Prayer: Draft 1

I’m looking into doing some vlogs (Video Blogs) this summer. I’m really excited and nervous for it. I feel like that is the direction the Lord is currently taking me. Below, is a first draft I have made, with a large amount of help (well pretty much all of it was done) with The Lord. I plan on making a few more drafts of the message below, but before I go any further, I wanted to know all of your guys thoughts. I’ve never done this type of thing before.

Thanks in advanced for all who read and share your thoughts!

Just for reference, I read the script below out loud and timed it at a little over 9 minutes.

Prayer is a funny thing. I’ve talked to many people about prayer throughout the years. Christians have told me they believe God tells us to pray, but that they aren’t sure if it works. Some have told me it’s a waste of time to pray for them, and that they don’t even want me pray for them. Some Christians pray only once in a few weeks because they just plain forget about it. Then there are people who don’t live a life for Christ, but because they pray once in a while, they believe they are going to heaven.

In some cases prayer is a last resort.  It’s the last thing we do. We will say “Well I guess all I can do is pray now.” In other situations we will tell our friends “I’ll pray for you. I’m sorry I can’t do more.” We’ve lost the sense of the power prayer has.

I think you can relate somehow. I can. Sometimes prayer gets hard because we feel Christ just isn’t answering it and it may even cause us to fall a little bit in our faith.

We’ve lost hope in prayer.

I want to share with you ways that you can regain your hope in prayer.  To pray bold and confident prayers that you’ve never even dreamed of. It starts with Scripture.

One of the biggest things Christians over look is placing themselves in the Word of God. Some of our excuses are “I’m to busy.” “I just don’t understand it.” “It’s just not for me.” And “it doesn’t apply to me.” “I just don’t want to read.” Those excuses exist to serve one purpose, to keep you away from God’s Word. The devil knows the power of God’s Word and he fears it greatly, so he wants to keep you away from it.

What opened up my mind were the epistles that can be found in the New Testament. Paul’s letters opened up my mind to how awesome my God, our God is. I fell in love with God, and with this love came the first step of prayer, communication.

Prayer is communication with God, and the more you love Him, the more you communicate with Him, and the more you communicate with Him the more you love Him and recognize Him in all the different areas of your life.

It’s like when you have a crush. You just want to talk to your crush more, and the more you talk to them, the more you like them, and the more you like them, the more you want to talk to them. It’s a cycle.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

 

Never stop praying

 

With Scripture comes the second step of prayer, aligning your hearts with God.

When God doesn’t answer your prayer the way you want Him to, it is not because He is not there, it is because you are asking for stuff that is not for your greater good, or for the greater good of Heaven.

It’s difficult to accept when your grandparent, or other, passes away after you have been praying so hard for their survival.  But we cannot lean on our own understanding, as stated in Proverb’s 3:5-6 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

Maybe God let your grandparent die to ease their pain, maybe it was so they can rejoice in the kingdom of Heaven, maybe it was to bring recognition to whatever they stood for so that others can follow in their footsteps. There could be so many reasons, but you got to trust that Christ has a plan.

As we read Scripture daily, God puts a transformation in you that is beyond belief. It’s amazing the amount of wisdom, understanding, and peace He places upon you. In this transformation we begin to yearn not the things of this world, but for the things that are Christ pleasing. When we start praying Christ centered prayers, and giving up our earthly desires, we will begin to see Christ answering our prayers in the way we want them to be answered. We will start to recognize His presence in our life.

But you can’t expect them always to be answered. Not even all of Jesus’ prayers are answered. If you open up to Luke 22 you can see Christ praying to God for a way out of His death, He prayers so hard that He is covered in sweat, and then His sweat turns into blood. But God tells Him no. Jesus was rejected by God as well.

I want to share a few stories of my own about prayer that come to mind:

Between my freshmen and sophomore year of college I was a graphic design student. One of my teachers was a complete stickler. Everything had to be professional, on time, done right, and absolutely positively no excuses! She was the strictest teacher I have ever had. She didn’t like to be strict, but she did to prepare us for ‘the real world.’ Well on three different occasions throughout those two years, I had either forgotten or just wasn’t able to finish my art projects. Not showing up to class on a day a project was due, was simply not an option. If we did, we had to have a perfectly valid excuse, and have our project turned in a head of time. If not, the consequences were even worse than showing up with an unfinished project. So there was three occasions that I just couldn’t finish my projects for whatever reason, so I prayed. But before I prayed each time, I told myself I would only pray once, and I would trust that the Lord would take care of it. Sure enough He did. One time, I completely wrote down the wrong due date so I came to class and found out I had a whole another week to do it, and the other two, by the grace of God, we came to class and she randomly decided to push back the due dates for whatever miraculous reason.

The second is a story of a butterfly. I was sitting in chapel one day and a butterfly flew past my feet. Just for the fun of it, it wasn’t to test God it was just spur of the moment. I asked God to make that butterfly come back. And it did! Then I said, make that butterfly land on my foot, so it did! But it immediately got back up and started flying back the way it was going; I was dissatisfied. Then I said, Really God, I want a real landing. Making it land again on my other foot! So it turned around and did! I was simply amazed!

The point of these two stories is this, prayer is a powerful thing. It calls directly on God. God is the creator of all things, if you call on Him, have confidence that He will deliver! Philippians 4:13 states

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

This is more than just a verse guys, this is truth! Have the confidence that you can do all things. Matthew 17:20 states:

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

We have so much power at our hands; we need to have confidence with it! This is not to say God is a genie to grant all your wishes cause you have confidence, remember you have to align your hearts, this is just saying don’t doubt the creator of all things.

