31 December, 2009

2010. A better you...or rather more of Him?

It is only hours away. This time often is spent in one of a few ways...
In the company of many, or maybe just one. Thoughts...of year(s) past, or of what the future holds,...or a unique division between the two where one's mind can not get around either of them for all of it's running back and forth.
This New Year's Eve I find myself yet again in the latter state of thought. My anylitical mind is running itself ragged. Ragged from thinking on this past year: my failures, shortfallings, (wrongfully claimed) successes; and this next year: resolutions, goals, hopes, dreams.

It always seems split. Negative in the past/Positive in the future.
I think that every year...for every single person who gives it any thought; the passing of one year to another is split. Even for the most positive or negative, the most level-headed, the most realistic, all of us have at least the smallest imbalance in viewing and comparing; yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Simply we have hope that tomorrow will allow us something that today or yesterday did not. Plainly stated we want better...better...better. Resolution after resolution we make:
in 2009 we remember a haste word said and the pain it brought to a friend...so we resolve
in 2009 we noticed that we drank too much...so we resolve
in 2009 we realized that we spent far more time in the office than at home with the family...so we resolve
in 2009 we see our figure and we desire to hold a nearer appearance to a model...so we resolve
in 2009 we recall that when we were younger the family ate at the dinner table...so we resolve
The general thought is always that we are able to create in ourselves and within our families something better than what we previously were. How wrong we are.

Looking over 2009. I recount my offenses to fellow men, I see glaring error, sins galore I find...every effort fell short, every deed tried in earnest found to be selfish, at times I wallowed in my shortcomings, never did I do anything to my betterment. Yes, looking over the year I can not help but want self improvement...but will resolving do that? No...

You see,
I am nothing good. My "flesh is weak", my heart..."it is deceictful above all things", "the doing of good is not present in me". My seemingly selfless acts...are but a mask to selfish motives. I am worthless, corrupt, vile.


A better me in 2010!?!?
Yes, but if I strive for my own means all will be "but chasing after the wind". Yes, but if I use my own strength all will be cut as short as I first began.The imbalance comes from believing myself to be greater than I am...

I know, I can become better only by He who lives in me.

So. My resolution: to serve my King with a more sincere heart, to understand at a greater depth my Creator, to draw ever more near to my Savior, to know Christ Jesus more today than yesterday.

I can only do these things by spending time with Him. More prayer. More Scripture. More Fellowship.

I am confident, "He who began a good work...will carry it on to completion..."
"HE must become greater, i must become less."

25 December, 2009



This Christmas,
my heart is with an ole friend.

Her name is Alvina. I met her while I was in Alaska. She impacted my life more than she knows. She became a Christian while I was there...what a beautiful day that was.
Well...in hindsight it was like every other day in Juneau. It was foggy and misty.
We (the entire project all 45 or more of us) had just climbed Mnt Robert. We prayer walked on the way up. When we arrived we sat down. We sat quietly...then we prayed...then we sang. You could see the entire city of Juneau...and Auke Bay...
God's great creation all around. There was snow directly behind us...(which later we would have the largest snowball fight I have seen...and even later in which we would slide down time and time again) there were mountains...there was ocean water...there were beautiful souls of beautiful people.
I remember the most beautiful soul of that day.
I remember watching her be moved.
I remember watching her accept Christ into her heart!
I remember hearing her speak to Him.

It was so surreal. It moved me much...But never as much as I wanted.

Alvina and I were very different. Everyone saw that. She was city, I country. She liberal, I conservative. We were different crowds and everyone saw that.

Alvina and I were so similar. Few saw that. We were deep, sincere.
Alvina and I were the same.

After that moment on that mountain, she was more similar to me than ever before. She loved my Lord. She became a Sister. I hope I never forget that day on that mountainside above Alaska. I hope a never forget praying with her and a few of the guys following her excepting Christ.

I have journaled for several years now...I have a stack of them. They are mine...my writing to God. Only one other person has ever written in one...Alvina. She also wrote on my heart...

Alvina taught me what I can do with this life...
I pray I never ever forget what I as a Christian listening to my Savior can accomplish for His kingdom.

In closing,
I do not know why my heart is so burdened for Alvina tonight. But, I know there must be a reason.
I ask that you join me in praying for her. Now that you know a bit of her story I hope you can find it easier to pray specifically for her. She is a beautiful Sister, and Christ has a beautiful plan for her!

Merry Christmas, Alvina!!!!

21 December, 2009

Where is my heart?


