I want my life to come down to two words: I'm Yours.

I want my life to come down to two words:
I'm Yours.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas!

Merry Christmas!

May the following bring focus to your Christmas as you consider the "reason for the season" as Shelby put it. :)

"To a world undeserving. To an unclean people. To you, who have shunned Me. I give My Son. I give Him freely. I give Him to be the sacrifice you need to be saved. You shall call Him Immanuel. He will pay the ultimate price for your treason. You are the least deserving, and yet you must know this - I AM LOVE."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SAT scores = glory to God

Hey all,

Thanks for all your prayers 3 weeks ago when I took the SAT. I told God that no matter what the outcome of the scores, I would give Him full glory.

So here's the shout out. God blessed me so immensely. My SAT scores were increased by 190 points. If you've taken the SAT or know how it's scored, you know that's a huge difference.

Just want to let you all know how well God blessed me. He calmed me for the test. He gave me confidence. He kept me healthy for the test. And now my scores are so much better. Praise the Lord.

Monday, December 20, 2010

what is christmas really about?

I was really disappointed the other day when I was listening to the radio. Unlike most of my friends, I listen to a lot of Christian radio (the Fish, K-Love, Air1, etc.).

This time I was unimpressed. I turned on the radio and I heard these words, "...We need to remember that Christmas isn't about us, Christmas is all about..." I got all excited! One of my stations is gonna get the Gospel out by telling everyone that Christmas is about Jesus!

But no.

Instead what I heard was, "Christmas is all about giving." Now, while in a way this is true, because Jesus was the gift of God to the world, I don't think they got it right. They went on to explain how we should be looking for ways to serve and give, which is great, but they were missing the main part of the message. I don't care about giving. I don't care about serving. UNLESS it's about Jesus.

If it's about Jesus, I'm all in. What is Christmas about for you? Is it about giving a bunch of presents to everyone so they have gifts under the tree? Or is it about the Ultimate Gift that came through Jesus? Is it about the Christ that came to save a dying world, or is Christmas something we do?

If you want to read a good poem along these lines you can find an excellent piece, written by Mrs. Marcia Reavely, here.

My challenge to you is this: make this Christmas all about Jesus, because without Him, Christmas means nothing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

rock bottom.

Have you ever come to that place where all seems lost? Where you don't want to continue on because you don't see any reason or purpose? You lose sight of the goal because of a lost friendship some other great hardship along the way? Have you ever hit rock bottom when life's punches just don't stop coming? When everything will get worse before it gets better? When you feel pain, agony, and even despair? Have you been there?

What was it like? Did you see the place you were in? Did you have the vision to get out on your own? Did you have to reach out a hand to someone else for help? Did you have to cry out to God? Or did you agonize even further and ask why you had ever been born? Did you ask why such hardships should come to you - even you?

You see, rock bottom is a hard place to be. Rock bottom is so difficult because it's cold, dark, and dreary and you can't really see where you are or where you need to be. You want that warm hug from a friend, that light of insight they have to offer, that joy they bring to your life.

You often have a couple options... you can sit there in self-pity thinking that there is no one who would love you or reach out to you in your need. OR you can turn to the Author and Perfecter of your faith for guidance through His grace, peace, and love. The problem is we often forget who this Great One is. We forget that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First, the Last, the Beginning, the End. We forget that He founded the world by the very words He spoke. We forget that by His voice all things came to being. He is an all-powerful, sovereign God. Maybe we don't forget that. Maybe we know that God is those things, and it causes us to fear. Then we have a different problem. It's not that we distrust God's power in our lives. We distrust His love.

Have you ever distrusted someone's love? Not really been sure if they were the real deal? If they really meant it when they said, "I love you"? If they were sincere and would be there for you no matter the cost? Have you felt that? Sometimes it can be quite easy to distrust your friends and family. Sad, but true. They are frail, fallen human beings.