Don’t be afraid to pray bold prayers.

The last step is to pray frequently.

Prayer isn’t always a once and done thing. Lets look at Scripture to see it was to say about praying often.

First look at Elijah in 1 Kings 17:21-22

Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”  The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.

Elijah, a powerful prophet of the Lord didn’t just ask God once to bring the boy back to life, he had to cry out three times! But he did so in confidence in the name of the Lord!

Luke 11:11-13

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks fora fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

Luke 18:1-8

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Always pray, and never give up. This woman begged the king for justice. At first he didn’t give it to her, but through her persistence he let her have her wish. Will God, who loves us, not give us more?! Cry out to Him day and night, and He will give you what you ask for.

Prayer needs to become like breathing, always do it.

Lastly, don’t forget to recognize answered prayers. In 2nd Samuel 6:22 David says, “I will become even more undignified than this,” I think that is an awesome response to going crazy about an answered prayer. He just rejoices. Some of you may have heard of Kari Jobe, a very talented Christian singer. On March 27th she wrote

Wow..I prayed a very specific prayer this morning and The Lord just answered me in the way I asked Him to. What?!! So faithful! Faith!!!”

I love her response! She just straight up rejoices!

I hope this has helped you as much as it has helped me in my relationship with Christ and my view on prayer. To dig further, I suggest a book by Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life Church called “Altar Ego.” He tackles prayer throughout his book, and uses some amazing examples of answered prayers.

God bless y’all! Stay true to His discipleship!

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Journal Entry: Faith and Trust

March 25th

Who am I to become? I live in a society that tells me to be carefree. Do what feels good. I don’t buy this. I look to the bible. This is where it becomes difficult. I can not find a solid answer. I find the bible to be the most complex thing in the world. It can’t be understood. There is a contradiction to everything. Not in a way which it has to be either black or white, with black and white both saying they are right. But in a way which we have blue and yellow statements, and we must hold them both tight to create green. Paradox. The bible is made up of paradoxes, and I can not understand them. So who am I to become? Should I drop everything for God? Get up and leave my family without goodbye? Where would I go? What would I do? Or do I continue my life the way it is. Do my best at everything I do, giving praise to God? I do not know. I am told people will hate me because of Christ. What if no one hates me? Am I doing it wrong? How am I to live? Who I am to become? I can not answer this. I feel dissatisfied. I can’t live in foolishness. Foolishness ends in death. How do I live according to God? Do I want to live for God? Of course I do. So how? I am unsure. How am I to live? I find myself repeating this question, unable to answer. Where do I turn? It is unknown. One thing I do know is I must trust. Must have faith. Faith in the unknown. Trust God will take me there. So it is by faith and trust that I shall live. Where this will lead me, I do not know. But it is my only option. Trusting in someone I cannot know exists. Is this foolishness? I hope not. It is faith. For it is faith I shall live by. Faith and Trust. It’s all I can do. It’s what I must do.

Journal Entry: I am weak Lord.

I’m really beginning to question having a journal. I feel it is making me week. It has started to allow me to open up to my feelings, but that is just the thing. I’m starting to feel I have to open up about all my feelings now. Feelings I never knew I had are emerging. It’s making me feel incredibly weak. I can’t be weak. I have to be strong. Weakness isn’t an option! It’s foolish to be weak! Isn’t it? I don’t know. I hate complaining. God has given me so much, what right do I have to complain? I know better than to complain. I know God has a plan. I know I have nothing to worry about. Sometimes I feel I force myself to worry, just so that I can feel weak and complain about it. I don’t like it. Not one bit! I need to be strong. God has my back, I have nothing to worry about, why do I feel the need to make myself weak? To bring myself down? I’m not sure. I guess a part of me wants to be weak, a part of me wants to struggle. I guess I can’t really complain about being weak though. For it is in our weakness that God makes us strong. 2 Corinthians 12:19 “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.” So wait! Now I shall question all of what I just said. Paul says he is going to “boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” That makes my head spin! Let’s start from the beginning of the verse now. God says “My power is made perfect in weakness.” So in our weakness God’s power is perfect. God’s power lies within our weakness. Well what about when we are strong? Well I guess when we are strong, we don’t need God. That changes things. LORD MAKE ME WEAK!!!! I DON’T WANT TO BE STRONG!! I now see why Paul is telling us he is going to boast about his weaknesses! The more weak we are, the more Christ dwells in us! Done, it is official, I am keeping my journal! Make me weak Lord! Make me struggle! Make me confused! AHH I am so excited!!! I am sooo glad Christ is in me! Okay, so what about my struggles with school. Obviously that is a huge weakness of mine. I have been relying on God like crazy to help me! O, I guess that is why my grades are slowly getting better. What about Anatomy though? That is only getting worse. I am, by my standards, screwed! I have to get 90% any everything to get a 70%…. I can’t do that, why has God brought me to that? He knows how much I work at that. How hard I study, how many hours I have locked away in my room studying, yet I keep getting worse… I keep relying on Him more, and it’s still getting worse? What does this mean? Lord I need help. Anatomy is causing me to doubt. Causing me to doubt that you are in my weakness. I need help! Help me to see you there! I am suppose to fail? That messes everything up Lord! Is that the point? I guess I have asked several times for you to put me in a situation to completely rely on you. I guess you are answering my prayer, careful what you wish for huh. Well awesome! okay Lord, thanks! I accept! I am scared as all can be! But take over, please take over! I can’t handle my life on my own, I need help! I need YOUR help! I give you the wheel Lord. Help me.

