Braves and my Mother-In-Law is a freak for the Braves so a bunch of my wife's family is coming down and we are all going together. Our tickets for that game are pretty much nose bleed but that is cool. Tonight was my third game of the season. That is more than I usually get to go. That is fine with me since with every trip I get to say goodbye to the ballpark I grew up going to. It is a bit sad but at least I am going a lot more than usual.>So today wasn't all bad in the end. I am not looking forward to a week of this training but God gave me a nice gift by sending me out to the old ballgame tonight.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
The Fuge Experience
Jasper Speaks:We had a great time at M-Fuge in Nashville. there was a lot of bonding and an alot of cool God stuff. We had kids washing homeless people's feet, kids befriending the mentally handicapped and one girl leading an 80 year old man to christ after telling him Jesus loves him for the first time in his life! I stayed up way too late and am running on empty even now. It was great to bond with the kids. PEINER! I live for this stuff and am really going to miss it soon. I know God has a plan. I am just waiting to see what that is! In the meantime, this was a very cool week. So often the worship in song really moves me. This week's song pick was called, "My Savior, My God" and it goes like this:
I am not skilled to understand
what God has willed; what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands One Who is my Savior
I take Him at His word and deed.
"Christ died to save me": this I read
and in my heart I find a need
of Him to be my Savior
that He would leave His place on high
and come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God: He is
My God is always gonna be
Yes, living, dying: let me bring
My strength; my solace from this spring:
That He Who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior
My Savior loves, my Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God: He was, my God: He is
My God is always gonna be
This song really spoke to my heart all week. It just says so much. I pray that I will recall it's words during the hard times still to come.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
The Geek Quiz Speaks:
|The Poser Geek|
You answered 42% of the questions as a geek truly would.
|As a poser geek, you're trying too darn hard. There's a strong possibility that you think you're a geek because you own your own computer, however you're truly missing the bigger picture. You aspirations of being a geek mainly come from your friends, who are probably slightly cooler.|
Get rid of those thick black-rimmed glasses. Being a geek isn't about style, it's about substance!
So what's this all mean? It means you're probably a pretty cool person. You've probably got social graces and are well liked by many people. While not a complete conformist, you do prefer to follow along with popular culture. True geeks probably laugh at you behind your back.
In a nutshell, you answered most question how you thought a geek WOULD answer, but your misconceptions deceived you. Truth is, 60% of people are geekier than you.
|Link: The True Geek Test written by ambientred on okcupid|
So I am okay with being a Poser. I mean people think I am smart when I am just CRAFTY!
Sunday, July 17, 2005
So I had a good time at the Cardinals game yesterday. We won which is always nice. Actually Walker hit a three run homer that put us on top. Always nice. The Red Sox lost (to the Yankees no less) which made it even better.
I got to see my niece and nephew and everytime I am with them I feel bad I don't see them more. I had an especially nice time with Elizabeth because she sat right behind me.
It was Christian Family Day but we only stayed for a very little part of those festivities. I wonder how much outreach really gets done on those days. Still I appreciate it and I find it a blessing to be back where athletes are encouraged to share their faith.
Got a phone call from one of my favorite kids from Maine tonight. I actually had a call from another fave during the ball game yesterday. I love those kids and it makes me sad to be away from them. I try not to think about not being a YP anymore. It gets me blue. I know God has something great out there for me. I am just waiting to see what that is.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
The Letters Speak:
A ~ Age you got your first kiss - Umm ... I was quite the Cassanova so probably like three with my girlfriend Johnetta.
B ~ Band listening to right now - Paul Colman
C ~ Crush - Kendra, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock and newly acquired, Jennifer Garner
D ~ Dad's name - Allie Thomas
E ~ Easiest person to talk to - Kendra
F ~ Favorite TV shows - Amazing Race, American Idol, Law and Order: SVU (Tuesdays are the night you better NOT call me!)
G ~ Gummy worms or bears - WORMS all the way!
H ~ Happiest memory - My wedding day
I ~ Instrument - Sort of the piano. That is it. Though I did play a mean recorder in elementary school
J ~ Jr. High Crush - Carrie Thorburn! What was I thinking?
K ~ Kind of Candy Bar that is Your Favorite? - Hershey's with Almonds, Kit Kat, Snickers and Take 5
L ~ Longest car ride ever - As a child any trip to Arizona. As an adult the evil trip back to Missouri from Maine when our van died in the middle of Pennsylvania. I hate Pennsylvania!
