God & Chocolate

I love chocolate.

This is no mystery if you know me. I have a major sweet tooth, and it is always set to Dark Chocolate. Hersey’s, Dove, that one Aldi’s brand that is way to good to be sold at Aldi for that price; what ever it is, if its chocolate, I want it.

I must admit, when I pack my lunch I sometimes find myself wondering how I can score some chocolate for a after lunch desert. We usually don’t buy any for the apartment, mostly because I’ll tear through it; so I’m lucky that there are many candy dishes at my coworkers cubes.

But sometimes, random coworker will just drop off chocolate at my desk. To be kind, to say thank you, to bribe me into looking into a issue they have. What ever the reason, sometimes chocolate just finds its way to me.

The other morning was another example of chocolate just coming to me. A coworker of mine gave me some chocolate for helping her with a problem. As she left me this little prize, it dawned on me, that even though this is a small gift, God was blessing me with it. He knows my heart and he knows that I love and look forward to chocolate, and here he is taking care of that. It wasn’t a need, it wasn’t something super spiritual,  just a desire to have some chocolate. And here he is, a good good father, giving me some.

This isn’t one of those huge testimony type blessings, but for me, this is something that makes me happy. It was something that made my Monday more enjoyable, and if we think about, we all need something to make Mondays as enjoyable as possible.

God doesn’t just go after the big stuff, but the little things in life as well. Those small gestures, that probably don’t mean a lot to others, but puts a big smile on your face, like a piece of chocolate for lunch. God cares about our whole life, a 360 view of it. There is no area off limit to God, there is no area in our life that he doesn’t want to transform and bless.

I am so thankful for a God that cares of all me needs, even if it is as small as wanting a piece of chocolate.

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Syrian Refugees, Selfless Compassion and Pro Life

My heart breaks, for a lot of reasons.

For teens on drugs, for babies that are killed in the womb. Recently my heart breaks for Paris and Beirut. For all the families that have to move forward without loved ones. My heart breaks for all those who are being displaced by war and senseless acts of violence. My heart breaks for ISIS members, and I struggle between wanting them all dead so their hate can not harm anyone else and wanting them all to come to know Jesus and renounce their acts of hate.

There are a lot of feelings involved in wars and terrorist acts. Fear, hate, sadness, compassion, longing for hope, seeking peace.

These feelings can drive our decisions, like the decisions to set up camps for Japanese citizens during WWII.

There is a group of people in need, and are we just going to shut our doors to them from fear? We are just going to leave them stranded and in need outside, while we are inside where it is safe and warm?

I completely understand the risks involved. I understand that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, but there are a lot of genuine sheep and very very little wolves. When did compassion become a pick and choose event? When did compassion equate to having to stay safe?

I believe as Christians we are called to selfless compassion, selfless service; not safety. The Savior of the World (Jesus) did not save the world by putting his safety first, but the other way around. So shall our compassion reflect the selfless acts of our savior. Our compassion should not be a reflection of our political party lines, nor should it be used to garner political support.

Our compassion should be rooted in God’s love and given freely out to those in genuine need. And there is genuine need.

And one last thing:

If we are pro-life in the womb, we should be pro-life out of the womb. If we only support fetuses living, but do not support people, what is the point. We will only grow the baby to hate them later. Lets value all life, at all stages of life.

 

 

Life to Scale

I was reading Star Wars: Aftermath when my mind began to wonder off the page and started to think about what is going on in the universe at that very moment. Not like a fantasy imagination, but I thought about scenes that no one is seeing. Asteroids flowing through space, colliding with one another. A sun rise on a plant unknown. A sun going cold, or exploding. Solar Systems that we do not know of. Vast gaps where there is nothing but space.

It was cool to see the Super-moon lunar eclipse, and even then I was thinking about space and how massive its is. And even though it is massive, here is this cool little event happening, which is cool to us but not important to the universe.

Thinking about what could be going on in this huge universe made me ponder (once again) on how statistically insignificant we are. The unknown universe is about 13.8 billion light years; that is roughly 81,124,680,000,000,000,000,000 miles!!!! We fill a planet that is 7,195 miles in diameter. That means our existence takes up 0.0000000000000000008869% of the universe. We aren’t even a thousandth of a percent!

We do not matter to the universe. If we exploded the universe wouldn’t bat an eye.

But the ironic this is we do matter. We are massively important. We are important because God values us. He created us, and he loves us. Even if we seek war instead of love, even if we hate our brothers and sisters. God loves us and as revealed himself to us through Jesus Christ so we can know him.

This will never stop amazing me, the fact how we are so small but yet hold so much value.

But in reflection that is God’s MO, to take some one or something that seems small and insignificant and use it for his glory, to show who powerful and how loving he is.

What a great God we have!

Soulmate vs Chosen

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Yin to My Yang.”

I think the idea of a soulmate is very romantic but also very idealistic. Soulmate is a plot point for dramas and teenage TV shows. It makes me think of Dawson’s Creek when Joey tells Dawson “You’ll always be my Soulmate…” but I’m totally not going to date you right now, more like save you for later in case this other thing works out. I always thought Joey was leading both of them on and never really being true with either of them.

End of Dawson’s Creek Series End Rant. Side note: this is the only part of Dawson’s Creek I remember, everything else from that show is a totally blur.

Back to regular scheduled blog….