Two Journal Entries

When I started this blog, it was for the sole purpose of sharing my love with Christ to others who either haven’t accepted Christ, or for those who have but need a rejuvenation. Sharing how much He has done for me, and how thankful I am for Him! However as time progressed I have moved into more scriptural teachings. Something I am very uncomfortable with, and feel very under qualified for. To think critically about bible verses, and share them with the public is a very scary thought to me. I feel like I haven’t been trained enough for this sort of thing. I don’t feel I know the scriptures well enough to be giving public thought to them. However, I’m doing it because I felt God calling me in that direction. I have been blessed with lots of positive reinforcements from everyone, so I would like to say thank you to you all reading! It means a lot!

Being Good Friday, I want to share, not a Good Friday lesson, but rather a piece of my heart. I want to share two journal entires that comes straight from my heart. Both of these are written a few weeks ago, and are the most comfortable journal entries for me to share. You can see them in the next two posts..

 

My Life Story

I’ve been debating on writing this for a LONG time, and a long time ago I just decided against it because I didn’t think it was interesting enough. However lately, it has been in the back of my head to do so again, and so I am.

After finishing this, I feel like I have missed so much. I know there was so much more that I had wanted to add, but it never came out as I was writing this. I hope to add more as time passes. For those that are interested in reading, but don’t want to read this much all at once, I am making a new page on my blog called My Life Story, where you can come back to it in the future.

Childhood

I was born and raised a Lutheran. As a child I went to St. Martins Lutheran School up until 7th grade. There is not a point in my life where I can I can say I accepted Christ, I just always have. In the summer time I went to a christian camp, called Camp Victory. That always was the highlight of my summer, and that is where/when I learned I wanted to be involved with younger generations for the first time.

As a child I can only think of three favorite memories as a child. The first of which is anytime it was just me and my dad in the car. Every time we rode in the car together my dad always taught me a new life lesson. I took so much of what he said to me, and put it dear to my heart. These conversations with him, is what formed me to be who I am today. I firmly believe that the character I am today, is a direct results from the conversations. I enjoyed them a lot, and my dad always had so much to say. Even at a very early age, I could feel that these were life lessons he was teaching me, and so I always looked forward to them. I never really wanted to talk, but rather just listen to him and learn. I remember one time he told me “I know God made you for a special purpose.” Nothing can make a childhood better than a father telling you that. As a child, this ment to me that God had a HUGE, GIGANTIC, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, NO ONE ELSE BUT ME CAN DO PLAN! I constantly wondered what made me so special that God would choose me (me of all people!) to do something special. I never could understand it, but I kept it super close to my heart. I know realize what is ment by it. Every member of the christian body has a “HUGE, GIGANTIC, SPECIAL, UNIQUE, NO ONE ELSE BUT ME CAN DO PLAN.” God has given all of us our own unique special plan. That is just awesome!

My second favorite memory as a child is from an action of my mom. It was the first time I realized how awesome my mother was, and how much she loved me. What she did was actually a small task, but it ment the world to me. One morning before school I was organizing my toy car collection. I was making one line of Hot~Wheel cars, and a second line of all the other brands of toy cars. I only got a few cars into it before I had to go to school, and I was bummed. I spent the whole day at school just waiting to go home to finish the lines of cars! As soon as I got home, I walked into the living room and I saw that all the cars were organized in the right lines according to their brands, not only brands, but colors! I was extremely happy! My mom told me that she had finished organizing my cars for me. That is when I knew I had the best mom in the world!

My third memory, definitely my favorite memory, involves my dad once again. Every night before I went to bed, my dad would tuck me in before I went to bed, and pray with me. For me, it was the most comforting thing. There was some nights that I would go to bed and my dad wouldn’t be there to tuck me in right away. So I would wait in bed, sometime for hours(at least felt like hours) waiting for him. Eventually he would always show though. Never once, do I remember, him forgetting to tuck me as a hotdog in my blankets, and say our goodnight prayers together. I remember the night when he encouraged me to pray on my own. Before that the only times I prayed with at meals, and before bed, all times with my parents. The thought to pray on my own, I had never thought of. But after the night he encouraged me to, I would constantly pray over and over again. I remember I became obsessed with saying “Amen.” I was so scared that the Lord wouldn’t hear me unless I said “Amen.” It got to the point where when I was praying I would say ‘amen’ after every word, I would say it about at least 10 times before I fell asleep, throughout the night when I woke up I would repeat my whole prayers and say amen many more times again, and when I woke up I would once again start repeating saying ‘amen’ just incase I didn’t. This lasted for a few years, I just wanted to make sure God would hear me. Any who, my dad praying with me at night and tucking me in, is my favorite child hood memory. (for those who haven’t read my post about my dad, you can find it here)

My eighth grade year,we moved up north and I attended a public school for the first time ever. At the time I was actually excited. I was excited to be outside a christian school and be able to witness to others. Well in short, that didn’t happen. I unfortunately never once shared Jesus with anyone. What was good about that year is I became a lot closer with God. My prayer life, and relationship with Him improved dramatically. It’s when I first started thinking about how what I do reflexes Christ. Apparently (my mother will occasionally remind me of this), at 8th grade graduation I won the best character award. Thinking back on that, it makes me feel better about not ever talking about Jesus with others. Instead I was able to share about Him through my actions.