Ray Carter's favorite transitional phrase in all of Scripture is in Ephesians. After Paul has discussed the depth of our sins, he writes these two words... "BUT GOD". BUT GOD, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ. It is by grace that you have been saved.

God's mercy, grace, and love go beyond anything humans can even imagine. We have such limited minds in comparison to God's unfathomable love for us. He says He'll never leave us. He'll never forsake us. He'll always be there.

So if you're ever at rock bottom, I want you to know. You are not alone. The world, your friends.. they might let you down. You might lose a friend you thought was very dear. You might get to the point where you want to give up and give in. You might not want to fight the good fight. You might want to lay down your arms and forget all that we strive for. But know this. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. God will be with you at all times, and often times He will send someone to be with you that you wouldn't expect or at least wouldn't deserve. Scripture says that there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

I've been there. I've had those friends surround me, and by God's grace I have been used to be there for others. The key behind all that is that it's by GOD'S GRACE. Not our will. Not our power. It's all Him. I mean that. Don't ever lose sight of it. Pressing on can be hard when you hit rock bottom. But nevertheless by God's grace and through His mercy he calls you to do so. He calls you to stand steadfast, run strong, and press on for His glory.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

which christmas song are you?

So... random question for you all...

Which Christmas song are you?

Carol of the Bells? Winter Wonderland? Little Drummer boy?

Which Christmas song are you?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

so the job ends...

I have been blessed to work at Subway in Damascus for over a year now. It will end this month.

"Thanks, God, for getting me this job in the first place. May you be glorified in and throughout. You are a great God."

Monday, November 22, 2010

knowledge vs. ?

"Knowledge is power."

Or so they say. What characteristic do you think is required in order for knowledge to have said power?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

when you look different...


1 : partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality

I think it was January of this year when I got a quote from Kate Bradley, which stated a great truth in a rather amusing way, "Be a fruitloop in a world full of cheerios."

I love that. I think that's what we're supposed to be -as Christians. We are supposed to be different.

Scripture has numerous descriptions of what we are supposed to be in relation to the world and in relationship to our God. Both are very interconnected. Our relationship with God is what spurs us on to be what we are supposed to be to the world.

One example is the vine and the branches: He is the vine. We are the branches. The world? -Those hungry, thirsty, dying, in need.

Another is that Jesus called Himself the "Light of the world" in John 8:12. He said, "
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." Then in Mathew 5 Jesus told His followers, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden... In the same way let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." God is the source of light that He gives us to shine in a dark world... a world that is again -in need.

The point, I think, is that we are called to be different. Why? -because we are different. God has transformed us. Why would we want to live as if we were still in bondage if we've been set free?

Jesus said this in John 15:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.

We are to be different. For we haven been chosen out of this world! That's so exciting! God has such a deep, powerful love for us that it transforms our lives. He has chosen us, the least deserving, to enter heaven's glories. To enter into communication, communion, and relationship with the Holy One. God is too great.

So tell me, what is it like when you look different to the world?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

life verse?

Hey friends,

In the responses below I want to find out what your favorite, or "life" verse is. Just post the reference and if you want to write out the verse, that would be fantastic as well. I have not thought too much about one for myself, but when asked the other day about it, I only thought of one passage my friends always say is ... like... my verse. You can probably guess what it is. :) What's yours?

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Can Only Imagine (with lyrics) - MercyMe

Bart Millard, MercyMe's lead singer and songwriter lost his father when he was eighteen years old. After this experience of heartbreak, pain, death, Bart wrote a song that would revolutionize Christian music. The first song to be downloaded a million times, I Can Only Imagine was a radio hit since it's release in 2001 and remains to this day. It is a powerful song, an anthem of worship to our Creator and Savior who we get to spend eternity with.

I've always loved this song. In the right mood, it will bring a huge smile to your face, and with the same song often comes many tears. Tears of memories past and of the great future before us. It's exciting to think about. If you want to reflect on the lyrics they are posted below. Maybe you've never read them before and only listened to the song. I think they contain powerful truth. So simple, so true.