M ~ Mom's name - Donna Louise
N ~ Nicknames - Jasper, Bernie, Youthministerman
O ~ One animal you like - Dogs
P ~ Phobias - Heights! I can't even change a light bulb!
Q ~ Quirks - If my fingernails get dirty I have to take a shower and I get on the highway and merge to at least the center lane immediately !
R ~ Reason to smile - Kendra and Jesus!
S ~ Song you sang last - I've Just Seen Jesus (Dad was watching a Gaither infomercial this morning)
T ~ Time you woke up today - 9:00am (it IS Saturday afterall)
U ~ Unknown fact about me - I am really a Superhero --D'oh!
V ~ Vegetable you hate - Eggplant and collard greens
W ~ Worst habits - Biting my fingernails; eating too much
X ~ X-rays you've had - Only my teeth
Y ~ Yummy food - Fried Chicken, Chinese, Cold Stone Ice Cream, Crown Candy Hot Fudge Newports
Z ~ Zodiac sign - Libra
Another great quiz stolen from my friend, Tina's blog!
So I am gearing up for the next few weeks. It is going to be wicked busy. This time next Saturday, I will be on my way to M-Fuge. We will be there a week ministering in Nashville. Then I come back and jump right into new teacher training. I am a little excited. It is nice to have a purpose and a plan again.
We bought our tickets for our trip to Maine. Kendra will leave on the 13th and I will leave on the 17th. I really wish we could go together but that isn't possible. I am a little bummed tha Kendra is going to miss my first days of school as well. We are very much looking forward to going to the wedding. We love George and Jess very much and are honored to play a part in their marriage. I just wish I could stay longer. Unfortunately I can't. God has a plan in that as well.
So I am starting to be ordinary. I will be a teacher. Just another professional guy in the pews. Today I am a little bummed out about that.
We are off in a little while to Christian Family Day at Bush Stadium. It should be a decent time. We were not planning on going but my brother called this morning with extra tickets. It is the last season for the Cards in Busch stadium so I will go for sure. It will be my second game this year and I have tickets to a third game August 5th. That is a lot of baseball fo rme for in a summer!
I grew up watching the Cardinals and will go to my grave loving them. Some of my most vivid childhood memories are of sitting with my dad in the bleachers at Busch or falling asleep in our unair conditioned house watching the game on a lazy Saturday afternoon. We would always turn down the sound on the tv and turn up the radio for commentary. There was never a better baseball announcer than Jack Buck and my Daddy swore by his play-by-play.
So maybe I will relive a little of the magic today at Busch we will see. It is just an ordinary day. The first of many I am sure.
Monday, July 11, 2005
If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played; this brings out a new meaning of it.
Here is something Every American should know. Until I read this, I didn't know, but I checked it out and it's true:
We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "Taps". It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.
But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.
Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.
During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.
When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.
The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.
The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.
The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.
But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.
The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.
This wish was granted.
The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" ... used at military funerals was born.
The words are :
Day is done..
Gone the sun.
From the lakes.
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
God is nigh.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise.
For our days.
Neath the sun.
Neath the stars.
Neath the sky.
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh.
Remember our men and women fighting for freedom.
Friday, July 08, 2005
So Kendra and I went to see the Fantastic Four tonight. I didn't know what to expect. I had watched the cartoon a lot as a kid. Being a large guy I always identified with The Thing. I read a scathingly bad review today and didn't know if it was even going to be worth my time.WOW-WEE! I loved it! It was a great movie. It was the perfect summertime flick. It was full of action and comedy. Not being a comic book freak I can't speak to how well they stayed on track with the comic but I really loved the story and the execution of the film.It is very clean and has some good things to say about friendship, acceptance, and greed. I would definitely recommend the film. I thought that the performances were good. It was the type of film that did not require a HUGE amount of talent but the five leads (including Julian McMahon as a convincing Dr. Doom) were all adequate. I would say the stand outs were Michael Chiklis' Ben Grimm and Chris Evans' Johnny Storm. The two play well off of each other and their characters respectively bring the heart and the humor to the plot.
So I say go out. Get some popcorn and sit back for a fun day at the movies. This one is totally on my must have list!