Eighth grade is when I learned to respect my elders, BUT also not to take everything they say as God’s word; Don’t be afraid to question what they teach. This happened one night in 8th grade conformation, it also happened to be parent night at conformation. I don’t remember exactly how it started but it had to do with God knowing a child’s future. My pastor tried to tell me that God doesn’t have the ability to tell the future, because it hasn’t happen. I was shocked! This formed the very first argument that I can remember being in. Him and argued for a few minutes over the topic, a few parents chimed in, joining my pastors side. I wasn’t about to change my mind on this issue, but I knew it was pointless to go on, so I just pretended to side with him. It still gets to me this day how he didn’t believe that God could tell a child’s future before it even happens. God is not defined by time. After that confirmation metting, my dad and I talked about it on the way home, thankfully he agreed with me on the matter. So this is when I learned that you can’t take everything someone says as law, and not to be afraid to question it. We are all make mistakes, and we must learn from them.

High School

For highschool we moved back to my home town. I attended Hope Lutheran High School. This high school was created for my class. At the time I was in 6th grade, my parents, and a few others, didn’t want us to go to the public highschool in my town. Some of them had gone there, some had only heard stories, but they all knew that the children they were raising needed to be surrounded by Christians. So they created a christian high school for us. By the time I started high school, Hope started its third year.

My relationship with Christ, was a strange one in high school and I have no idea how to describe it. When looking back on it, I feel like religion became just a subject in school. I learned an incredible amount about the bible. Being who I was, and who I was raised to be, I became a leader in all that I did. I won an enormous amount of leadership awards, as well as christian character awards. My junior year I was even picked to be among a select few students in the entire school distract to participate in a leadership program. The most humbling award was from my hockey team. I played hockey through the public school, and I was awarded the Hobey Backer award. The odds of you knowing what the Hobey Backer award is very slim, unless you know a lot about Minnesota hockey, or college hockey. In high school it is awarded to the best positive leader, one who shows a positive attitude, never gives up, and has a positive character. The high schoolers who win it get to go to a Minnesota Twins game, gets to go down on the field and have their name announced to the crowd. When I think back about high school, I do not think I deserved any of it. In high school I felt my relationship with God, as more distant. I didn’t completely get that relationships are two ways. My relationship with God was more one way. I prayed to Him often, but only to ask for stuff. He was just a connivence to me I guess. I was doing the right things, but my heart wasn’t in the right place. My heart was distracted by someone else. (I’ll get into that in minute). In high school I did whatever I was asked, and to the best of my ability (except my education itself). For that reason I believe is why I was rewarded what I was, but I just do not think I deserved it. Sometimes I just like to think it was because there wasn’t much to choose from.

In high school I had a girlfriend. She has been one of the best, but also one of the worse things that has ever happened to me. I still don’t feel comfortable talking her, even though someday I need to. I have learned a great deal from what her and I went through. She was a distraction from my relationship with Christ.. Alright, next chapter of my life..

One more thing about high school that I wanted to add about high school, was that I was EXTREMELY happy to not ever have to worry about science classes again!

College

College, where to start. I started off attending Concordia College in Nebraska (it is another Lutheran school). I still yet to this day have no idea how I ended up there, it was really an act of God. All during high school it was set in my mind that I was going to Concordia College in Minnesota to be a school teacher. There are many different Concordias throughout America, and I had always mad fun of the Concordia in Nebraska. I thought it was a joke, as well as my friends from high school. My senior year of high school came and a representative from Concordia Nebraska came to my high school and gave us a presentation. I didn’t think much of it. It was than question and answer time, and as soon as we finished that we had to go back to class. I had no interest in going to class, so I just began asking questions to past time and even make fun of Concordia Nebraska. Well God was working that evening. I asked a bunch of questions that the man shocked me with, but there were two in particular that put me off guard. He asked me  what I wanted to major in. I knew very well that they had a good teaching program, so I lied to him to try to make him look bad. I figured Nebraska, they probably don’t even know what technology is, they are all on just corn and farmers. So I told him, I wanted to do graphic design. His reply blew my mind at the time, and he told me that their graphic design program just got done being the best graphic design program in Nebraska, throughout all the whole Concordia system, and one of the best in the midwest. At that, I was just shocked. Immediately, I tried to ask him one more question to put him down. Since I am huge into sports, I asked him what the athletic fields were like. I thought there is no way they have a decant field, it has to be a joke of a sports facility. Wrong again! They had just finished building a state of the art athletic facility center. This blew me away! At that point I was thinking maybe God was calling me there.

I signed up for a visit to Concordia Nebraska, still hesitant about it, and started to strongly think attending Concordia St. Paul again. However trying to be open minded I went and visited it(7 hours away). We arrived! Ever had one of those moments that we can just feel God? Well that is what it was like when I visited. Within just the first minute of being there, my dad and I both knew God wanted me there. It was a calling from God that I have never felt before. We were so sure of it, that we did all the finical paper work as soon as the tour was finished. We were told no one had ever done that before. It was funny to, because the lady who did our paper work, was one of my high school teachers younger niece (it’s a small world). At that time I thought I was going to play soccer in college, so I visited the soccer coach while I was there. Since they were going to have practice that day, he asked me to join them. I did, and it went great! The coach wanted me on the team and asked me to come during the summer to the tryouts. Well, by the time summer happened,  I totally forgot about the tryouts. The coach called me up as soon as tryouts was over and asked why I wasn’t there. He told me if I still wanted to play I could, but he couldn’t let me join that years team because I missed tryouts. But he asked me to make sure I come to try outs the next year. But I didn’t and for another God reason that we will get to way further down!