When I think of a soulmate, I think it is the end all be all person. The person that is just right for you; the person that your heart has been longing to be with, and you are not complete without. The person to whom your soul needs to be complete.

Taking that definition, I think the idea of a soulmate being applied to an earthly person misses the mark. It is a very romantic notion, but the idea of one person completing YOUR VERY SOUL is a very high mark. Its a lofty task with a lot of expectations and assumptions. So much so that no one can truly fit that mold; mostly because everyone fails at some point. No one is perfect, and we as human beings have a hard enough time managing our own lives let-alone being a significant other to some one else. The only being our soul really longs for, and the only being who can successfully take that mantle is Jesus.

Only he can completely satisfy and complete our very soul. When we die and go to heaven we won’t be trying to find a date or figure out a relationship, we will be the bride of Christ. We will be his! We will only be focusing on him. In Jesus our soul will find rest and completeness. Jesus is the end all be all.

That isn’t to say an earthy relationship is important or impactful to the heart. I love my wife. I LOVE my wife. I am so happy with her, and I can’t picture my life without her or with anyone else. She is amazing and I love her very much, and with her my life is better. She is my bride, for whom I will love for the rest of my life, and for whom I have chosen to be my only romantic love the rest of my life.

She is my Chosen, only her and no one else. So while no one on this earth can fulfill the mantle of a Soulmate, one person can take the mantle of being our life long chosen companion. And in that area I know I’ve found the best one, but I’m completely biased 🙂 🙂 🙂

God. Is.

Holy,

Strong,

Mighty,

Love,

Pure,

Kind.

God Is:

like a strong tower against a raging storm,

like gentle reassuring touch on your shoulder,

like a roaring lion protecting his cubs,

like a monsoon in the desert,

like a taste of sweet honey on the lips.

God is

the ancient of days,

the one who was,

the one who is,

the one who is yet to come.

God. Is.

My Energy Boosters

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

What is my sanity booster? I love blogging and writing. I also love reading and watching Netflix, but I can’t do those at the same time though. I love hanging out with my friends and my wife. All these are great ways to keep my level and to keep my energy up. God created me in a way that my desires are to write and read and fellowship with people. I enjoy thinking and having quiet. Not that I don’t like loud spaces (I was in a rock band, I know loud), but to regain some energy I need quiet.

The best times spent in quiet I have found is when I praise God for what he has done in my life. Yeah I can write and read and those do have a great impact on me but nothing quenches my soul like talking to God. Sometimes it isn’t easy, either my flesh doesn’t want to or my calendar is telling me I don’t have time; my soul and mind know that spending time with God makes the greatest impact more than anything.

My soul is most at peace when I connect to God and hear from him. He is truly a Fountain of Living Water.

Psalm 46:

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

Revelation 21:6

“And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.”

15 Reasons Why I love to Hangout and Disciple Teens

This is not an exhaustive list but really the first 15 that came to mind. Youth ministry can be fun and very rewarding so I just wanted to voice my opinion. So without further ado, here is the list of 15 reasons why I love to Hangout and Disciple Teens.

  1. They are just fun
  2. They are full of soooooo much energy
  3. They think of things and view things in a way you would have never thought of
  4. They do things you would have never thought of
    1. This could also be very frustrating…
  5. They will tell you what they are thinking
    1. Sometimes. So if they do take that as a privilege and honor.
  6. They will tell you if they are bored or don’t like something
    1. This, I believe you need no special privilege for
  7. They give you a new insight on life and growing up, not necessarily by the wisdom they share but by their life, their struggles and triumphs.
  8. They will blow your mind in how much they do actually know and pay attention
    1. It might look like they aren’t, but they are listening
  9. I love to see teens grow personally, spiritually, in maturity, and in every area of their lives
  10. I love to see those “aha” moments
  11. I love to see when teens start grasping their calling God has on their Life
  12. They will push you to define what really matters in a ministry
  13. When they find their identity in Jesus and start living a life on fire for him.
  14. Its all about the feels bro!!!
  15. They keep me young….. because apparently I’m really old (I’m only 23….)

I love the teens that the Lord has blessed me with in the youth group (I refrain from saying MY youth group, because it isn’t mine it’s theirs), and I’m excited to have even more teens and even more awesome encounters with God and with this community.

Happiest Day

Today I read a blog about the blogger’s happiest day, or more like happiest moments. And I would have to agree with her but with a few exceptions. The happiest (full) days were definitely when I proposed and then wed my amazing and beautiful wife. The whole day for each of them were fun and joyful and just amazing. Besides those two days, there is no one day that screams this is my happiest, but rather there are moments that scream remember me. There are moments that are burned into my brain that remind me of friendship, love and the care of a great God. And in no order here are some moments that have made my life joyous:

  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit as friends prayed for me
  • Acting out Les Miserables songs with my dear friend Charlie and annoying our neighbors
  • Playing COD Zombies with my then roommate and great friend Daniel
  • Hanging out and mentoring teens
  • Landing the internship at CareSource
  • Jamming out at a small group praising God

The list could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at six.

I could write about the difference between momentary happiness and the joy the Jesus brings in the midst of life’s struggles, or that memories are best when shared and done with a community of friends. Or I could write about why we don’t remember full days and only moments. But I’ll just leave it at this; God has blessed me for no other reason then that he cares. I’m glad of his forgiveness and provision and that he holds true to his promises.

I feel truly blessed.

Also shout out to all my family and friends who have made living life awesome; thank you!!