Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rise To The Occasion

I'm supposed to be working on the yearbook right now, but I'm going to allow myself to get a little carried away while I let some images upload:)

My heart is kind of heavy with the thought of all of the horror and tragedies going on lately... namely, the earthquake in Haiti, the earthquake in Chile, the possible tsunami in Hawaii, and things closer to home like the shooting at University of Alabama in Huntsville, and shooting threat at Buckhorn High School in Huntsville.

My heart is also burdened by the concept of the "lost"-ness of the victims of these catastrophes, my society, my hometown, my school, my friends, my senior class, and even my school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. I want to make a difference in the lives of all of these people who inhabit my sphere of influence.

God commands us in Acts 1:8 to be His martyrs for people that we have relationships with, for people who are similar to us, for people who are different from us, and for people we will more than likely never come in contact with.

The hardest people for me are the ones that I have relationships with... those that I see, know, and talk to on a regular basis... those who share my home, my classes, and my youth group. Satan is trying to kick my tail with Jerusalem, but I am not his. He has no power over me; therefore I refuse to live in his bondage. I am called to be a bold martyr - not an unloving phony.

I will rebel against his expectations of me. I will rise to the occasion, and do what is expected.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Normal, ick:/

So I haven't written in a while. I apologize from the bottom of my heart...

I've got a really cool idea for a blog... which may become a book at some point in time!! But it's going to take a lot of thought and work, so I'm procrastinating.. as usual.

Last weekend, I went to the Strength to Stand Conference in Pigeon Forge, TN... or maybe Gatlinburg? I really don't even know... oh well, it doesn't matter. Anyways, the theme for the weekend was "STIR." STIR was an acronym for the words sustaining - truth - integrity - relational.
I think. I could never get it right. The whole time I was that oddball that was shouting stuff like " Santa Ties Inverse Rhombii" because I couldn't remember what it actually was.
Wait, what? Is "rhombii" a word?

Yeah, crazy.

There were so many things that stood out to me, so many things that God used to mature my heart a little. (Not very much obviously... I just used Santa and Rhombii in relation to each other.. what?) One thing that God has really been pressing upon my heart lately, is to defy tradition. He has put an absolute distaste in my mouth for all things "normal." Especially when it comes to church. I've come to the point where it annoys me for people to recite standard prayers aloud, to sing standard songs in a standard way, to stick to the standard reaction for invitation time (if you're a couple, only go pray at the altar together if you're having marital problems; if you're a teenager, only go pray at the altar if you've just come back from camp; and whatever you do, DON'T TALK TO THE PREACHER!!!)

Over and over God has been hammering me with the Acts church... the original way that things were supposed to go. It's like He's given me this passion to renovate "church" as we know it... to change the way we do our worship, the way we respond to the Word, the way we "glorify Him in all that we do"...ya know, like we say at the end of all of our prayers.
I want so badly to grab people by the shoulders and scream "PASSION!!!" in their faces until it becomes a part of them, but I can't do that.
Mainly because the majority of the people I would choose to do that too would probably disinegrate (sp?) in my hands, they're so old.

God has given me this passion, and I feel like I'm the only one; as though perhaps God wants me to do this, with only His help. Not saying it's not possible, but that's a LOT of old hearts to change. To shift the emphasis, that's a lot of OLD hearts to change.

I'm praying that God will spread this passion throughout my church, Grove Hill Baptist, and into surrounding Christian churches, and continue into the ghettos and neighborhoods of my county.

All I can do is cling to 1 Timothy 4:12. My youthfulness is nothing. My God is everything.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not Gonna Stick To The Status Quo

Once again, I'm struck with how flippin' old I am. This weekend, I had my last EVER opportunity to be a part of DiscipleNow Weekend as a student. But every thing about this weekend could be classified as a God thing.

My small group was... well, small. Four girls total - very odd for DNWs.

My small group leader was... just like us. Not only in her love of acting silly, but also her past. Some part of her life identified almost exactly with some part of each of ours. Personally, she helped me realize some things about past relationships with guys, and also my relationship with God.

Oh, and the drummer... so cute - But don't tell him I said so :)

Needless to say, it was definitely a positive note to end on. The theme was "Centered," in reference to Hebrews 12:2 and the idea of allowing Christ to be the center of our lives.

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..."

We've got to decide to focus in on Him, to "jump" into unknown territory if necessary.

"...the author and perfector of our faith..."

He came up with the idea of faith, and offers us Himself to have faith in. Through all things (good and bad, alike), He perfects our faith. Yes, all things.

"...who for the joy set before Him,..."

He did whatever comes next for the object of His smile. We are His joy.

"endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the Father."

For a bunch of nobodys, He endured the worst death imaginable - the most shameful, the most painful... and on top of all that, He was separated from His heavenly Father. For me. [Think of that horrible, sickening, burdened feeling you get when you know there's a sin in your life that is keeping you from a healthy relationship with God. Now multiply that one sin times every sin anyone who has or will ever live has or will ever commit, and imagine housing that feeling in your own heart, even for a split second. That's what Jesus endured.] And through all of that, He still managed to overcome it, without any aid... and restore His seat on the throne.

That's just a little snippet...

The band, Riverside Worship Project, played truly amazing songs... They write a lot of their own. They say that if you sing a song you don't know as well, you're more likely to truly worship (i.e. pay attention to the words you're singing). And that's really what happened.

You can check them out at

My group leader, Caitlyn Sweet was awesome (like I mentioned before). Our group really went well with her... If you watch this video of her from a while back, you'll see what I mean.

Anyways, I've got to go back to school for a little while :/ I promise to put more up later. God showed me a lot about myself this weekend. Stay tuned:)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Leaving a Mark

Senior year, baby!

My life is about to go through some MAJOR renovations. And all due to that looming promise on the near horizon: GRADUATION!!! However, not all of these changes have to do with college, friends, family, etc.

Some are changes I am allowing God to perform in my own heart.

Last semester, my best friend John and I taught a bible study before school on Friday mornings. We led a varying-numbered group in a study of Hebrews 11, picking it apart expositionally. God really showed me a lot of things about faith... it's meaning, as well as it's important role in the Christian's life.

With this term concluding our high school career, we have decided that we will go out with a bang! We want to reach as many people for Christ as possible. We don't want our school and town to remember us as the Class with the most swagger, but the Class with the most love. Carrying our Bibles with us at all times is one way that we are staying prepared for whatever opportunities God presents.

However, since John presented this idea to me the day before school started back, I have had my doubts. I've made vows like this before... after, like, every single camp, DNW, conference, and good church service I've attended since my conversion. It wasn't until tonight that I truly believed that this task was possible. Tonight, my youth minister (also known as, Dad) taught a lesson on Acts 17:5-6. This passage showed me that even in Bible times, normal everday people were LITERALLY turning the world upside down for the cause of Christ. When Jason and the brothas were convicted of making a difference in their surroundings for Christ, they were convicted. They were found guilty. There was evidence that they were. They were leaving a mark...

As a follower of the Way, I want to leave a mark on the world. But that's not enough for me. As a Senior, I want to leave a mark on my school... on my friends, my co-workers, my teachers, my administrators. Every single-stinkin' person I come in contact with.

If it ever gets to the point in America where it's illegal to turn the world upside-down for Christ, I want to be convicted. I want to be found guilty.