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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There Will Be A Day

Recently I was made aware of the fact that if I'm the only worker at my store (subway) then I can have whatever station I want playing in the customer area.

At first I thought I would put on some hip hop to keep me going through the night without anyone to talk to, but quickly changed my mind. And while some people (siblings/friends even) may be hating on Christian music and think that it sounds the same, I'm still a fan of the good stuff.

I have had 104.1 The Fish playing the past week or two and it's been awesome.
Last night I was reminded of eternity once again when this song came on by Jeremy Camp. I've seen him perform live once before and loved it... and I love his music. Consider and ponder these lyrics and/or listen to the song attached below. I think it will bring you much joy as you consider what God has in store for us.
I try to hold on to this world with everything I have But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering There will be a day with no more tears No more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face But until that day, we'll hold on to you always I know the journey seems so long You feel you're walking on your own But there has never been a step Where you've walked out all alone Troubled soul don't lose your heart Cause joy and peace he brings And the beauty that's in store Outweighs the hurt of life's sting But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering There will be a day with no more tears No more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face But until that day, we'll hold on to you always I can't wait until that day where the very one I've lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I've faced To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery O, this is why, this is why I sing There will be a day with no more tears No more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face There will be a day with no more tears No more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face There will be a day he will wipe away the tears He will wipe away the tears He will wipe away the tears There will be a day

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

God answers.

It's those simple and profound things we overlook in life that are so essential. One of those is the attribute that God is sovereign.

God is sovereign over all things (Jer. 32:17, Dan. 7:14, etc.). And because of that truth God says He will answer our prayers if we approach Him with a pure heart of faith.

I'm not one to say (nor will I ever be) that I am pure of heart, but I still approach God with prayers, because I truly believe out of His benevolence and love He will answer if our focus is on bringing Him glory.

Have you ever made a deal with God like... if you give me this, I'll tell 5 people about you? Or maybe you're looking for something and you tell Him that if only He points it out to you then you will make sure everyone knows how great He is..? Ever had one of those times?

Today I lost my wallet. The concern was greater than usual due the fact that the key I use to lock up my store is in my wallet and my license, which is my means of legal transportation, was also in this leather item. I am scheduled to close the store tonight, and without these things, I would not be able to do so.

After frantically looking around for a good while, I realized I hadn't gone first to God. So I stopped where I was and made a prayer.. and then another.. and I continually prayed that the Lord would bring to mind where this missing item may have been misplaced. In my brother's car? In my recently washed clothes? In the garbage? I didn't know. ... I thought about making one of those deals with God... "If You do this... I'll do that."

Ha! As if I deserve any help from God, or that I think that I can negotiate with a holy being. I think not. I realized that in reality, I should be doing those "I'll do this or that" without having to make a deal with God, because He's given me more than enough to tell others of His wonders.

Just minutes later I found it. As I reached my hand under my bed into the shoes I had worn 2 days before, I found my wallet where either on of my parents, siblings, or even myself may have put it. I thanked God, but I didn't want to just move on with the day. The reason I have this blog is mainly to tell of how God is working in my life... teaching me new things... and writing down the many graces He gives me. This is just one more chance to do so... and I don't know how many more I'll have.

So, give glory to God today. He's worth your praise and adoration. He's worth your trust. Your faith. Your hope. You can pray expectantly because He is a loving God that listens to you and is sovereign over your life. He has the best planned for you, should you pursue Him. He has a crazy love for you. Have a radical pursuit of Him in return.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

worry and stress

"When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important that God's command to always rejoice. In other words, that I have a "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities."
Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
I'm reading through Crazy Love for a second time within the past few months because I felt some need to regain a passion for eternity. This past summer was the best of my life. Every week we filled with great events and places to go, people to meet, and of course I thought it to be grand. I learned a lot, grew a lot, and had encouraging people around me all the time.

But then I came home.

Not long after coming home, I slowly started having less consistent quiet times... feeling less passion for Jesus... less hope about the future. I didn't want to live this way. I had worries and stress about many things that the future holds for me. And then I read these words:
"Worry implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control."
Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
Thinking what I'm thinking? W
ow. Just wow. Exactly what I needed to hear. So often I fall into worry and stress, because I lack the faith to trust God in His sovereign and good plans. You can't find a perfect stress remover plan. You can't have all your worries taken away by psychology or from a book. It comes from the Lord. Our stress and our worry are results of not trusting Him. So, naturally should we reverse our trend and tending toward worry and stress, it will come when we trust in the Lord.

How are you doing with worry and stress? Are you willing to truly give them over to God in a faith that trusts Him to do all that He promises?
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, September 24, 2010

going camping...