Not So Impressive
This has been a summer of movie going for me. It has been a mixed bag. I was pleasantly surprised at Batman Begins and not close to overwhelmed with Bewitched last week. This week brought two more films and two more completely different responses.
The first was an afternoon flick with my college buddy Travis. We haven't seen much of each other in years but he goes to my home church and we had dinner and fun with his family last night. We decided since he had the day off we should go to a movie together. We decided that Kendra and his wife Kathy wouldn't mind if we saw War of the Worlds without them. The movie had sparked my interest and so we decided that this would be the one to see together today.
This was the Bewitched of this weekend for me. I was surprised at the intensity. There were good moments but overall I came out thinking it was pretty much a slasher/horror film with aliens as the slashers. Tom Cruise might deserve the Golden Raspberry for his performance. He had this one look of terror throughout the entire movie. While they are at it they might as well ship one over to Miss Dakota "I just scream throughout the whole movie " Fanning. She is afterall, the current most over exposed child star in the free world.
I think there were some great special effects and I must admit I was even creeped out a little by it. The way the aliens cremated the people alive was especially disturbing. However, much like Bewitched, the end of this film negated anything redeemable that came before. The absolutely laughable happy ending was cheap and ridiculous. Whereas I probably like the movie over all (I could have done with less foul language and blood) the ending spoiled the whole experience for me.
Still, in the end, I got to be with an old friend. It was a good time together as we start to restart our friendship. I just pray that future movies will be more worthy of our time.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Those Who Can't ...
Well it is official. I signed my contract today to be a teacher. I don't really know how I feel about all of it. I am excited I suppose. At least now I am a little more certain about the future. Is it bad I am already looking forward to Christmas break (Which is two weeks long by the way!)?
It is the end of one thing and the beginning of another. I am thankful that God is meeting our financial needs. Soon we will be out of the basement and I will be so GLAD to finally have a home again. We will see when and if God opens a full-time ministry door for us again. For now I am happy to know I am a teacher. I start August 1st. PLEASE PRAY as I am really intimidated.
I have to start thinking like a teacher now. I am okay with that. I even visited my first teacher store in ten years today. Life will be great I am sure.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
A Simple Reminder
I got this letter sent to me from my friend Lori whose husband Craig is serving as a chaplain in Iraq. It touched me. The man the letter is about is a friend of their's from their base who was recently wounded and sent to Walter Reed in DC to "heal". I think this letter has a great perspective as we sit in our homes and men and women are giving their all for freedom!
A Friend Speaks:
I have been debating whether or not to forward this letter on to you. Thank you for all of your prayers for our friend Chuck and his family. Please keep them up. We love you all!
A friend of Chuck's wrote this letter and put it on Chuck's website...A message from our good friend Joe Our friend Joe asked me to post this on Chuck's blog. Please take a few moments to read what he has to say. He is one of our best friends from college and we love him dearly! He has some profound words...
Today was an interesting day. Today I did something I had hoped that I would never have to do. Visit a Friend in the hospital. My name is Joe Eveges. I went to college with Chuck and through ROTC at Indiana Univ. of PA. As you can imagine, I have some dirt on him and he probably has more on me, but just barely.Today another old friend and I made the trip down to Walter Reed to visit and cheer him up. As far as an update on his condition, he's doing as well as can be expected. He is battered but far from broke. His spirit is up and true to form, he was making smart ass remarks and cracking jokes. The morphine seems to have increased his drooling though, but he's always done that after a beer or two, so I hardly noticed.
The reason I asked Carren to post this though, is not so that I can make jokes or give an update on his condition. Today I got a slap in the face. Today I saw my friend in a hospital bed in pain. Today as we drove around Walter Reed I saw men on crutches, mending wounds. Today I saw men who were missing an arm or a leg or both. Today I saw a portion of what it costs others, so that I and people like me, can sit in my comfy chair and bi*** about the price of gas --- so that I don't have to worry about explosions in my back yard or if the car behind me is full of C4.
Today I saw that they are doing their part and more. WE NEED TO DO OURS! We owe our soldiers our support so that they can win the victory. There is nothing that I can do or say that can thank my friend and all our soldiers for what they have done for us. Unless you have been there, and I have not, we have no inclination of what these soldiers have given in sacrifice, terror and blood. But what can I do?
