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, 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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

simple work

13 months ago I felt that God was leading me to end the job where I had been working for a neighbor's animal farm and begin anew with a job in the "real workforce."

I wanted to work close to home so that I could have easy transportatio
n and I thought that working part-time at a restaurant, fast-food or otherwise, would be a fantastic beginning.

I asked my mom to drive me around the area, and I picked up applications for about six different places. The first on my list was a Subway shop in Damascus, my little town five minutes away from my h
ouse. I headed in, turned in my application to the manager, and explained how excited I was about the opportunity to potentially work there.

Within a week the half-owner of the store called me up, asked me to come in for an interview, and hired me right then and there. I was astonished. Could God really bring me a job where I would work 10-25 hours a week that q
uickly? I guess so. The Lord really provided.

Through the money I made, I was able to travel around with competition in the NCFCA as well as with TeenPact. I am a very blessed individual. Once the owners of my store found out I was gone more than not during the spring, they asked me if I would take a leave. While it was sad to hear this, it was actually one of the best things that has happened to me. It made for a lot more time
to work on my speech and debate skills and research while also being able to travel around with TeenPact and Worldview Academy in the summer. I was so blessed by this.

When I got home after staffing WVA, I was amazed to find out that my manager had recently called and wanted me back on. Wow? Really, God? Your blessings are too much!

So, I've worked about 7 months or so with my Subway and th
rough it I have learned a lot about a strong work ethic, consistency, and faithfulness. It's simple work. Every night I'm on the schedule I go in and do the same ol' things... making sandwiches, cleaning the shop, and closing up. An unknown author once said, "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

It's when I think things are simple, the same -mundane... when God just blows my mind.

The other night I was working my usual closing shift during dinner time and I had a good "rush" of people ... about seven or so with a total of about 11 sandwiches. I made my sandwiches with precision and excellence as I love to the pursuit of doing your best. All the while I was getting encouraging comments, because I was the only one
working. "You're doing a fabulous job!" "Hey, that's a great sandwich!" And then one gentleman made a statement that made smile big. "If everyone worked as hard as you do, then our country is on a comeback." The man and his friend left a good tip and all I could say is, "I'm all for that."

The point of this long post is to show you that God blesses the undeserving. He will blow your mind. His grace will never cease to amaze you.

"If God's grace is an ocean, we're all sinking."
-John Mark McMillan

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Live Like We're Dying


One of my favorite songs here by Kris Allen sets up the truth that Christians ought to live by. The idea that our lives are so short in comparison to eternity... the time that we spend driving or just sleeping... how little time we actually have to live. Our lives are short, and thus we are called to live in such a way ... live like we're dying. Lyrics and video posted below.

Remember. Time is never on our side.

Sometimes we fall down, can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
Till it's too late, it's not too late

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come
And we could make a feast from these crumbs
And we're all staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you,
What would you wish you would've done

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

And if your plane fell out of the skies
Who would you call with your last goodbye
Should be so careful who we live out our lives
So when we long for absolution,
There'll no one on the line, yeah

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying..

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

You never know a good thing till it's gone
You never see a crash till it's head on
Why do we think we're right when we're dead wrong
You never know a good thing till it's gone

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying..

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying..


Monday, October 11, 2010

live a crazy life.

Ever since my summer has been over I've missed it. Yes, I look back at all the camps and the faculty and the staffers and the students... and I miss it. I miss having a crazy schedule where I have to get students from place to place and I miss getting to love on them and teach.

But... as I have come back home I've been encouraged by more than one mentor or friend to really take what I'm given here and run with it. There is ministry that can (and should) happen in our families at home. Or with people at school. Or work. Sadly, it's easy to not see the potential for where God could use us in the mundane and basic areas of day-to-day life. We waste our days away.

For me, the less busy I am, the less I push myself toward something great. When I have time to lolly-gag, I usually take it nice and easy. Sadly, I think that is how it has become for many people. We think that God's work is best performed in us when we're off doing radical things in far away places with people we've never met before. But what does God call us to? He calls us to live radically... to live a crazy life for Him. For me, and I think for some of you, that means that we need to fill up our time with good things.

Encouraged by my parents and a friend of mine, I created a daily planner for myself today. It's pretty simple... setting aside time for chores, school, food, work, and time to spend with my family... but most importantly I'm creating a crazy schedule... a difficult schedule, because I want to make sure that I'm pursuing Jesus with all that I have. If there is any way you can get more on fire for the gospel, then here's my advice to you: Go all out. In the end I want to burn out bright for my Savior, and I want to have a crazy life in the eyes of the world that can only be accounted for as someone who was sold out to our loving Lord.

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8: 37-39

Saturday, October 9, 2010

infinity.


Earlier this week I received an email informing me about an Apologetics class in Beaver Creek, Oregon. As I read through the email I realized what it was about. Their normal pool of teachers and lecturers were unavailable, and because the other options had failed, they asked a former student to come and teach. That would be me.

I was totally taken aback. Me? So, I prayed... and prayed hard, 'cause I didn't want to accept it if it was an open door that I shouldn't walk through. I had a little fear, but after the Lord brought peace to me, it became a joy. I became very excited as I agreed to help give a lecture.