I'm heading to the middle of nowhere. (Estacada)... which is where my bro Kenny Hangartner lives. haha. :)



When I'm outside of the normalities of life, it gives me opportunities and choices and chances to take. It's always a mystery to me of how I will approach these if I have not my Savior at my side. I can grow so much in the Lord when I'm away from home... with or without friends... However, if I don't go with that focus, I lose sight of the goal. I don't pursue the relationship with my Lord.

This vacation weekend I will spend time with friends and family at our church camp-out; it will offer me those opportunities to grow.. choices between pursuing God or focusing on self.. and the chances to make much of God or to make much of me.

When I step out of my normal lifestyle at home I want my all to still be about Jesus. When you leave home, do you take advantage of all that God gives you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What If?

The lyrics that follow come from Nicole Nordeman. The song is called, "What If," and talks about the two views of Jesus. The Christian's view vs. everyone else's. This is thought provoking at the least.

What if you're right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you're right?

What if it's true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it's true?

What if he takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

But what if you're wrong?
What if there's more?
What if there's hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He's more than enough?

What if it's love?

What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-m
inded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That's all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?

You've been running as fast as you can
You've been looking for a place you can land for so long
But what if you're wrong?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

growing weary?

It's too easy to grow tired. It's too easy to grow weary. We're human. We're told in Scripture that when we don't pursue a relationship with God we often grow weary and tired.
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40
I love this passage, because it explains how as humans, as fallen creatures, we are weak vessels. We cannot do it on our own. To me this speaks volumes... "Even young men stumble and fall..." wow. That's a blow to my pride. To realize that it's not me... and then it gives so much encouragement. It has the conjunction "But" which shows a shift in thinking. We're no longer talking about the weakness of man. Now we get to discuss the strength that God provides for those who hope in Him. Are you weary? Are you downcast or tired from the fight? Don't give up. Pursue God. Remember... Christianity is not religion. It's a relationship. So be encouraged to continue onward with perseverance. Fight the good fight. Press on, because in the end, when we enter heavens gates or when Jesus returns in full glory - we want to hear those words, "Well done, My good and faithful servant."
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Galations 6:9

Monday, September 20, 2010

painting

I'm painting today. After a week of taking out clothes, shoes, ballots, trophies and other junk in my room... After we stripped off the wallpaper (thank you, Ted Bradley)... There was a bare room with hardly anything in it and looking like a disaster.

Now it is painted. We are now waiting for it to dry so that I can begin to move in my "stuff". The room looks amazing. The color Hot Chocolate is on the walls with soon to be beautiful white trim... and all I have left to do is sign my wall. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

a quote for consideration... (i)

Get ready for a short post with just a simple thought:

"If you only go half-way in, you're already half-way gone."

It goes along with the idea that you should do everything with excellence and put your all in everything. What are your thoughts? As David Knopp says it, "Agree or disagree?"


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If Today Was Your Last Day


Wednesday is here. Which means that I'm going to take a look at another song. I listen to this track every night when I close up shop at Subway. It intrigues me. The reason? It's an incredible song, with an incredible message, but the musical group is not even Christian. In 2008 the rock group, Nickelback, wrote, recorded, and released an album with this song: "If Today Was Your Last Day".
This song has so much power behind it.. and it's more than just good thinking. If you know or have heard the song, please still read these truly amazing lyrics that follow:
My best friend gave me the best advice He said each day's a gift and not a given right Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind And try to take the path less traveled by That first step you take is the longest stride If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late Could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day? What if, what if, if today was your last day? Against the grain should be a way of life What's worth the price is always worth the fight Every second counts 'cause there's no second try So live like you're never living twice Don't take the free ride in your own life If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late Could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you had? And would you call those friends you never see? Reminisce old memories? Would you forgive your enemies? And would you find that one you're dreaming of? Swear up and down to God above That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day? If today was your last day Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart? You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars Regardless of who you are So do whatever it takes 'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life Let nothing stand in your way 'Cause the hands of time are never on your side If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late Could you say goodbye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last? Leave old pictures in the past? Donate every dime you had? And would you call those friends you never see? Reminisce old memories? Would you forgive your enemies? And would you find that one you're dreaming of Swear up and down to God above That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?
Every time. Every time I hear this song, I'm blown away. Just think about those lyrics! What if? What if you didn't have another day. Another moment? What if God said, "Your time is done." Do you think you would have lived your life to fullest? Especially your last few moments? If today was your last day, how would you live?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the fear of failure

Okay, get ready for a glimpse into my life -->

In my life, whenever I have put my head to something... whenever I've pursued something... it almost always has come to fruition. I've been blessed with strong drive and a mind
to figure out how to get things done. Blessings come to mind like beating my friends in basketball or debate, or having a job before my friends, or being ahead in school, or being staff for camps... and I think of these things as huge blessings... not reason for pride.