Tonight, I finally watched a few dvd's that Jim Lee put together. Jim Lee is the guy that is always in a beat up van at the duck pond (or the ole' fishin' hole). I for four years have been curious about who he was and what he was doing. I always assumed he was just lonely...I always planned on starting up a conversation with him, but somehow I never seemed to catch him outside of that van.
Well this last September, I again noticed he was there. As I drove by him, I thought..."inside that van or not I am going to at least say hi". So, I drove around the pond, parked beside him, and started a convo.
Wouldn't you know it made my day. He is a Christian...and disabled (thus the reason I never saw him out of the vehicle), he loves birds, and he was putting together a video of that which he loved, with Christian songs. He wanted to share Christ. To share him with anyone who would give him the time.

Well. Tonight I am watching a scratchy, slightly out of focus, video of all kinds of birds and animals set to the sound of everyone from Chris Rice to Amy Grant singing about our Lord.

Last night, I for the first time in a very long time allowed myself to think about and miss a very good friend of mine. James Hensley.
James, I do believe touched my life more than just about anyone else. He too was someone, who the rest of the world would say was short-changed in life. But, he would never be one to believe that. James proclaimed to the world Jesus Christ. He shared him with any single person who gave him time.

- Jim Lee; unable to leave his vehicle, yet spending all his time making something that reaches to those so far away.
- James Hensley; knocked down time and time again, yet always smiling, always reaching, always loving.

- Jim Lee & James Hensley; two people who give (gave) from a full heart. Two people who serve(d) Christ with all they have.

Lord, where is my heart? Help me. Help me live as those who give you all.

Thank you, James. Thank you, Jim.

08 November, 2009

Life is so good!

Here I sit at my home away from home. TheCup. If you know me at all, you know how much I love this place.

Today, I am drinking my usual Cappuccino...it is the standard go to drink for me in almost all situations from times of stress to moments filled with pensive thought. I am watching The Proposal with Rick and his daughter. Friends close as family.
It is crazy how friendships are made...how they grow...or disappear. Just last night I was able to meet my best friend's fiance. Crazy, how I feel like I have known her for ages. Crazy, how just as my friendship with Trent has always been so great that I have never doubted its lasting endurance over the course of our lives, I now know the same will be true of Casey and I's friendship. Friends close as family.
Just this morning, I had breakfast with Garrett. He is another very good friend of mine. I think his friendship is one of the most beautiful that I have had. Beautiful because even as close of a friend as he is, his friendship...or atleast the depth of it...came from nowhere...or at least seemed to for I can not trace it back to one moment or another. Friends close as family.

These times with friends and family remind me of how important people are to me, and how important I want to be to others.

I am currently in transition from one job to another. I have direction! This new position is one I hope to have as a mini career. It is an opportunity to invest in others, to build up those around me, to help others in need... in short it is a great direction and a great opportunity. I hope I live up to it well.

All this to say: I have great friends, great family, a great Savior. I have direction. "I have feet in my shoes, and brains in my head." :)
Life is so good!

12 October, 2009

When your song is forgotten.


Someone once said that "a friend is one who knows your song so perfectly that they are able sing you the words when you have forgotten them". (Or, maybe I just made that up...I don't know.)

The point is that, no matter who you are... whether determined and persistent, or irresolute and wavering... whether a visionary and idealist, or a realist and pragmatic, We will all have times that we lose sight of our path, our goals, and sadly even of ourselves. We all forget our Song.

Most of us are lucky. We have people in our lives who have vested time with us, who have loved us and cared for us enough to really know who we are; our strengths, weaknesses, loves, peeves, hopes, and fears. In that these people often are those near in these times that we have lost our vision and purpose. They so very often speak life to us when we lack it.

This past weekend, I traveled to Hasting, NE for Cole and Lisa's wedding. Prior to my beginning the drive I had little knowledge of the nearness of my forgetting of my song...of who I am and what I love. (This is crazy to imagine as you all know how pensive I am and how I think far, far too much. All the same I missed seeing all this.) As I drove farther north...the fall colors showed of cooler weather and changing seasons, and I showed of relaxation. I then begun to realize alot...and I was able to take a deep breathe. A breathe that I can only seem to gasp when I am free of the hustle and bustle...when in the middle of God's creation...LISTENING. This was a breathe that brought fresh air to the depth of my heart.

Upon arriving in Hastings, Cole and his family, Ben, Kelsey, Ann, Andy, and Ryan reminded me of so much. They allowed me to see reflected in their lives, a purpose equal to that which I want to always hold within my own life. They just by being, reminded me of my purpose.
My Juneau brothers and sisters, everyone of you. Just by being near you, made me so much the stronger in my walk with our Lord.
And, my new found friends. Will, Sean, Tad, Nordin, Brock...you reminded me to laugh.
And, Melissa and Jill...my conversations with you (although short) about your time spent overseas serving has strengthened my love for the Church and has reminded me to run forward in serving our King.

All of you spoke to me in such a deep, deep way. I left with new wind under my wings, fresh direction in my feet, and a swelling of love in my heart.

Thank you for singing me my song...even when I knew not of it's loss...and you knew not of my need.
You have reminded me how much I can affect the world around me...and I now hope I have reminded you of the same!