First Year of College

I tried to become both a teacher and graphic designer, but my advisor told me I could not do both, I had to choose one or the other, so I choose graphic design. The graphic design program was absolutely fantastic! I learned a great deal through it, but it isn’t much to talk about.

I joined a club at the beginning of the year called CYM (Christian Youth Ministry). The point of the club was to help youth groups all through out the midwest with lock-ins. They would call us and ask us to do lock-ins for their youth. I always said no, and left the club full time quickly, but I still considered myself apart of it because so many good friends of mine were apart of it. I met two extremely important people in my life because of CYM though. The first was the leader of this group. This person has played a huge part in my life, and has helped me grow up so much! This same friend came be found in this blog post. I am extremely thankful God has paced this person in my life! Through out the year though, CYM continued to ask me to go to lock-ins and I continued to tell them no. It was just an automatic routine to say no to them. After the first semester was over they finally quit asking me. About halfway through my second semester, at random I felt the call to go to a lock in. Just a few days later, I was asked again to go to a lockin, without thought I said yes. It was the second time in my life like I felt like God was calling me to be somewhere. I was happy to know the three other people I was going with, were my closest friends from CYM. So we went. Right away there was one particular girl I got an instant vibe about, we connected pretty good pretty quickly. She pretty much became my partner for the rest of the night with everything we did. Her and I have only been together physically for about 12 hours, but since than we have gotten extremely close. I consider her my little sister, and she calls me her big brother. She often begs me for the day we can talk on the phone, but little does she know (she does as of reading this) that talking to people on the phone is one of my all time top fears! However I still do look forward to the day we talk in person again. She is one the people in my life that I know God has a plan for, and you just can’t help but see Him in her. Her and I often talk about how crazy it was that we met there, and how grateful we both are because we did!

Summer

After my first year was done, I came home for the summer. I started the summer off by plowing one of the meanest things I have ever done. I purposely broke a girls heart (in the end she got me back though ha).

It started out at a benefit concert by dad and I were video tapping for, for three girls that had died in a bad car accident. It was a local concert so I knew most of the people there, and was very good friends with a few. One of the bands playing was called Lightswitch. I knew the members of the band pretty well(we had become good soccer buddies). There was a girl at this concert who asked for one of their cell phone numbers from my friend. He initially told her they dont have cell phones(cause they didn’t at the time). As soon as he had told me that, I told him to go back to her and give her my number and tell her it is the particular band members number. So he did, and she fell for it. After the concert she texted me(thinking it was the band member) and we started talking. I felt bad right away, so I kept pretending I was busy (packing up the band gear). This continued the whole weekend, and I could definitely tell she had completely fallen for the person I was pretending to be. On Monday my good friend from the concert was telling me how at their school she was constantly talking about the person I was pretending to be, and even telling the stories I had made up. (I want everyone to know, I very very rarely lie, but when I do, I have been cursed with the ability to lie like none other!) At this point I couldn’t take it anymore so I told my friend I was going to tell her. He asked me to wait, for her sake. Apparently she had a huge thing to do (I don’t remember if was some kind of scholarship presentation, an important test, or something, I just remember it was a big deal). He asked me to wait a few days, until after she does that, to tell her. So I did. By this point she was completely crazy over this person I was pretending to be, everyone knew about it. So telling her it was all a lie, and a stupid joke, was extremely hard. Not only would it break her heart, but everyone who knew her, would know how much of a jerk I was. But I did do it. I had never felt so bad in my life, about what I did to her.

But the story with her doesn’t end. A few weeks later my dad and I was video tapping a softball game for my old high school. They just so happen to be playing the school that girl went to. I didn’t know this until the end of the game though. At the end of the game my good friend told me that, that girl was there and showed me her. I literally stood still for a good 5 seconds in panic. The rest of the time I tried to look completely busy and avoid her at all costs. In less than two minutes I get a tap on my shoulder. I look back, AND IT’S HER! I was completely scared and was expecting death. It was nothing like that though. She just came over to say hi, tell me she is over all that, and than we just talked and joked around a bit. It was weird. I thought that would be the last time I see her, again. I was wrong, a few weeks later I went swimming with my good friend. There was a girl he liked and he wanted me to come with to help him be his wing man I guess. This girl he liked also brought a few friends with, one of them was that girl. I was super nervous when I found out she was coming. I was scared of death again. However when she got there, her and I seemed to have connected instantly. I knew there was something between us but she was going on a date later that evening, so I didn’t care about that feeling. She texted me shortly after that day. We texted a lot, but I thought it was all friendship. I thought she was still dating the guy she went on a date with after we went swimming. After a while I realized she liked me, and when I became extremely confused. At that point I started to try to avoid texting her as much as possible, made up lots of excuses. Eventually thought, like so many guys before me, I fell for her. She is a very attractive personality, and she is also very attractive in general. Our relationship was just like every summer relationship from the movies(but the one that stands out in my mind is Grease). It moved extremely fast, we were young, and just yeah. However she broke it up on one of my last days of summer. She was extremely afraid that I was going to go back to Nebraska and cheat on her with so many girls, and just leave her in the closet. She was absolutely sure of it. When we talked about it, she treated it as a matter of fact type of deal. It hurt me a lot at the time, but I am glad she ended. As much as I liked her, she was missing an important key quality, God. It’s not that she didn’t have God, cause she did, but she wasn’t a positive role model to me towards Christ. I thought maybe she was at first, because she had told me early in our relationship that one of the main reasons she liked me so much was because I was a man of God.