But. At this point in my life, I finally have a real fear. This fear is that I will fail. Right now I'm beginning my college application process. I have received priority applications (no fee, no essay, automatic scholarship consideration, etc.) from about 5 different schools already. I'm so blessed. I've seen this in my life so much - God blessing me over and over when I put my head to something... but
I'm afraid to fail. I'm afraid to not get into a good school, or be able to pay for it, or get good grades, or not make my family proud. I fear failure.

Recently God taught me something invaluable: It's okay to stumble and fall in life as long as you are stumbling after and falling for Jesus. You see, pride can blind you so easily! Pride makes you focused on yourself. How you will do. How you will be perceived. What you have. What is yours.

However, God told me that it way going to be alright. I think He's even telling
me that it would be good if I failed in something. If I fail in something big enough to get my attention, then I won't have to make that mistake later in life. I would rather fail a biology class in college than to fail with my future family. And I would prefer to not have to have any failures, any suffering... but that's not what God promises. On the contrary, we are going to have much suffering, stumbling, falling and failing in this life because of sin.

As I look to the future I don't want to be afraid. I don't want to fear failure. Instead, I want to rest in God's promises... He will always be with me. He will never leave me nor forsake me. A favorite quote of mine is here:
"God is there. God is sovereign. God is good."
Ray Carter
In the end, I think what it comes down to is what you treasure. If we treasure Jesus... if we consider Him of greater worth and value than anything else, -even anyone else, then everything will be alright. He will remove your fear and replace it with a hope and trust in Him. And everything will be right.

And as a final thought... What is success? Is it never failing, or is it learning from your mistakes and using them as stepping stones for growth? Maybe, just maybe we learn more from failure than success. What do you think?

Monday, September 13, 2010

on giving.

I've never been a fan of giving things up that are mine. I don't like the hurt and pain of not having as much as I should. I like to earn my keep and be happy, because I deserve the things I'm owed.... right?

Last night I went (as usual) to re:Generation. Now, while the message caused a little more discussion as usual, there was one really big thing I got out of it. As Grant was teaching, he explained that the reason we don't give is because of fear. We fear we won't have enough to get by, or we fear that we won't have enough to supply, or to make us happy. We don't want to give money, food, friendship to people that we don't think deserve it. ... but then the question is: do you?

Also during the course of yesterday (during the morning) I went to Mt. Hood Household of Faith (the church I attend). David Knopp was preaching a passionate message filled with lots of applicability and truth. He was teaching on Genesis 1:1-2 and through lots of Scripture He explained how everything.
Everything. Is God's.
"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."
Psalm 24:1
He explained clearly that because Jesus was in the beginning, that He made the world and everything in it... because it says in Scripture that it is all HIS... then... He owns us. Very simply, He owns us. Jesus deserves our worship, praise, and adoration because of who He is and because of what He has done. His perfection. His majesty. His glory. His power. All deserving of our adoration. Furthermore, He made us and many other go
od things for us to enjoy. He gives us good gifts, but what have we given in return? We spit in His face, defile His name. We hate Him; even mock Him. We try to steal His glory.

And we still think we deserve things? Owed things? We think that things are actually ours? No! They aren't ours. They are God's. We don't deserve anything good! At all. And yet, God still loves us. He still loved us enough to send His Son to die. Jesus paid the price. Our King died that we might be set free. He was placed in our stead. What an amazing God we serve.

Back to the beginning. We don't give because of fear. We fear we won't have enough
of our necessities or our pleasures. Usually our pleasures.

Lately
I've been challenged. To give. To give without expecting return. It's all God's anyways.
"Seek to make and use money in such a way that Christ looks more important than money."
John Piper
The next time I see someone in need... the next time I'm blessed beyond what I can do for myself... the next time God blows my mind with His grace in my life... I want to be able to give.


How about you?


Sunday, September 12, 2010

living for eternity.

Less than a week ago I was blown away when I watched a video. It has been circulating online recently. I had first seen it via Lauren Reavely, and you can also find it at The Jesus Adventure. If you haven't seen this video already, please do. It's so important. So mind-blowing. So eternity-capturing. It's fantastic. If have already seen it, you'll probably want to watch it again. I think this is a good -no, necessary- reminder to us all. It's not about the "little red part". It's about what we do for Jesus here on earth for these "few short years" so that we can live eternally with Him forever! It's all about Him! Not us. I'm actually pretty excited about that. Are you?

Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that
in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Are you living for eternity?