I challenge everyone who reads this, DO SOMETHING!! Send the care packages, do the "any solider" program, adopt a unit, just do something. Fly the colors, welcome soldiers home, voice your support, give your time, anything. This weekend is Independence Day and for most of us reading this blog, it means a cookout, fireworks and maybe a parade. Shake that veteran's hand that is walking in the parade, buy him a cup of coffee, JUST SAY THANKS!
Shame on everyone of us who just walks by that guy in uniform in the airport without saying something to him or says "I'm to busy to get a package together". BULL! They are doing their duty, you do yours! Today I saw the effects of war and the toll for our freedom.Tomorrow I will start to do what I can to repay those who purchased my security.Will you?
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
A New Phase
So, it seems God is opening a new door for us. I received a call today from Riverview Gardens School District offering me a high school teaching position. I had previously accepted a teaching job with a tiny Christian School. That school and its salary could not provide for us unless I had a second job as well. I never signed a contract with the Christian school but I am going on Thursday to sign one with the public school.
I will be calling the Christian school and telling them that I can not work there. However, I have a dear friend (shout out to Michele Sweet) who just resigned her public teaching position and now wants to teach in a small private school. I will be suggesting they call her (or she call them) as a replacement for me. I am sure it will be a tad bit ugly in the transition but I hope they will understand that the public school will start me at double what they were going to pay. I also am concerned for them and don't want to leave them high and dry. In the end they will be getting so much more out of Michele. She is much more experienced and I know she will help take them to the next level as they would like.
I have some serious frets about all of this. It will be my first time in a classroom as the teacher. It will be my first time in the classroom other than some minor subbing jobs since my student teaching. The school district is one full of "At Risk" students. They have metal detectors. It could be an interesting year safety wise. I have a burden for kids from this type of background I just have never been outside of a church setting working with them. I suppose we will see how well it goes.
I find myself wondering what the future will hold. Is this a new path that will lead me away from Youth Ministry forever? In my heart I am still a Youth Pastor. Still, I have to work as a teacher for now. I still would love to be back in full-time m ministry permanently but that doesn't seem to be God's plan for now. Perhaps there will be a part time job out there for me. I don't know. I am trusting in His plan. Please pray that all will go with very little hindrances.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Just thought I would share that last night at VBS I led a kid to Christ! I was able to share God's love and the gospel message with him. He really seemed to understand. He was a very intellegent child. If I wasn't here for any other reason, I was here for this! It doesn't get any better than that. God is so good!
God's Word Speaks:
I remember the days long ago. I think about all You have done. I think about the work of Your hands. I put out my hands to You. My soul is thirsty for You like a dry land.
This passage of Scripture was part of my quiet time this morning. It stopped me and made me ponder some things. I spent my ride to work and my morning in the office considering what God is saying here. I started to remember the past.
I think about how I was born a preacher's kid in the inner city. We didn't have money. I don't mean that we didn't get the video game we wanted, I mean we struggled financially. I still get anxious sometimes in grocery check out lines because I remember the time my mother gave the clerk a twenty dollar bill and she gave her change for a ten and we had to wait while the clerk had her drawer counted because we NEEDED the money. (My mom was right by the way). I think of the times we had to put food back while standing in that same grocery line because we didn't have the money to get it. I remember being embarrassed that we lived paycheck to paycheck and depended on Government Cheese and food stamps. We really missed out on the luxuries of life because we couldn't really afford the necessities. We didn't even have a color TV until 1987.
Still, in all of those struggles in growing up, God provided. We were able to have a roof above our heads. We had food on the table and clothes to wear (even if the food wasn't gourmet and those shoes came from the clearance rack at K-Mart --- You should ask Kendra sometime about how I cried when I bought my first pair of Nike Tennis Shoes at age 35). We couldn't keep up with the Joneses that is for sure. In fact I don't think we even KNEW the Joneses. Yet, God met our needs. I learned so much about depending on Him from my Mom and Dad. They had grown up during the depression and both had been people of poverty even then. They worked hard as sharecroppers on farms where they picked cotton from morning to night. My mother even had to drop out of school in the eighth grade because her parents couldn't afford shoes for her at all. In our poverty we learned that God always keeps His promises to us. He takes care of us. So many times when we didn't know where the next meal would come from, God sent someone to us with a box of food.