A second thing happened that summer, that I won’t get into detail. But I was at a 5 christian event halfway through the summer. At this event, I spent a lot of time thinking what I want to do with my life. I saw these people on stage speaking about Christ, and I knew that was something I wanted to do, but scared like crazy to do. But talking about Jesus to youth, and being an inspiring character on earth, is something I was definitely feeling called to be. Many times in high school I was told by adults, especially older adults, that I should be a pastor. However I refuse to be a pastor. Just refuse. But I was open to the idea of being a speaker of some sort. I texted a few friends of mine to get their opinion of the matter, hoping someone would tell me I was being ridiculous. Nope, in fact I was told I would be perfect at that. A few weeks later, I had a discusion with God about speaking that I still maintain to this day. I told God, I was open to speaking, however, I am going to do at whatever I can to not ever have to speak. I will avoid it to the best of my ability. But that if it is something He wants me to do it, I know He will make me do it, He always does, and I will do it gladly. To this day, I hold onto that.

Second Year of College

There is not much I can remember during the first semester of my second year of college, I just remember always being busy with art. That semester two of my best friends left. One of them graduated from college, this was the person that was in charge of CYM. A second friend, transfered to a different college. I had thoughts starting in the summer to transfer to a different college in my home town, Winona State. I wouldn’t let myself transfer than, cause I felt it was because of the girl I dated during the summer, although I did feel a higher power pulling me there, but I was scared. So I continued at Concordia Nebraska. However I felt that calling back to Winona State again close to the of the semester. I thought deeply about it. I realized I no longer felt like I was suppose to be at Concordia University. I was scared to leave though because I was extremely comfortable there. I was scared to leave my comfort zone, and I was especially scared to leave the christian university, and enter into a public university. I was confused. I questioned why God had wanted me to be at Concordia, and why I know feel like I am suppose to transfer away. It was all very confusing, but I did what I felt like God wanted me to do. So I sent a transfer application and I was accepted, and finished the whole year off at Concordia.

God likes to send us curveballs, and a curve ball He sent me. The start of my second semester, of my second year, God put another person in my life. This person now means a whole lot to me, but it wasn’t easy for her. This is a friendship that I put 0% effort into, and she put 120% into it. I still feel incredibly bad for it, but I am glad she deemed me worthy of it. That semester her and I came extremely close! We pretty much started to do everything together. So many people accused us of being a couple, we got it left and right, all the time. But we weren’t, we were just extremely close friends, all thanks to her. Till this day, she puts all the effort into our friendship. She made transferring extremely hard. She has played a huge part in my life, and like everyone else, I am extremely thankful for her. Before the second semester was over, she started hanging more with one of my good buddies, and she started doing to him, what she did to me. So it made my heart a little more satisfied that when I left, she would have him to be close to.

Summer

Not much to say about this past summer. Busy with work, and always poor sums it up.

Third Year of College: First Year at Winona State

Starting off the school year I was extremely nervous! I was at a public university, completely our of my comfort zone. I quickly started questioning why I was there, I could find is sexual filth everywhere! I was praying like crazy for God to help me do whatever He wanted me to do there. The answer arrived quickly. Before the school year even started, I started coaching soccer for my old high school with my dad. For the record, our season went undefeated. The school had also asked me to be a teacher for their multi-media class on the first day of school. Just being a coach, and teacher to these kids was enough to make me feel like that’s why God had called me to be there. But God didn’t stop there.

Like every semester so far, God has brought into my life an important person. He continued this tradition once again. I met a person like I never had before, despite being surrounded by a christian community all my life. I met someone whose heart is completely filled with the Lord. I have found her faith completely inspiring. The best way I have come to describe it, is ‘child like’ faith. Not saying it has much to grow, because it must certainly doesn’t. But that she loves the Lord like a child loves its father or mother. I have never talked to anyone that gets as excited as she does, when talking about Jesus. It is truly inspiring. I wish everyone to find someone like her in their life. But to continue on, she had down an extraordinary amount to my relationship with Christ. I know that the reason God has put me at Winona State now is to be coach and teacher for the youth, but also to meet her, be inspired by her faith, and to do to the youth, what she has done to me! <-She is also who told me to start blogging on WordPress. You can find a link to her blog here.