Saturday, September 11, 2010

a healthy life? (part ii)

A few weeks ago, Jordan approached me and told me that we should start running on a regular basis. I thought he was crazy at first. So, I asked him, "Why in the world would we want to do that?!" He replied simply that the habits you create when you young will be ones you follow later in life. It provides discipline and consistency. Things that we should work on. "I'm game." So, we started this past week and are running on weekday mornings. Tiring as it is, I think it's really good for us as long as we stick with it.

"When you 'set' your value upon something, you are determining its relative importance to you. Certain values change with age or experiences; but for a Christian, basic values or convictions should never change."
Susan Boe, Total Health
Mrs. Susan Boe continues to teach me many things. One very important lesson included this train of thought. Your lifestyle is going to be determined by many things... but what things? In her book, Total Health, she has a picture of someone climbing the stairs of "Lifestyle" Each stair supports the one above it... on the top stands your habits. Your habits are determined by your behavior; your behavior by your choices; your choices by your values. In essence, it all comes back to your foundation. What will you base your lifestyle off? I would propose that the answer to that is base it on the Gospel. If not that, then what?
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
1 Corinthians 15:19
I think it's worth it. Let's give it a shot. Nothing left to lose? Isn't that what they say?
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58





Friday, September 10, 2010

Do you have 12 minutes?



Today as I got on to check my email I began reading a few from some colleges wanting to recruit me into their school etc... but as I read, my good friend, Lucas Cuadra, popped up on my chat and asked if I had 12 minutes. He had just watched a video and wanted me to see it. It was searching. Challenging. Convicting.



Do you have 12 minutes?



Thursday, September 9, 2010

a healthy life? (part i)

As I looked over the requirements to graduate high-school and enter college I saw that you had to have a credit of some sort of health study. I have done PE every year of high-school essentially with playing sports and just being an all-around active person... but... Mom said that didn't fly. What does she do? She rummages through some of her older school books and finds a book titled TOTAL HEALTH.
Great. A book titled Total Health? Seriously? "Okay, Mom, whatever you say..."

3 things caught my attention right away... 1 was that Mom told me that she had previously gone to church with the lady that wrote the book, and B was that she was from Oregon. Actually very close to where I live in West Linn, OR.

So, I begin my study of this book.
After the forward, preface, TOC, and all that good stuff -on page two it starts out
like this: Under the heading "A Higher Goal"...
'"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 (NAS)

Let's just say... my view of the book changed right away. I love this verse! If you know me, you know that one of my favorite things to say is "Press on!" ... The reason for this is because life is a race... we are running heavenward and we have to "run in such a way as to win the prize." We have to go all out for Jesus. Now that I see that this book is based of the truth of God's Word, I am focusing on what this book can teach me.

The author, Mrs. Susan Boe, states, "The key to victory is not being 'perfect.' The key to a winning lifestyle is in striving to live a life pleasing to God; physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually."
She's saying that everything in life needs to be a striving to please God, to pursue God, to know God. I want that. Essentially, if our lives are not lived with Jesus being our all, then our lives are not everything they could be.

Press on.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waking Up

On Leeland Mooring's second album, Opposite Way, he has a song that always speaks to me in a deep way. The lyrics are posted below for you to think about. :)

The nation lost and dying
Searching for You
Creation waits
Children with the word of God
Written on their hearts
Show love to the world

We need to wake up, wake up
Live like God
Pour out love
We need to wake up, wake up
Live like God
Pour out love

I know it's sad
That the gift we have
We keep it for ourselves
Most of the time
The world is looking
For a love that's locked up
Inside these four walls
Break the door down and shine

Our face is set
Our goal is heaven
Jesus, You are the well of love
We'll pour You out
We'll pour You out

We're willing to push God out of our lives. We're willing to be deaf to His call. We're willing to fall asleep and not be alive to God. We don't want to live radically... it's not comfortable... it's not pleasant... it's so much easier to live for ourselves. We only turn to God when we see hardship that cannot be avoided, when having Jesus on your side would seem to help your current situation... BUT.... the big question is what should we be doing? We need be Jesus to the world. Love God. Love others. Simple. Straight forward. The Gospel.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

P.S. First person to find the blog...



P.S. First person to find the blog gets a gold star. =)

Starting a blog...

So, it is official. I'm starting a blog. There are a lot of reasons behind this. I have found so much spiritual encouragement when reading the blogs my friends have created, and I want to be of encouragement to others. Also, one of the mentors in my life that I look up to and try to imitate, Mr. Denny Garvey, commended a practice to me. It was this: To journal or record the many graces God pours out in my life. Scripture tells us to keep no record of wrong but to tell the world of God's blessings.

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what he has done." - 1 Chronicles 16:8

I want to live my life so that at the end no one will be able to attribute any success I had to anything that I did. Rather, I want the only reasoning behind my life to be that he truly believed Jesus was everything. It's by God's grace that I am who I am.

Title

Blog post text.