The sad part of all this is that as I have grown older I have somewhat forgotten the lessons of my youth. I find myself fretting over the plan God has for me. I get concerned about how the ends will meet. I get anxious and forget that God has never failed me. That is sin. When we don't depend on God and trust in His plan to take care of us, we are letting the enemy win. We are listening to his voice of lies that distracts us of from the Voice of Truth.
I also look at how God's plan has thus played out in my life. At 28 he brought a wonderful woman into my life and rescued me from a life without love. Every day I stand in awe at how Kendra is a living testimony to God's grace. She is more than I ever could have deserved and still God chose to bless me with her
He called me and has used me as a minister time and time again. I sometimes take this calling for granted. The last six months however, have given me a new sense of purpose in this area of my life. It is an honor and privilege to ever be in full-time ministry. My passion is to minister to young people. I am absolutely certain that I can not be fulfilled in any other vocation. God has made the love of students and their care my true purpose in life. As I look on my past and the faithful ways God has provided in this area I am humbled.
I echo the Psalmist. As I look back on the wonderful things God has done through the years of my life, I become thirsty for more. I want more of Christ in my life. I am dry and weak without Him. I long for communication and guidance. I love Him. I need Him. I see the way that He is faithful and I desperately want to be faithful as well. I look at His love and I want to love Him more. His faithfulness challenges me to be more faithful. As more days of uncertainty come my way, I pray that I continue to look back as I look ahead.
Monday, June 27, 2005
The Quizes Speak:
My pirate name is:
Dirty James Kidd
You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.
Green is your Lightsaber's color.
Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth,
harmony, and freshness. Green has strong
emotional correspondence with safety. Green is
also commonly associated with wealth and
happiness, so someone with a green lightsaber
like yourself is a fortunate soul.
Interesting quizes I suppose. I didn't list the lightsaber link becuase for some odd reason there was some inappropriate language in the quiz. I don't know why but there was.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Below are the questions and answers from my pal Gerard Fess. He used to send these out every week but took a bit of a break. So in honor of the return my answers are posted here!
1. What is one theme you are using this summer (Be it VBS, Camp or other)?
Extreme Makeover --- Heart Edition (Fruit of the Spirit) I admit we stole the basic theme idea from Doug Feilds butwe are doing it all on our own from there.
2. If you could ask God, one question; What would it be?
How does free will and predesitnation really work?
3. What is one the hardest things you have had to do?
Leaving Maine without another ministry position
4. What is in your CD player?
Paul Colman Let It Go ( I HIGHLY reccomend this it came in the last Interlinc box and I LOVE it)
5. What was the last TV show you watched?
St. Louis Cardinals Baseball --- They rock and I am so glad to be HOME!!!
6. What are some websites you would recommend?
7. Any upcoming projects?
Yes. Mission Trip and I will be the "real Youth Pastor"while the guy I am working with is in Guatemala and Georgia in a few weeks.
A. Prayer Requests:
A job with real money in the fall (preferably still in ministry)
Several people in my home church have cancer right now. Most of them are in their 20's and 30's with small children. That just sucks. Please pray for their health.
My time as the "real Youth pastor".
My ministry job for the summer. God's grace is AMAZING
Did I mention that God's grace is Amazing?
You can answer these and send me your answers if you like. I would love to hear yours!
Friday, June 24, 2005
Another Quiz Speaks:
|You scored as Fundamentalist. You are a fundamentalist. You take the Bible as the foundation of your faith and read it very literally, and it shapes your worldview. Non-fundamentalist Christians have watered-down the Gospel in your view, and academic study of the Bible stops us from 'taking God at his word.' Science is opposed to faith, as it contradicts basic biblical truths.|
What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com
Okay, so I would agree with some of this assesment although I would say that academic study of the Bible is a great way to find Biblical Truth. I don't think it sways us away from it'smessage at all. Science confirms God it does not contradict Him. I also believe that there are far more Fundamental people than I out there. But I am proud to be one who belives in the Word of God and holds to those Truths.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
A Good Day
So, yesterday was a really, really good day. I got editing done for Youth Group and thought this WUS episode was very good. Then I finalized my message on the first on the list of Fruit of the Spirit --- Love. The afternoon brought our group playing The Blue Gnu at the mall. This is kind of a Hide and Seek game in that there is someone planted wearing blue and the kids have to go up to anyone wearing blue and ask them if they are The Blue Gnu. They can't tell the people why until after they have answered the question. My sister, Darla, was The Blue Gnu and we all had a great time playing.