Starting way back after my first year at Concordia, I had the thought to change my major. I just didn’t feel like it was what I was suppose to do. I stayed in the graphic design program though because it was extremely comfortable. The program was amazing, and I was just comfortable doing it, there wasn’t any worries. So I kept in it because it was comfortable. Well after spending the first half of the semester in the graphic design program at Winona State, I knew I had to get out of it. I just felt like there was no way God could be calling be to do that, but I had absolutely no idea what to change into though. Thought about it for the longest time, and I prayed hard, but couldn’t figure it out. I knew God is calling me to be a teacher, or to some kind of position over the youth, but I knew it wasn’t time yet to go into youth work, there was still something God wants me to do before that. I prayed and thought, long and hard about this, but could never figure it out. I stayed in the graphic design program for the meantime just in case. God didn’t like me keeping the graphic design as a back up plan. I guess He wanted me to completely trust in Him. So He took me out of school for two weeks, making it completely impossible to stay in my graphic design class. Because of complications, this would mean I would have to wait a full year before I could enter into another graphic design class, making it a year and a half at least before I could be accepted into the graphic design program. God’s message went through to me, switch majors! Now back to why I was out of school for two weeks. I don’t know how to make this not disgusting. Basically, two years ago I had surgery for a hernia, and there was some major complications, but in the end it was all taken care of. Well, apparently not. First off something happen in my system that caused excessive vomitting and diarrhea all week.  This did two things to my system, it made me extremely dehydrated(doctor said I was 4 days dehydrated), and it did something to my hernia scar tissue. It made it rip a little bit in my intestines and cause a leakage and a blockage of waste products inside my body. I had surgery again, they took care of it, I stayed in the hospital for a week , and I was all good. During that time in the hospital I fell in love with all my nurses and everything they did for me. Because of that, how much I love sports, and the fact that I am teaching my friends proper nutrition and work out habits, I decided to become an exercise science major. Complete change from where I was before.

I started the second semester off in exercise science. This is where I am at now in my life. This semester is half over, and I am deeply excited to see what else God has in store for me at Winona State.

I am also extremely excited to see what God is going to do with me in my life. Half a graphic design degree, lots of experience in the youth, experience in coaching, and will have a exercise science degree. I am not sure what God has planned with that, but I will just patiently wait and see. I do have an idea, but it is a big idea! This idea extremely excites me, but I am not yet ready to share it.

But this is where I am at now. I didn’t cover even a third of what I wanted. In the future I will add more as I see fit though. For anyone that actually read all of it, I hope that in some way you can use it, or connect to it in some sort of way.

My goal in life is for one thing. To be like John the Baptist, and just point the way to Jesus. I just want to be a bridge, or jumper cables for the Lord. Pointing people, and leading them to Christ. God Bless

My Hero: Dad, and How God Changed His Plans

This morning I realized how great my dad is and how much the Lord is using him and has guided his path to the point at which  he is today. It truly has been a God directed path. It comes to show that we can male plans for ourself, but if God has something else planned, He will put us on His path, and in the end we will be enjoying Gods plans for us much more than our own. I do not know all of my dads story, and I have some details wrong I am sure, but I would like to share it to the best of my ability. To me it is really encouraging and helps me realize that God is going to put in my way His path.

(Warning I did try to shrink the story as much as I could so there is missing details, but it still got pretty lengthly)

For most of my life, I remember my family having more money than what we knew what to do with. As a child my dad worked a factory job, working much over time. Every weekend we would go and camp out on the river on an island. We started off with just a regular boat and a jet-ski(See-doo), but quickly upgraded the small boat to one of those larger two story boats with compete living quarters. We did this for many years until my dad bought my mom season tickets to the Vikings. That took over about the next 8 years of our life.

So as my dad was working his job at the factory, he bought a few houses, to rent out. Eventually we moved into one of the houses. At that time my sister and I rarely ever saw my dad because he was either working or sleeping. He was still making lots of money, and spoiling us just as much. Eventually one of his buddies started training him in the flooring business, and I believe my dad picked that up pretty quickly. I remember often hearing about how his buddy was working in some major league baseball pitchers vacation home up in Wisconsin. My dad eventually quit his job at the factory into the flooring business. The reasons, I am unsure about. I would assume with him and I being so much alike, that he switched because telling someone you work flooring sounds better than than telling someone you work factory (him and I often put our images in some kind of importance), for a chance to work in some famous persons home, and to have more time with the family.

He worked flooring for  a few years, not making quite the same amount of money as before, but still plenty enough. After a few years he owned his own flooring company. There was a company in town and the owner was looking to get out of business, and he wanted my dad to be his predecessor. My dad took it after much training. By this time we owned about 8 houses, and moved out into the country. We only lived out there and moved back into the city. We moved into what I thought, and still think, was the best house ever! After my dad had completely re-floored most of it, and redone the bathrooms, there was no house I would have rather lived in. I thought life was perfect. At this time I believe we had sold a few houses, but we owned 6 horses and houses them out in the country only a few miles from where we lived. It was all beautiful, so we thought, but God wasn’t completely in our lived yet. At this time I was in the 6-7th grade.

Back to my dads original buddy that got him into the flooring business. He lived about 6 hours away in Northern WI/MI. My dad and him had come up with a plan to make a lot of money. We were going to move to Cocoa Beach Florida and start up a flooring business down there. Apparently there was a heavy need for floorist down there, and they paid big money! This got them excited, and they had everything planned out. They had already talked to real estate agents and knew where we were going to live. We just need a little bit more cash.

My dad discovered that if we would move up north with his buddy, he would be so busy in tile work (there was a very heavy need for it) that we would make enough money in one year to have enough to move to Florida! That was there goal! My 8th grade year we moved up north. With only a month and a half into it, my dad destroyed his back! He couldn’t work the flooring business any longer, at least not to the extent at which he did. This completely ruined all our plans. My dad than got a job up there doing his love though, being an IT guy. The money was very cheap. Never in my life had we been this poor, it was at this point though that I started feeling closer to God.