I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk

By Your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes will see...

When Your face

Is before me

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?

Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine…

I can only imagine

When that day comes

And I find myself

Standing in the Son

I can only imagine

When all I will do

Is forever

Forever worship You

I can only imagine

--I can only imagine when all I will do is forever – forever worship You. Wow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

God just saved my life... again.

Life is precious. Life is sweet. It is too easy to lose sight of the gift of life. From the unborn baby to the teenager punk to the little old lady down the street – Life is precious to God. Life should be precious to you.

God has blessed my life with many friendships. My closest friendships have come with two of my good buddies, Lucas Cuadra and Ted Bradley.

Two of the three of us could have been on the news this morning. We may not have been alive. You ready for a story? Here's how it all went down:

Ted had stayed at Lucas' place the night before Sunday church as his parents were just getting back from a get-away. That morning they had come to our all-church Sunday gathering in Milwaukie. He had some things he needed to pick up before heading home. So, after church, Ted and I drove over to the Cuadra's. They were kind enough to feed us and show much hospitality which was greatly appreciated. It was great. Ted made a phone call to his parents checking in, and Mr. Bradley told Ted that he could not go to an event that is always a highlight of our weeks: “re:Generation,” a young adults group that gets you pumped about the gospel so you’re contagious for the rest of the week. From my understanding, Ted’s parents needed to discuss some financial details as well as other things that had gone on the past week and that would need to change for the coming week. Of course Ted was bummed. And so was I. We wanted to go to re:Gen.

We decided it would be best if he got home sooner rather than later. We jumped in the truck (my dad's pickup which I drive) and headed off, this time to the Bradleys. As we got to the onramp to I-84, it was pouring rain from the Wood Village exit and we began our route to his abode. As we came ‘round the corner and became parallel to the freeway, I began to speed up. You're supposed to accelerate out of a turn, and you need to be going fast enough to get on the freeway.

Though we could see no significant amount of water on the road, all of the sudden control was lost in the vehicle. I could do nothing. All sound stopped. We could not hear rain, water splashing, the sound of a hydroplaning car... nothing. All we heard was the deafening sound of silence. I’ve never heard such a piercing silence. We began to slide, and slide, and slide. At this point we were literally turned sideways going between 35-40mph. Sideways. If I chose not to hit my brakes, we would run into the cement barrier. If I did, we would roll the vehicle.

I know some things about cars... don't over-correct etc. but this wasn't me. There was nothing I could have done to save us there... but God knew how to do so. In the blink of an eye the car was turned straight again. Of course we were freaked out and freaking out. As soon as we got to the Bradleys and told the horrific story of God’s divine intervention, Mr. Bradley prayed for us. He prayed that through this we would be shaped by God's molding work in our lives. We are as jars of clay in the Redeemers molding hands. I don’t know the whole reason of why God did that. Maybe it was Him telling us to have good attitudes. Maybe it was God telling us not to complain. Maybe it was God challenging us to live our lives according to a higher standard. Maybe it is all the above.

There was nothing I could have done. God saved us, and I think it was for a reason.

Few things in my life have rattled me as much as this experience. It scared the living daylights out of me. I value life. I am so grateful God has given me this day to spend bringing Him glory. I’m such a blessed individual, and as I look forward to the days ahead, I see great things at hand. God has a great plan for Ted’s life and for mine.

Never take life for granted. Life is precious in God’s eyes, and that should be the same for us. I am grateful to be alive and well today.