Then we went back for The Edge. Our usual worship leader was off and so some of the girls led and did a great job. During that time we sang How Deep The Father's Love For Us and I just found myself completely overwhelmed by the power of the lyrics and the sense of awe as I stood contemplating that Jesus bore my sins for me out of His great love. It was just the heart preparation I needed for speaking.
The message went very well. I think it was much better than last time. I just felt the presence of God so much and could sense Him giving me the words to speak. I know that is how it is supposed to work but last night it seemed it worked better than it has in a long time. I was convicted by my own words and could sense ways God was dealing with me.
The hard part is this just all gives so much more desperation to be back into full-time ministry. I don't want to be anything other than a Youth Pastor. This is who God made me to be. I am desperate to be able to go back in with full force. I will never take it for granted again. Godspeed is perfect and I am witning on His timing. I think yesterday came as a sign of hope that God will open that door again to me.
Mostly, I am just in awe of the fact that God loved me enough to die for me while I was still a sinner. He loves me enough now to discipline and guide me. His love is deep. I am so undeserving and He is so wonderful. I am glad I was reminded of that fact again.
Friday, June 10, 2005
I have just a couple of minutes while Jeff (my "boss") is at a lunch meeting. I have done all the stuff I was supposed to for the day so far so I am taking a bit of a lunch break. I am enjoying being back in the ministry thing for now. It has been a strange crossover because I want to do all I can and Jeff has been great. He has really given me room to jump in. I have done a lot. In fact this is the first time in the office in the past week I have really been able to slack. I am excited about what God is going to do this summer. I am also looking towards the fall and all God will do then.
I interviewed at a Christian School yesterday to teach High School English. I think it would be great but the pay would require me to work a second job. Ideally this would be a part time Youth Pastor job. More ideally would be a Full-Time Youth Pastor job. We will see. It is hard trusting in the plan but on my desk I have a reminder in a 5X7 frame that says; "Jasper, Trust me. I have everything under control. Jesus". And I know that is true. Now comes the fun of living it out!
So everything is swell at the moment. God has been so good and I have grown so much so far through this period. I am praying to grow more as I wait for Him.
The Quiz Speaks:
3 nicknames I go by:
1. Jasper (I can't reveal my secret identity)
2. Bernie (Forever DeVeccio)
3. J-man (only a select few can get away with this one)
3 physical things I like about myself:
1. My goatee and I am so happy to have it back
2. My perfectly straight top teeth that God gave me.
3. My manly hairy chest
3 physical things I dislike about myself:
1. I am one big ole boy.
2. I miss my hair. :(
3. I hate my pig like nose!
3 things I am wearing right now:
1. My glasses
2. Headphones plugged into the Youth Group Laptop because this office is so FLIPPIN' quiet
3. A plaid shirt I like but it fits weird
3 favorite bands / musical artists:
1. Chris Tomlin
2. Rich Mullins
3. The Carpenters (Their music gets me all gooshy remembering when Kendra and I were dating)
3 things I want in a relationship:
1. Listening Ears
3. Unconditional love
3 physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to me:
1. Good hair
2. Great Eyes
3. Good Teeth (All of which Kendra excells in)
3 of my favorite hobbies:
2. Computer Stuff
3. Sad to say, but scrapbooking
3 of my everyday essentials:
1. Kendra's laugh
3. Toothbrushing and flossing
3 careers you have considered or are considering:
1. Actor - Still probably wouldn't turn it down if you are willing to pay
2. Artist then I realized I SUCK at art
3. Anything that isn't Enterprise-Rent-A-Car!
3 places you want to go on vacation: (The answer to this one used to always be Missouri)
1. Maine (To eat Lobstah and see my friends)
2. South Carolina to see Chris and Steph
3. Anywhere if Kendra is my travelling mate
3 kids' names you like:
1. Mephibosheth Melchizedek
2. Jackson Allie
3. Benjamin David
1. Kallie Kay
2. Grace Ruth
3. Antigone Ann
3 things you want to do before you die:
1. Be a Dad
2. Write and publish the great Christian Novel
3. Write an Ocar winning screenplay
3 ways I am stereotypically a boy:
1. I don't share my emotions
2. I LOVE Star Wars
3. I leave my socks on the floor
3 ways I am stereotypically a girl:
1. I kinda dig chick flicks and scrapbooking
2. It is pretty easy to get me to cry early in the morning
3. I have absolutely no sense of direction
3 celeb crushes:
1. Julia Roberts (since I was like 17 --- I am a sucker for great hair and teeth)
2. Jennifer Lopez (Yeah I know --- Don't even say it)
3. Sandra Bullock (Because in the end it is all really about a brunette girl next door)
So I completely lifted this from my friend Tina's blog. It was a lot of fun.