My the time the school year was down, my dads company was moving to Mexico and we had no intrest in going there. So the company gave my dad something to allow him to free years of schooling and unemployment for the next few years. At this point my dad was excited! He had never been to college (never needed to, he made to much money at that time). We ended up moving back to my hometown. Luckily my parents didn’t sell all of our houses. They had kept just one of them, the first one we had lived in. They kept it out of a deep stomach vibe.

At this point I started high school, and my dad just started his first year of college. My dad was going to college for IT Networking degree. He was super excited to get into computers as a real job instead of just a hobby. Two years had passed and he got his degree, on the deans list non the less. Now time to find his computer job! He couldn’t find jack! At that time I was dating my pastors daughter. He offered my dad a job. My dad was now head of maintenance and repair and St. Martins Lutheran Church and School. At first I believe he was a little tentative about it, especially since it had nothing to do with what he just went to school for, but he took it because it was a job. He fell in love the second the school year started. The children. They were just as big of a blessing to him, as he was to them! This was the beginning of God’s plan for my father . He became extremely close to all of the children, ended up being a coach for several of the sports teams, and he became head of the youth group. My high school, Hope Lutheran High School, was located in the same building as St. Martins School. My dad became heavily involved with them, helping coach soccer, and in charge of all of Hopes computers. Soon he was volunteering almost close to 40 hours with them, almost as much many paid hours he worked.

Over the years it became tough with my dad because of management issues. He didn’t complain a whole though, because it was worth every little bit of it, to be so involved in the youths lives. At this point he was making very little money, but it made no difference. After about 4 years though, they Church board decided to cut my dads postion from the budget without warning around the Christmas season. It was very tough on both my dad and mom. My dad received  a lot of letters from the children of the school telling them how much he has impacted their lives. It was truly inspiring. He didn’t really know what to do now. He knew he wanted to be with children and he also wanted to take advantage of his degree in IT management. He looked and applied for many jobs for the rest of the school year and all throughout the summer. During this time he picked up s few side floor jobs, and actually made way more money doing that, than at the school, but he knew that flooring wasn’t for him anymore.

At the end of summer after much looking and so much stress and confusion with the Lord (and this is just an understatement), my dad found his perfect job. He became head of IT Computer management of the entire school district of a town close to ours. Before my dad took that job there, they never had that position. It was created just in time for my dad. My dad is now doing what he went to school for, and more importantly he is touching the lives of an entire school district. He often likes to say that his job, is the perfect job in the world. He wouldn’t trade it for any other!

I love thinking about my dads story for a few reasons. One, it really helps me see God’s plan for us in a full perspective. We may have plans for ourself, but sometimes God likes to step in and change it, and give us what we really want, and puts us in positions to serve Him best. Two, there are going to be times in our life that we are just going to have those “Why God?” moments. Those times in our lives where we feel like everything is fallen apart and nothing can go right. We just have to realize that God has a plan, and those tough moments are just important steps into the right direction. The impossible times in our lives aren’t speed bumps, but rather a shot of nitrous pushing us in the right direction. Three, I love my dad and everything he has done! I want to be just like him! He has taught me many valuable things in life that I will never forget. I see God working through him everyday, and it makes me proud to call him my father.

(Dad, I am sure you will read this (which kind of makes this awkward). If you don’t,  I will be very surprised! I’m pretty sure I have seen your IP adress come across my blog a few times. I just want to say thanks, and that the Lord is using you in more ways than you can imagine! This is a lot better than Florida huh? lol. I also would suggest to you to write the story from your point of view. It’s worth sharing.)

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.


Memory Verse of the Week:

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.


What’s Your Vice?

vice

  1. an immoral or evil habit or practice.
  2. immoral conduct; depraved or degrading behavior: a life of vice.
  3. sexual immorality, especially prostitution.
  4. a particular form of depravity.
  5. a fault, defect, or shortcoming: a minor vice in his literary style.

According to dictionary.com that ^ is the definition of a vice. I want to add one more definition to vice.

6. The action or desire that separates you from God

What’s Your Vice?

We all have many vices, all of the seven deadly sins, but there is one or two that really gets at you. It can be sexuality, lust, money, pride, smoking, alcohol, greed, anger, jealousy, laziness, and etc. If you don’t know yours, it is important for you to figure it out so that you may be able to admit your weakness to God so He can hold you up. In our weakness, He is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9

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.

My Vice

As for me it’s spending money. If I see something I want, and I can’t say no, if I have the money. If I don’t have money, I could care less about buying anything. But as soon as I get money, I tend to start to obsess over spending it. It controls me. I line between what I need, and what I want disappears. It’s hard. When I have no money, it becomes very easy. It is at that point I can easily decipher between what I need and don’t, I can easily say no to the most tempting of things to buy. As soon as I get money, it all changes. I become a slave to the lust of earthly objects.

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

My treasure becomes earthly objects, and there my heart lies. It disappears form God, and goes to this lust of, to put in its truest form, dust.

Time for Change

In order to fix your vice, you must be able to identify it and accept it. Once you have down so, give it God. Let Him do the work and ‘Be Still.’ God can carry you through anything.

I would like to encourage anyone to comment below about their own vice. Let others know that they aren’t the only ones struggling with their vice, no one is alone.

Dear Heavenly Father, please be with our weaknesses and in our weakness, be our strength. Help us to seek you and keep you as our treasure. Thanks for all that you have done. Amen.


Memory Verse of the Week:

2 Corinthians 12:9

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.