Thanks, God. Thanks for saving my life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

so i'm eighteen

so i had my birthday this past saturday. and let me just say this: God is amazing. i had so many friends email, send letters, texts, facebook messages and posts, family calling... i felt overwhelmed by God's goodness.

as i look forward to this coming year i see many challenges. and there are many challenges that will come up that i do not yet see. but i think God is preparing me for them. i'm eighteen now. an adult? okay, so what? this is what my uncle told my brother and i: "i'm really impressed by you guys. . . don't get cocky."

simple, to the point. i like that. don't get cocky. it's not about my glory it's about His. even this morning in our men's prayer group we read the scripture that says, "do not think of yourself higher than you ought." obviously God is teaching me a lot. whatever it is, i want to grow in humility and grace and continue to pursue Him and give all glory to Him.

hope this finds you all well.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

simplicity: God is good

As my family headed out for the eight hour drive to Boise, we looked forward to only spending 25 hours there. It was a short amount of time to spend with family there, but it was worth it. On Sunday morning, instead of going to a church, we had a worship and prayer time in my grandparents living room.

My Great Aunt explained how her pastor had a practice of before and at the end of every sermon he would tell his congregation that God is good.

Very simple. Three words.

God. Is. Good.

The reason we went to Boise was because my cousin's brain is getting to large for his own good. Literally. He's one of the brightest kids you will ever ( I mean ever ) meet. And his brain literally has grown so much that they are considering a surgery to remove part of his skull so that his brain can grow without pain. The symptoms are poor, restless sleep and piercing headaches. But God is good. It's so simple, but so true. We forget timeless truths because they don't always seem important. How can this be?

Let us be a people that proclaims God's goodness. The way an elder at my church put it was as follows. May it be of encouragement to you weather you feel God's overwhelming blessing, or if you are in a tough place in your life. God brings comfort.
"God is there. God is sovereign. God is good."

Monday, October 25, 2010

a quote for consideration... (iii)

"Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can."
Thomas Carlyle

Friday, October 22, 2010

God likes to blow your mind sometimes...

Cool thing tonight. I called my manager to a) tell her about a monetary discrepancy and b) thank her for letting me get time off to head to Boise to be with my cousin. (He recently was told he has a tumor in his brain that will require surgery and could very possibly be cancerous.)

I guess God just wanted to show me how cool He is once again. As the short conversation ended my manager said to me, "Oh, and Quin, know that I'm praying for your cousin, okay?"

That's such an awesome thing. God works in all of our lives and manifests Himself in different ways. I pray that my co-workers will be able to be encouraged by what I do, and inspired by who I am - by God's grace. For God's glory. My heart is for the lost and dying world. I want them to see the light and fall in love with the lover of their soul.

Thanks again, God. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Like Falling In Love

A new trend at work for me is to listen to Christian radio as much as I can. While I can get flak about how some Christian music is predictable or too similar, I have found it to be very uplifting as I work. When the songs are purposed to be sung as worship to our Lord... that's an encouraging thought, is it not?

One such song that I have heard often on the radio this year has been a song by Jason Gray. This song makes shivers shoot up my spine and it makes me get a big grin on my face at the same time, because I love the truths in this song. As you read the lyrics/listen to the song you will realize that our "religion" can't be a list of rules... "do"s and "don't"s... because we'll just break them. We'll fail. He writes that, "
In more than a name, a faith, a creed - Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me."

It's love that captures people. It's a love from God. It's a love we pursue once it changes us. Once we taste it, we cannot get enough. When sharing God's truth, it cannot be judgmental or a list of requirements. It must be love. "
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes - To sweep me off my feet."

Give me rules, I will break them Show me lines, I will cross them I need more than a truth to believe I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now It’s like I’m falling, oh It’s like I’m falling in love

Give me words, I’ll misuse them
Obligations, I’ll misplace them ‘Cause all religion ever made of me Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet It never set me free, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now It’s like I’m falling, oh It’s like I’m falling in love, love, love

Deeper and deeper
It was love that made me a believer In more than a name, a faith, a creed Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now It’s like I’m falling, oh It’s like I’m falling in love

Monday, October 18, 2010

Your will, not mine

Ever since God pulled me by His grace into His saving love, I have done my best to do His will. For some it is difficult to discern what God's will is. For others, it's carrying out what they know is the will of God.

