Sunday, March 7, 2010

Its been awhile

Its times in life that you can sit here try to do the right things, struggle through the wrong things but always seem to get know where in life. Things come at you faster then you can handle, the directions of life start changing faster then the seconds on a clock. Which way is up? Which way is down? What is the right way? Through all of our lives we seek God when things turn bad, when times are tough. We feel closer to Him when we hurt, is it the grace He shows us when no one else can? Is it the forgiveness He gave us through His son? All the above and then some. All I know is we need Him then, now, everyday we have a breath in our body, through the tough times and the happiest times, we need Him.

I haven’t written in awhile and through the absence of written I see that I really have missed it. Its amazing to see good or bad how comforting the words that God places on my heart. I’m a huge music fan and as I study and write at times I listen to music. Some lyrics are funny, some motivating, and a lot are heart moving. I have taken some lyrics and mixed them with my thoughts to something I’ve titled: My life. I hope to continue writing on here and let it not be another year until I write something.

My Life

I've been there a thousand times, I've felt the rain hitting my face like a thousand knives.
It hurts and it's hard, I don’t want to leave it, bury it and forget. I’ve already wasted so much time, can’t wait another moment, am I all out of chances for you to believe it’s on my mind, I’ve gotta let go of my pride and apologize, Lord its my cry to you.

I hear: Don't be afraid, You'll make it through, Just call out to me and I'll come running to you!

I beg to you Lord! I thought it would never let go, never thought I could know what it’s like to wake up, holding what I gave up. After all this time still trying to find what it is to forgive even when it isn’t that easy so please believe me. Lord if I caused you pain, I will take the blame, you can put it on me if I broke your heart, if I left a scar let me say I’m sorry, please forgive me.

Gods answer: I'll give you hope, I'll give you faith! If it's dark, I'll light the way for you, I’ll be by your side, until the very end. Until that day you stand tall next to my side, I’m here and always have been. If the tide, sweeps you out to sea, when your strength is gone, and it's hard to believe! You have to hold on, to what gets you through when the current pulls you under, and your heart is racing. Until the storm is over, I’ll be fighting with you, for you, just give me hand. Reach up, give me your hands and see the light. Do you hear that still, small voice saying, it’s okay you’re not alone. You may be scared to death but I won’t let you go. You may think the sky above is falling, but can you hear me calling because the darker the night, the brighter I will shine.

God thank you for the light you have shown me, the darkness you have helped me get through. The mountains you have helped me climb and the sun rises you have shown me. God thank you for providing me the people, the family I need to make it through life. God thank you for My Life.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Interview

Taylor Frye's interview with Chad Foster
(This was written by a former student from the Cypress Student Ministry. She is attending Baylor and wanted to do this for one of her classes. Hope you enjoy it.)

We have all heard the famous Great Commission that tells us to, “Go and make disciples of every nation, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded, and I will be with you, even to the end of the age.” Well that is exactly what I would like to do with my life. I recently sat down with my youth pastor back home and this is what he told me to expect, “You need to be prepared for what God is going to do for in life and once you step into ministry don’t be close minded to how God wants to use you. Be open minded in all aspects when it comes to church. Ministry is always changing and if it’s not changing something is wrong. If we stay stagnant as a church then new believers won’t want to come because it’s a boring environment.”

It was so inspiring to see how much my youth pastor, Chad, loved and cared for these kids. Not only is it evident from five minutes of talking to him, but it is evident in his goals for this group of kids. He made me refocus and remember that ministry work is about the people you reach not the sermon you preach. As a college student it is really easy to focus on yourself and lose track of why you want to be in the ministry. No matter what question I asked him every answer revolved around the students. One of the most inspiring things he told me was that his favorite memory is baptizing his first student last year at our high school retreat. I remember his reaction that night as he baptized my friend John as tears streamed down both of their faces in pure joy and the realization that in the end everything we do is to glorify Him.