Friday, June 03, 2005
So here I am back in church work. It is odd because I have to wait to be told what to do. I find that I finish projects pretty quickly. Jeff, the YP whom I am assisting this summer, had a wedding in Indiana tomorrow and left at about 1PM. I did the things he asked me to and now am ready for the next task at hand. I have to teach freshman boys Sunday School this week. I have never met the boys. Should be interesting. I am not getting into what I am supposed to teach. I think I need to be inspired. I am also teaching on Wednesday night this week. I am a bit intimidated and scared.
I am looking forward to the mission trip to Nashville. I thought I would be out of luck about going on one for the first time in nine years. God is good. Kendra and I have dinner tonight with a friend of her's from college. We haven't seen him in a very long time so it should be interesting.
Mostly I am just very pleased not to be at Enterprise right now. Here the salary is less but the rewards are very much better. I look forward to the real ministry beginning soon!
Thursday, May 26, 2005
"God answers prayer in the best way; not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow."
Man has God been teaching me this lesson lately! Waiting on God can be frustrating and rewarding. I recommend it!
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
When we were doing our study of John 10:10 last year in Hollis, God really spoke to me a lot about how much Satan wants us to fail. This has been a VERY good couple of days. So Satan can't stand to see me smiling at people again or whistling worship songs throughout the day. He wants to STEAL my joy.
So tonight he tried to steal it by putting our sole means of transportation out of order. Our car has something wrong with the ignition. Satan pulled this one on us and sat back with a grin to see me explode. He has watched in glee for the past few months as that has happened more than I would have like. But not today.
You see one of the biggest lessons I have been learning is that God doesn't need my opinion. Now I know that induces the, "duh!" heard 'round the world. Still I have always known that but lately I have been trying to live it. Godspeed is never too fast or too slow. He moves in His ways in His time. He still has a plan even if I don't like the plan.
So our car is in the shop. We had a friend pick us up and take us home. My dad will take us to work tomorrow and the car we were going to rent for the weekend we will try to get a day early. In the end, I may get frustrated but I know God has bigger plans than I can ever imagine.
I'm not gonna' let Satan steal my joy!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
God has been doing great things in our lives. We are growing so much. I feel as though spritually I have grown in HUGE ways over the last six weeks. God has provided for us in wonderful ways but I have just enjoyed growing and healing through the ministry of our church. This is the first time in my life that I have just been a "regular" Church member. I went directly from being a PK to a Youth Pastor. It has been refreshing to sit under awesome worship and Bible teaching. God has been very good to us. My quiet time is consistent and God has been revealing Himself to us in great ways.
A HUGE praise is that Kendra is enjoying her job at the Sheraton. She will have her three month review in a few days. They love her there and I know it will go very well. She has struggled for the majority of our married life with not really liking her jobs. But she has found a niche in the Hotel industry and I know she is thinking that she has finally found that elusive career. It is a joy for me to see her happy in her employment.
The latest opportunity for me came today. Some of you know my friend, Jeff Wells. He is the Minister of Youth and Evangelism at Parkway Baptist Church here in St. Louis. He approached me a few weeks ago about the possibility of my leaving Enterprise and working in a 12 week internship program at his church this summer. We prayed about it a lot and trusted God for the details. Tonight Jeff called and asked if I could start that program next Tuesday. I accepted the offer. Kendra and I had already planned that after our trip to Maine in August, I would leave Enterprise. I will probably pursue subbing until I can get my teaching certificate reinstated then teach unless God provides a minsitry opprotunity. So, taking these twelve weeks to work with Jeff just provided a wonderful opportunity for me to be back in ministry for awhile rather than punching the clock in corporate America.
I would ask for your prayers as we start headlong in this opportunity. God is good and we are excited at how this came about. Please also pray that He would begin to reveal His provision for the fall to us as well. We are excited and trusting in His plan and know an incredible opportunity is out there waiting for us and that God is always before us in the plan!