My lecture was on the infinite nature of God. I asked the students to tell me which attributes of God prove Him to be infinite. The classic 'omni's and sovereignty came up... but what I pushed for was for the students to realize that
every part of who God is defined by his infinity. Here are the examples I gave:
    1. Omnipotence/sovereignty (power, can do all things)
    2. Omniscience (knowledge)
    3. Omnipresence (space)
    4. Eternality (time)
    5. Transcendence (above)
    6. Faithfulness (never changing, always there)
    7. Holiness/Righteousness/Justice (perfect, set apart, good, right, fair)
    8. Grace (blessings)
    9. Mercy/Love (forgiveness, affection)
As I lectured about these attributes of God I showed the students through Scripture passages and quotes how God is infinite in every aspect. And most importantly... If He wasn't what our world would look like.

By the end, it came down to the gospel. It always has to come to the gospel. I took a step away from my notes and started to explain the crazy love that God has for us. How God knew before creation that if He made us, we would rebel. The Father knew the only way to save us was for His Son to be limited in human form... to live a harsh life on earth and ultimately die one of the worst deaths humanity ha
s constructed. Most importantly, the Father and Son both knew that the Father would have to turn away from Jesus. Their perfect love and harmony cut off because of humanity's sin.

And yet.

And yet, He still wanted to do it. That's how much He loves us. It was no longer me speaking, but I really felt the Holy Spirit speaking the words through me. And while, I'm imperfect, I feel that God was able to use that message to speak to at least some students.

As I readied to leave, there were many 'thank you, Quin' s but I knew the only reason it would have any affect was because of what Jesus had done for me, and what the Holy Spirit would do for those students.

Over the years I've learned much. This much I know, God's grace is everything to me, and it has no limits. His grace is in ultimate, infinite supply.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

post 25

I know it's blue ice. Fascinating. That's the only reason I have it up. It's a crazy awesome creation.

So, I found out that I have 25 followers to this blog! Yay!

And this is the 25th blog post. Kinda random and cool, but I wanted to let y'all know something. -A reminder of why this has been started and a perspective of where it is going.

Past.
This blog was started to so that I could keep a record of the many ways God blesses my life. It its meant as a reminder to me and it is meant to encourage and to challenge you. If you find neither of these, please do not waste your time. I mean that. And not only for my blog but for anything. If it's not benefiting you by pointing you toward the Savior, use your time in a different way.

Future.
This blog will end.

I know that's sad to hear for some, and I appreciate the grace God has given me and all you friends. With that said, I have been blessed to have been accepted as an intern with TeenPact this coming season. With little time to devote to writing online, my plan will be to terminate this blog for the duration. However, if things change, I will be sure to let it be known. Come December this will probably be just some random site that is empty of new posts. If you still find encouragement or a challenging word from previous and past posts, feel free to go back and read, and I want to hear how God is working in your lives.

My friends are all gifts from the great Giver. I know I'm blessed. Thank you for your support and may this find you growing deeper in the love of Jesus.

Monday, October 4, 2010

shine

I want to be able to pray the prayer that David wrote, "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles."

This passage comes from Psalm 34 and I think it well encapsulates the idea that if we are filling ourselves wit
h God we will shine for the world. Two friends of mine (Reggie and Mary Beth) ran for office at TeenPact National Convention's mock elections.... (which in the TeenPact world is a big deal. ;] ) They ran for president/vice and came in close second. Their one word motto for the campaign?

Shine.

Jesus has given us so much. Nothing that we have is ours. It's all a gift from God. We have all the reasons in the world to listen to his call to shine.

Jesus is quoted saying in Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Because of all that we've been given in this life, and most importantly through our salvation, we ought to pursue God at all times. We should be sharing with others at all times. And we're called to live as if we are shining lights on a hilltop at all times. To live out your faith. Often, that's a serious difficulty.
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6
Our purpose? To bring glory to the One who deserves it all. I cannot cease to be amazed by this simple truth. That GOD should choose make beings to bless... and when we messed everything up that this same GOD would step down, humble Himself and become like us so that He might show His glory. His glory shines in our hearts when we've been saved, and it's so selfish if we keep it there. We have to shine before all men SO THAT they may see our good works and what? GIVE GLORY TO GOD.

Today, be sure to shine bright for Jesus. He's worth it all.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

a quote for consideration... (ii)

Below is a quote that I recently found regarding heroes. The author was an American social activist and was the first black winner of a major men's singles championship in tennis. I really appreciate this quote because it makes you search your own self to see what type of person you're trying to be.
"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."
Arthur Ashe
Do you want to be a hero?


Friday, October 1, 2010

humility (part i)

Paul is my favorite new testament author and probably my favorite out of all the men that God used to record His holy scriptures... When I come to the book of Philippians I am so incredibly challenged. And should this passage have the right affect, it provides a change in lifestyle so that you are then encouraged by reading it.

Philippians 2:1-4 is that for me. I want to be more like Christ. I don't want to look humble. I want to be humble.
1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4

The way that C.J. Mahaney explains it is that, "Humility is always our greatest friend, and pride is always our greatest enemy."

Be encouraged today by this passage to not look to only your own interests, but also to the interests of others remembering to consider others better than yourselves. Pursue Jesus today.