His goals for students were just as inspiring, and since I was looking into ministry, I realized that these should be goals for anyone’s ministry. His goal for the students when it comes to Bible study is simply that “God is not so big that you can’t talk to him…he’s big but he’s not so big that you have to stand in line and wait or that you’re not important to him.” I think that that it is key to showing people who do not know God that he is always there for you no matter what have done. Chad’s goal for the graduating seniors is important for any group of believers. It was that all of the seniors leave having a foundation for their faith and that they know how to develop and grow in their faith. Second Baptist Church does this through an event called Youth Sunday. This is one Sunday per year that the youth group takes over every aspect in the church. The students do everything from setting up tables to planning the music to being the ushers to preaching in the service. The church does this event is because “It empowers students to know God and make Him known…it requires spiritual growth. It gives them a purpose in the church.” As a participant in Youth Sunday, I can say that this event is one hundred percent effective. Had it not been for this event, I would probably be a Business major right now wondering what God had planned for my life.
Three years ago this youth group started with eight kids including myself and now there are close to two hundred kids that show up on a Wednesday night. I am truly in awe every time I come home for a visit and see thirty to forty kids that I have never seen before. This amazing growth can only be a miracle of God. Chad explained that this growth was partially because within this youth group there is a true sense of community. This is felt through the friendships that are created. I met my best friends from high school through this group. He goes onto say that if the kids come and love being around each other then they are going to want to come back.

Being the new youth group they may not always get the budget that they want or need, but that does not discourage Chad from continuing to do what God has planned for this youth group. He told me, “We don’t have a lot…its purely based on our relationship with God…there is no outside influence…it’s just us and God. Our job is to make God known whether its two kids, fifteen kids, or two thousand kids my job is just to share the gospel.” That speaks volumes. So often ministry work can get consumed in the wow factor, but here they do not have a choice. However, instead of focusing on what they do not have they choose to focus on what matters, the students’ relationships with God.

This whole meeting with Chad was inspiring. His love for God and serving Him reminded me of why I want to go into ministry. I am so excited to spend my summer serving God, and I hope that my outlook on ministry will be half of his when my internship ends.

Friday, March 13, 2009

God on Speed Dial

“Dude, pull over. I gotta call God real quick.
“Hi. You’ve reached God. Please listen to all the options before making your selection. If you would like to offer a prayer for someone else, press 1. If you’d like to file a complaint about a prayer not being answered, press 2. If you’d like to ask for a favor, please go home and reflect on how you are a selfish human being. If you would like to pray for world peace, we will now transfer you to the queue to hold. You are caller No. 43,746,298. Thank you for your patience.”

If you were going to leave a message for God, what would you say?
Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything,but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I was reading an article this week that a friend sent me and it talked about this topic. There is an artist in Europe that did this phone booth thing. God can become part of your "Fave Five," thanks to artist Dylan Mortimer, who has set up prayer booths to explore “how private faith functions in the public sphere.” These prayer booths look like tricked-out phone booths, minus the phones and with the addition of a kneeling pad.
In a way this cracks me to think about prayer stations in public. Like people would actually walk along and say" Hmmm you know what? I need to pray" stop doing what they are doing get on their knees in public and pray??? But why dont we? I mean we have no problem stopping what we are doing to txt or make a call to a friend. Why is it so hard for us to stop and pray. People might look at you funny, right? Its ok people probably look at you funny when you are txting or calling. The greatest thing about pray is it helps the person praying but you might have a direct impact on someone who needs to have God on Speed Dial. So a challenge to all who read. Lets put God on Speed Dial at work, school, everywhere you go for 7days and see how it impacts you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Deserted Island

Romans 8:38
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

I love the question if your were stranded on a deserted Island what would you bring or if you could have three things what would they be? I have heard so many answers depending on the genre of who you ask. Things from a book, tv, cell phone so you can tell them where you are, lap top, a boat(haha nice), a friend/family, and food/water. Oh and I have gotten a few people saying Gods word, the Bible.

Its funny to me that its usually the last thought and answer when I ask that question, the Bible. Why is that? Why is God's word an after thought? We are always on a spiritual deserted island at different parts of our lives. We feel alone, we feel unloved, we feel like we have to have things to make us happy when all we need is God's love. The passage above tells us no matter WHERE WE ARE, college, work, home, on a deserted island, NOTHING can separate us from God's love for us. We can turn our backs, we can try to ignore it, but God's love will conquer all!You want to know what is TRUE LOVE then know,understand,and except God's love. Trust me when you do that, then the "island" you are on wont feel so alone.You might even need to escape to that "island" often and bring nothing with you then Gods word and Gods love.

As I sit on my "island" I feel at peace with God and the love he continues to show me is unmeasurable. I hope your "island" is full of God's love and you continue to seek it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Grizzly Man

The Grizzly Man, also known as Timothy Treadwell, was an avid bear buff and preservationist. For thirteen summers, beginning in 1990, Treadwell lived in Alaska in what is known as the Grizzly Maze, an area noted for its thick growth and common presence of grizzlies. For thirteen summers, Treadwell ignored the recommendations and violations issued by the National Park Service and attempted to interact and commune with these grizzlies by naming them and familiarizing himself with both the adults and cubs he encountered. Thirteen years. Thirteen summers spent alone, with virtually no company of humans—simply a forged “relationship” with some of the most dangerous animals on earth.