16 September, 2009

Days like these...ache so bad. Days like these...make me realize so much. Days like these make my world...

Today, had been just a monotonous haze of doing...
Work, that no one wants. A class that is particularly difficult for me. Long hours. Little sleep. Lack of motivation.

Then today became a day of joy. Realization of how beautifully orchestrated my life has been! Realization of how wonderful my days are!

At work:
Fran, The sweetest lady I know is there with a smile...a smile and a song. There she washes the dishes we place in front of her.
Cammie, always smiling. Smiling Cammie!
The Ralstons...chugging away at life, always with arms out to help those nearest.

My family:
Parents who have always loved. Brother who I can always count on. Family always filled the front row of any event I was in...clapping, smiling, caring. Friends, friends whom I know I can always count on.

My future:
Always set, Always Secure in my King.

Today = Blessing. No-matter what it is filled with, blessing all the same.

What about the lady at the braum's check-out this morning? What about my professor who has so many students get up and leave in disrespect? What about that child who has his whole life before him and no dad...and no one willing to stop and tell him about the Father?

So many people in this world...all are fighting an up hill battle. Why had my day been so full of nothingness? Why is it so easy to enter into this selfish, egosentric thought process? And, Why is it so difficult to just smile and offer a helping hand, and a kind word?

This is my wake-up call. This is a challenge to me. This is a challenge to you.

We all make a difference...it's a question of what kind.

04 September, 2009



...We all have a tendency to become anxious.
I you may see as a non-worrying soul, roll with the punches, easy going, fella (you may not also). I would like to be and at times I am but let me share with you one story of my past... I had a stress induced ulcer at age 5...why? well I worried about class...and mostly T-Ball...that is right I stressed out about hitting a stationary ball! (Talk about foolish anxiety).

But is not all anxiety foolish?
Philippians 4:6 says,
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Why should we have any concern for our steps tomorrow, if we look to Christ for direction?

I say this...and saying it is easy. Yet, even today...after feeling as though I have effectively given heed to the direction of Christ (in school...in work...in general) I find myself to be anxious about something that I have held on to over the years...
I sit here saying "yes Lord, I will go there.", "yes Lord, I will change that.", "yes Lord, I will be...", then I find myself saying "Lord, you know best, but let me...", "You have never failed me, yet let me take lead...here, now, with this."

God, help me let go of all this anxiety...this concern for my tomorrow, for my next step, for where I will live, and who I will marry. Let me be concerned only on bringing glory to you...to appropriately reflecting you to those around me...to loving others...to living for you!
"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

You have plans to prosper me...
You have never failed me...
You prepare a place for me...
You are my strength...

"You maketh me lie down in green pastures...You leadeth me beside the still waters!"

26 August, 2009


How time sneaks away only to be realized gone; moments, days, and most often years later. It has always been my life goal to live every day fully; wholly giving of myself to those around me, truly taking advantage of the opportunities given me, and living completely for my King.

As I look through photos of days gone bye, I can not help but smile in remembrance of so many of those days lived "all out". I know that I have made mistakes along the way. I have; over-reacted, under-appreciated, and fallen time after time. However, I am lucky to have no regrets. I have lived in the moment for as long as I can remember, pondering on days gone bye, and dreaming of days left in front, yet always living NOW.

A large part of my lacking regrets comes because I have always said what is important to me. Which is why I wish to say thank you. You have made a difference in my life...REALLY.
I have told you before but wish to again. Thank You:

Mom, Dad, Clay.
Grandma, Grandpa, Gma Maggie, Papa.
Dorothy and Bill.
Terry Jackson, Rick Floyd, Gary and Linda Miller.
Christ Community Church.
Donovan Bowers, Dawn Frank, Jay Evans. Tripp Plymesser.
Clint and Lou Kissee, Rick Dahlgren. Willy, Shelly, Neicie, and Lora Worley.
Claire. Alicia. Ambia. Chaney. Kimberly. Georgia. Krystin. Landon. Marisa.
Flavio, Nanette.
Allen. James. Garrett. Stetson. Curtis. Kyle. Greg. Daniel. Robert. Brady. Jared. Jordy. Ty. Dusty. Nathan. Justin. Evan. Jeff. Kevin. Kody. Caleb. Drew. Brantley. Mark. Bartel. Scott. Pat. Carl. Chase. Travis. Yusuke. Zach.
James Hensley.
Kaitlin. Tara. Merlanda. Andrea. Megan. Amber. Alexandria. Alyssa. Lela. Jessi. Johna. Charissa. Christina. Christine.
Cole. Reed. Andy. Ben. Kelsey. Leonel. Ann. Philip. Goose. Buffy. Alvina. CJ. Morgan. Drew. Robert. Rylan. Temperly. Jarah. Sam.
Jena. Taylor. Rusty. Mrs. Guy.

