Thursday, January 04, 2007

Will I?

Jasper Speaks:

So, last night in worship we sang the song Breathe. I blogged a little about it a few days ago. Although I really like the song, I find it hard to sing because I get convicted about what I am saying. To sing, "This is the air I breathe, your holy presence living in me and I am desperate for you and I am lost without you" just isn't always where my heart is. I want it to be there but if I am singing that and not living that, is my worship authentic? I struggled with it a bit last night. At first I just stopped and prayed as everyone else sang. Then I softly began to adjust the lyrics a bit and began singing, "Please be the air that I breathe" and "I want to be desperate for you" and "please make me lost without you." A bit corny maybe, but a lot more indicative of where I was last night spiritually. I want to be honest with God in my worship and I realize that sometimes that means not singing for singing's sake but taking the words to heart. I know that I am completely lost without God's love and guidance but the question that haunts my soul is "do I live like I am lost without Him"? I find myself all too often doing things by my own agenda. I find myself not trusting that God really has a plan. Sure the words are easy enough to say but do I mean them? Will I live them out?

Maybe I am being overly analytical with myself but I am convicted that I don't always add up to what I should before the Lord. I know that true joy comes from trusting. I want to grow so much in 2007. I want to take time and really get to know the Lord in a new way this year. I am praying about how to make that happen. I know that I am sick of being all talk and little action in this area. I want to be a God chaser. I want to stop dwelling on me and start focusing on Him. The enemy is desperate to steal my joy and kill my witness. The sad thing is, I think sometimes I let him. Yes, I want God's very Word to live in me but will I do what I must to make sure that happens?


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jasper Speaks:

2006 A Glance.

Age you turned: 37
Did you grow?: Actually I shrunk by about 130 pounds!
School/Work: Riverview Gardens High School
IM Screen name(s): RevJRains
Best birthday gift: Rams hoodie
Most important thing you learned: God doesn’t consult us on “the plan”
Did your physical appearance change?: Lost 130 pounds. Lost more hair.
Did you, personally change?: I think I may have gotten a bit meaner and I don’t like that
Best month(s): May – end of school and a nice vacation before a REALLY busy summer

Best friend(s): Kendra, Victor, Jeff, Michele
New friend(s): Jessi
Lose any friends?: Vickie?
Lose any family members?: God spared us this year
Any new family members?: Nope
Most influential person(s): Jesus! Jeff. My folks and Kendra

Have any crushes?: Kendra (and she says I have a “man crush” on Doug Fields)
How many relationships?: Too many to count! One romantic one
Longest relationship: 7 ½ years
Shortest relationship: 3 weeks with foster kids
Did you have your heart broken?: People fail us so yes
Status at the beginning of the year: Married
Status now: Still married
Have any regrets?: In relationships I could be a better husband
How many people did you kiss this year?: ONE
Who was the first person you kissed this year?: Kendra
Who was the last person you kissed?: Kendra

Did you party?: I think I am too old to party now
Did you throw any parties?: We love to host
Best winter event: Seeing Dreamgirls
Best spring event: Spring Break
Best summer event: Toronto and seeing Ben and Amber
Best autumn event: NYWC in Cincinnati and seeing Ben and Amber there!

Plans for the new year? See last post
Hopes for the new year? See last post
New Years Resolution: Don’t resolute. Plan.
Goals you want to accomplish: Goodbye next 100 pounds
Anything you're putting behind you?: The world behind me and the cross before
Age you will turn: 38 (YIKES!)
Any big changes taking place?: God knows this answer better than I!
Going anywhere?: South Dakota and Chicago

Monday, January 01, 2007

Seasons Of Love

Jasper Speaks:

So, how do we measure, measure a year? Let me try and list some highlights:
- I have lost about 130 pounds since this time last year - Kendra has lost about 80 pounds since this time last year - We paid off our van - We joined Parkway - We served all summer on staff at Parkway for the second summer (and loved it) - We had foster kids - We traveled to North Carolina, South Carolina, Chicago, Michigan, and Toronto - Kendra got a sizable promotion at work - I survived my first year teaching - We got involved A LOT in our church - We "fostered" Betsy (and Victor pretty much too) - We kept in contact with many students and friends from Maine - We visited North Central Missouri three times - We spent more time with our nieces and nephews (but still not as much as we would like!) - I went to Cincinnati for the NYWC with Jeff and learned a lot and had a great time being refreshed Some Things I pray will happen in 2007: - I will lose another 100+ pounds - I will get back into fulltime ministry - We will have a kid of our own - We will spend more time with our family - I will grow more in Christ than ever before - I will personally lead at least two people to Christ - I will have a great impact on students for Christ - I will travel to South Dakota with our family - I will read at least one ministry book a month this year - I will pray more fervently for the souls of my students at Riverview - I will pray everyday for students a Parkway by name - I will trust God with all my heart and surrender to His will We have been watching The Biggest Loser Season Three marathon all day today. It has inspired me to really get back into the game. It is very difficult but I want to keep up what I have started. I am glad they put it on as a a marathon because I didn't get to see any of it before because it was on Wednesday nights. You may remember that my friend Matthew McNutt from Maine lost 167 in eight months on the show! WOW! We saw Dreamgirls (A+) this week and it really totally lived up to the hype. I think it was the best movie I saw this year. I loved it and Jennifer Hudson was incredible! Also rented a bunch of movies for New Years Eve (yeah I am such a party animal). Victor, Kendra and I watched, Accepted (B-), The Seat Filler (D) and Cars (C-). Then Kendra and I watched She's The Man (C-) today. Not the best picks but it made some time pass. If you are a Parkway Student or leader you really DON'T want to miss any Wednesday in January. We have a GREAT series starting where we are going to be REALLY digging into John 10:10. We will spend four weeks looking at it. Yes I said FOUR WEEKS but when you see all the stuff we can learn from that one verse I think you will be amazed. I LOVE THIS SERIES. It is called Rescued From An Ordinary Life and seriously, you won't want to miss any of it. School starts back Wednesday. I have to put the van in the shop tomorrow. So the "not fun" parts of the break begin tomorrow. I am getting up and going to the gym early tomorrow. With me, I have learned, first thing in the morning is the best time for me. If I get out and do ANYTHING I end up not going at all. That is not acceptable. I did burn off 700 calories on the treadmill today. Of course I was caught up in The Biggest Loser at the time. Maybe the gym should only show episodes of that show. It was inspiring. Really. So, I hope your year was measured in love. I hope you can look back at your 525,600 minutes and say that you are proud of what your year accomplished. I pray that the NEw Year will be even greater for each of you!