Treadwell was, for the most part, a loner. What he could not find and develop in human relationships, he sought to find in animals. The overwhelming sense in his documentary movie, The Grizzly Man, was that these animals were his life. The sense of isolation he felt from society and culture seemed to serve as a force that literally pushed him into the wilds of Alaska to commune with one of the only species he felt accepted him. Then, in late summer, early fall, of 2003, towards the end of the grizzlies’ feeding season and approaching the start of their hibernation, Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed by a grizzly bear.

In the documentary, pieces of his self-recorded time in the wild are released, and viewers are granted insight in the lonely life of Timothy Treadwell. In fact, in his last summer in Alaska, he was ready to go home to California, when at the airport he had an upsetting encounter with someone. He was so upset, so frustrated with people, that he willingly left the airport and returned to the Maze. It was a dangerous time to return there, but he wanted to commune with some of the only animals he believed accepted him.

It’s a story that haunts me, but also baffles me. When I first heard of Treadwell, I thought the guy was crazy. Literally. I could not understand what would make a grown man honestly believe he could live successfully among grizzly bears. But when I watched the documentary, and learned more, I became more sympathetic than judgmental. Treadwell was less crazy than I thought, and more lonely than I could have imagined. He was an example, although extreme, of a man who was literally dying for acceptance, for community and for relationships. What people denied him; he incorrectly believed he found in bears.

The moral of the story? People are dying for friendships. People are desperate for companionship. People are starving for camaraderie. Without them, we will not make it—maybe not physically, like Timothy Treadwell, but certainly spiritually. We forget how much we need other people, until we hear a story about the Grizzly Man and we are convicted. Do we have people around us who need to be cared for? At school? At church? On our sports teams? We have no idea of the turmoil that is potentially going on inside the heads of those who appear weird, distant, isolated and different. Maybe, just maybe, they need a friend. And maybe, just maybe, you could be that friend. Friendships have the potential to be a lifeline for other people. You have the potential to be a lifeline for other people.

The chances are good that the next Grizzly Man is not wandering your school hallways. But the chances are also good that there are some very lonely people who are wandering your hallways, wanting and needing to feel like someone, anyone cares for them. Are you willing to extend love? Are you willing to offer acceptance?

Life is too hard. We need each other. We need to be in relationship with people.

Something to Think About:
• Have you ever felt lonely before? How did it feel?
• What are some of the things you did to help rid yourself of the feeling of loneliness?
• What can be hard about reaching out to people who may be different from us to make them feel more accepted?
• Think of the people around you who seem like they are probably lonely.
• What is a way that you can reach out to them this week and be a friend?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Good News is the best news

Praise be to the Father of compassion and the God at all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I love it when God just shows me how small I am and how BIG He is. The greatest thing in life besides the love from God is the love from family and friends. As I sit here on Sunday morning sipping my coffee and seeing the sun rise, I am greatful for so much. For the past several months its been hard being here in Houston and my family back home in Missouri, no before you starting thinking I am a little kid and home sick, its cause "I" cant take care of my family from here. This past Dec my mother was diagnoised with breast cancer. Talk about the ultimate gut check. I have been always the strong one (so I thought) when it comes to taking care of people and comforting them. It was something that came easy to me, to listen, help in anyway I can with peoples problems/issues. This one hit me blind sided and then did the ultimate upper cut! I COULDNT DO ANYTHING! Listening to my dad(my family rock) get upset, my brother sound stressed, and my mom just cry, I felt more helpless then I have ever felt. My mother would send me scriptures weekly, something that spoke to her or something that comforted her. I would pray, the church would pray but its one of those things that in the back of your mind is it enough? I mean I believe in God and the power of pray but when its my mother its like you want to make sure He hears you, that your prayer is the top of the list.

Well with several weeks of prayer, encouragement scriptiures, crying, and radiation my mother completed her radiation. As she is physically and emotionally exhausted she never once doubted God and his ability to hear her and others prayer.Its funny to me how my mother still at the age of 30, can still teach me things. I walked into my bathroom and this verse was sitting on my counter. Wow! God is good.

Thank you God for listening even though I didnt always.