This morning I read a piece from Mary Fairchild: "
It shows humility and trust in God to admit we don’t understand his perfect will. So, I often pray, “Lord, this is what my heart desires, but what I truly want is your will in this situation.” Other times I pray, "Lord, I am not certain of your will, but I trust you will do what is best."

It's in these times where God tests our faith. He wants to see who we are seeking. Is what is best? (God) Or is it self? Or is it something else this world has to offer? Are we willing to seek the face of our God and follow His will? Even if it's hard?

Psalm 24:5-7 says, "He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
Selah. Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in."

We are to seek His face. We are to listen for His voice. God will answer our prayer of faith. If we seek Him, He is faithful.

So then God graciously gives us insight to what His will is for us, and we don't want to do it. It sounds like it could hurt someone. It sounds like it could hurt us. It sounds painful. God's pruning process is painful. It's difficult. He never said it would be easy. On the contrary, we're told of what to do
when trials come. Not if trials come.

Today as you spend time with the Lord, seek His face. Learn the will of God and carry it out. It is a difficult thing, sanctification. It is a difficult thing, faith. It's what God wants of us, and it will all be for the good of those who love God and seek Him.

Remember. It's for your joy, and more importantly for God's glory.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

sick for the glory of God

Thursday I decided to stop by the Worldview class taught by Mr. David Knopp. I had not been sick for weeks... even months since I didn't feel good, but for some reason as I walked into that room my throat began to itch. By and by it grew into a level three sore throat. I could barely talk without a searing pain in my neck as I told my sister that I was not going to be able to get up early the next morning.

As I headed off to bed, I made a quick prayer, took some cough drops for sore throats, and grabbed a bottle of NyQuil. Took a dose and fell asleep.

The next morning, Friday, everything was worse. The sore throat was terrible. Now there was a piercing headache. I felt weak, frail, and thin. I set up a movie to watch and I could completely relate to Bilbo Baggins as he said, "Gandalf, I feel thin, like butter scraped over too much bread."

That's how I felt. I was couch-ridden all morning and by days end I had drunk 3+ litters of water. In the early afternoon I began to eat and as I got more energy I showered, changed, and readied for the rest of the day. When my friends heard that I was sick, I was pleasantly barraged with little notes of encouragement and "I'm praying for you"s.

There was no one to take my shift at work, which meant I had to go in. I didn't want to do so grudgingly, so I prayed hard and prayed that my friends' prayers would be answered. I took the natural approach for my sore throat (thanks to mrs. johnson) and took some pills for my headache. I wasn't feeling too bad any more and I as I got to work, my sickness seemed to leave. I healthy enough to do a good job, and I don't think I was spreading anything, which is a big Thank You, Lord!

I finished up my night, closed the store, came home and readied once again for bed. This time, I couldn't help but smile and praise my Lord. He had done it again. He was faithful even when I was faithless. He is the Great Healer, and because of His love and power He can heal me.

Through conversations I have had over the past few days, notes I've received, and general meditation, I have come to a realization.

You can be sick for the glory of God.

Now, that sounds a bit odd, and maybe it should. Sickness after all is a result of the fall of man, right? ...but if you cannot bring glory to God when you are sick, frail, weak, needy, and helpless, then why would you bring glory when you don't believe you are those things? When everything is on the up and up?

You see, even though sore throats, headaches, and stuffy noses are a result of sin, they also provide an opportunity to bring God greater glory. We are weak, frail, and helpless people. Without God we are nothing. Yet, we know that the great news of the gospel is there is 'such a hope' in Christ. Spiritually without God, we are all those things. We are weak, sick, and dying. When we allow God to come into our lives we can be healed by the Great Healer.

So, when you get sick, let it be a reminder of what we are in sin apart from God's grace; let it be a reminder to approach God with a contrite heart with confession for our sin; let it be an opportunity used to shine for Jesus.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is as follows. May it be of encouragement to you. When you are weak, frail, hurting, in pain, helpless, and hopeless - you can find your hope in your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10