You make me who I am.

Thank you, Lord!

26 April, 2009

Excuses of life.


So...I just finished having my lunch. Afterward I ran to the dorms for only a short bit...it was going to be quick. So, I parked in the ten minute parking. Well, twelve minutes later I come down to leave...
I am getting a ticket.
In this case I feel justified to not get a ticket. I want to say "its just two minutes long"..."its sunday and no-one is here"..."I am an RA"...or a million other excuses.
In life its the same human nature has us think with excuses. "I'm not that bad." "I don't deserve death." "Look at that guy." "It was only a little sin."

The point is. I was parked there over ten minutes. I have no excuse.
We are sinners. We have no excuse.
Thanks be to God for His Son!

29 January, 2009

Peter the Broken

For God to work in us and through us...Must first this shell of self be broken?

...When I reflect on past prayers, I find that I pray for one thing more than anything else.
To become broken. Broken, as I have been when God has shown me so much because I in those times am humble, knowing that I am nothing. Broken...relying on Him for all things. That I may desire His will over my own. To have my ambitions, days, hopes, thoughts, dreams, future, and character to be set by Him...to follow Him where He leads.

To be broken. How?

Peter said to him,
“Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
In this moment Peter has NO doubts in his statement. "I WILL lay down my life for you." I WILL. He felt it deep in his heart. He had his God beside him and he believed every tenet of his comment. How ever as we find he does not fulfill his vow. Instead he runs from it...he denies with oaths and curses the Christ he vowed to die for.
It was only after this moment that Peter was solid enough to be "the rock" on which the foundation of the Church would be built. Peter in his brokenness...in his understanding that he can rely on nothing of himself and only on Christ. Only after proving his solemn belief in self unworthy could he "follow" fully. Only when he came to the end of himself and his self-sufficiency, when there was not one strand of himself he would ever rely again was he capable of truly "following".

How many times have I stated, "I will"? How many times have I vowed and given oaths? How often have I not "followed"? Not seen that I have NO power on my own, that I am only capable with Him and His lifting me up?

If brokenness is our prayer we must come to this same place Peter stood two-thousand years past. We must come to see that not one strand of ourselves is able to stand, not one strand is able to hold the smallest weight. Only then, do we cast ourselves fully on Him, truly following.

26 January, 2009

Running On Ice.


Friends, let me share with you one of the most grandiose things I have experienced. Running on ice. Sounds crazy right? If you are a runner...try it you will find that you are quite wrong.
I wondered myself until I began my run this evening...The temp 21 F. The wind...5 mph, gusts of 20+. And me...CRAZY. Yes crazy, but crazy with eight friendly 1/2" sheet-metal screws evenly dispersed in the bottom each of my NewBalance running shoes. As I set out in the dark of this Oklahoma ice storm I moved slow...testing this makeshift "iceshoe". Breath seen leaving my mouth...sweat freezing on my eyelashes and eyebrows. As I continue on I move faster becoming ever more confident of this strangely stable footing. One mile, then two...endorphins begin to kick in and I know I could go another five or six even with the added stress of being a bit tense. I feel GOOD.
Silence...but the click of my screws and the gusts through the ice covered branches. Then in the distance the sounds of automobiles, man-made beasts meant to go long distances and haul large loads...yet tonight I hear them, rubber on ice for a half minute or more. Unable to gain traction they try again... Fifty yards in front of me at an intersection vehicles "coast and go" to keep from losing the traction they tried so long to gain. Even so I turn the corner and am able to run at their bumper for another fifty yards or so. Then...forty minutes after it begun my run comes to an end, but only after it has given me this amazing feeling.

Amazing feeling?
As I run in this race.
One that is impossible on my own.
I out pace machines made to perform.
I run this race. Finish. Finish Strong.
Not on my own but only with a SOLID FOUNDATION.

The race tonight...running on Ice. But I also run a race that you run as well...this race. LIFE. It too is just as impossible on our own. In a time where many have machine and program, plans and schemes, to run this race in better time, in a better way. They say they make it worth it...this life. "Go Faster", "Make More", "Loose Weight", "Be a New You A Better You"... they boast.
Tonight my foundation = screws.
Forever my foundation = Christ. Christ alone.

06 January, 2009

Too Long

Long time since I have even looked at this blog. I will not spend time catching you up on life here in Weatherford or other happenings outside of saying that this last semester was the greatest time of "reaping" I have seen while here (and it is without a doubt directly related to the hours spent in prayer by a handful of students and others).

It is my hopes that I begin weekly postings on this blog as well as return to sending daily Bible verses and prayer requests via Facebook's group "Jesus Rocks my Shoes off". As I have slacked a quite a lot in both places and the latter having such significant fruit.

Once more. Hope you enjoy these posts. Please post thoughts as you have them.