Wednesday, July 22


14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance 15 but, as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.
- 1 Peter 1:14-16 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Lately, God has really been convicting me about Holiness. To be holy is to be set apart. My God, Jehovah, is a Righteous and Just God. There is nothing unclean, impure, or sinful in or about Him. He is perfect in every way, and to be in communion with Him requires perfection. This is why Christ died for us, so that His perfection would cover our imperfection and we could have a relationship with God.
1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,
- Romans 8:1 Holman Christian Standard Bible
To have a relationship with God we must follow Him and obey His commands.
15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
- John 14:15 Holman Christian Standard Bible
21 The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.
- John 14:21 Holman Christian Standard Bible
10 If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commands and remain in His love.
- John 15:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible
And what are His commands?
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
- Mark 12:30-31 Holman Christian Standard Bible
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
- Matthew 28:19-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible
So we see that we are to love our neighbors and share the Good News of Christ's sacrifice with them. Wonderful!

For a long time I felt that to do that I had to put up with some of the impurities of this world so that I could share the Gospel; that to be "in the world but not of it" I had to allow some things in my presence that I might not have otherwise. God has been showing me otherwise.

4 Adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. 5 Or do you think it's without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit He has caused to live in us yearns jealously?
- James 4:4-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible
Wow. "Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?" This really leaped out at me. God has been using these and other passages to make me question what I let in to my mind.

Foul language is the first thing that I'm wrestling with. It's not enough that I not cuss myself, I need to not even think about cussing. I need to look at the movies I watch and the music I listen to and assess it to see "is this really something I want rattling around in my head?"

The next thing I'm wrestling with is humor. What is okay to laugh and talk about? Lewd and crude jokes do not need to be in my head; especially the former. Lewd jokes bring things to mind that I don't need to think about.
2 And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. 3 But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. 4 And coarse and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. 5 For know and recognize this: no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.
- Ephesians 5:2-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible
The final thing I can think of is imagery. What images am I allowing to pollute my mind? But imagining the things I imagine, what am I choosing to focus on?
28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- Matthew 5:28 Holman Christian Standard Bible

As a Christian, God is calling me to be Holy; to be set apart from the world. It isn't an easy thing to do, but I will do anything for Immanuel. My God suffered and died for me because He loves me; I love Him, so surely I can sacrifice these little things for Him.
8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.
- Philippians 4:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible

Monday, July 6

Falls Creek

Falls Creek was a good week, but I don't feel like it needs a day-by-day summary like the other two weeks did. During this week, God grew me more than he taught me. I learned better how to love and teach. The most tangible thing I got from Falls Creek was a connection with the youth group of FBC Tulsa; they want me to visit them when I can and I will not be surprised if their youth pastor asks me to help out on youth trips occasionally. They're all really great kids and I like them a lot.

Roadtrip to the Golden Brownies

The camping trip was amazing. I basically “adopted” three sisters, which makes me happy. When I get to OBU I will have female friends with whom I can give & receive hugs, talk with, and spend time with without worry of romance. I love them all. I learned more from the three of them than I did at Super Summer and Falls Creek combined.

Saturday, Day 1
We made camp, ate leftovers, swam, and shared our testimonies. We were very comfortable with each other; there was no awkwardness amongst us. After swimming we went to Wal-Mart around midnight to get some necessities for Sunday and were back at the camp site and in bed sometime between one and two AM.

Sunday, Day 2
After breakfast and quiet time, we discussed prayer together before hitting the showers. That morning we attended Heritage Church in Shawnee. We all really liked it. Their worship music was relaxed and acoustic – it reminded me of Jon Foreman. The preaching was also good. They were going through the book of Acts and that morning was Acts 19:1-7. It was a good sermon. After church we met my roommate, “Beans,” at Taco Bell where we had lunch. Then we went to Wal-Mart and got our breakfast for the week and our dinner for the evening.

Monday, Day 3
This was the first day that we worked with the kids. We were working in a dirty gymnasium with no a/c and only two very loud fans to keep us cool. It was a difficult environment to work in because the noise made it difficult to have casual conversation with the kids and hear what they said. We didn't realize that this was an obstacle until later in the week. We met a girl named Morgan on this day. She was a pretty little girl; I think she said she was a fourth grader. Just the sight of her tugged at our hearts. It wasn't really anything about her physical appearance as much as it was the look in her eyes. She was lost and hurting. By the end of the day, she was smiling and talking to the girls, especially Megan and Chloe. The work we did for the ranch on Monday was pretty simple; Alice and I had to drill fifty holes into two big plastic barrels for a game on Tuesday – the kids were competing to fill the barrels up first – and the other three set up some obstacles – a spider-web like construction the kids were supposed to lift each other through, and a rope they were supposed to all step over while holding hands in a circle.

Tuesday, Day 4
Several of us said later in the week that Tuesday was the best day. I'm not sure there was any one thing that made it that way, I think it was just a really good day overall. The only scar on the day was an incident that happened while we were working with the kids. The whole time we were at the site that day the girl Morgan was getting piggy-back rides from Chloe and Megan. After lunch, Morgan was climbing on to Megan's back for a piggy-back ride when Megan stood up too soon and Morgan fell forward off Megan's back. Morgan split her lip on the gym floor and we walked her home. That afternoon our work consisted of simply putting away some tables and such after the kids left the ranch, and then trimming some trees that hung over the driveway.

Wednesday, Day 5
In contrast to Tuesday, Wednesday was probably the worst day of the trip. It began with Chloe having an upset stomach and staying at the campsite while we went on to work with the kids in Shawnee. After we were done working with the kids we got some limeades at Sonic. We were on our way home when we got a phone call from Chloe letting us know that her car had been hit pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot. She was fine, and her car had only suffered aesthetic damage, but she was a little shook up. That afternoon we worked on cleaning up a horse-trail they created with a tractor. After we were done working we borrowed some bikes and went on a bike ride. Megan crashed on the gravel roads and scraped up her left side pretty badly, especially her left arm. The rest of the week we had to clean and dress one of her cuts several times a day to prevent infection.

Thursday, Day 6
This was the last full day we had with all of us there because Beans had to leave on Friday afternoon. It was a pretty good day. After working with the kids we went to OBU and did our laundry. It took us a while because we didn't get out of there until almost nine o'clock that evening. We had a good time though, the girls did each other's nails while Beans and I just hung out.

Friday, Day 7
Upon the Ranch owners recommendation, Megan went to the Urgent Care on Friday morning to get some antibiotics and Chloe went with her. Beans left the campsite around the same time we did, but we didn't see him again after that because he went back to Missouri after having lunch with a friend in Shawnee. Throughout the week a youth group from Mississippi had been helping with the mission, but they left before Friday lunch so the four of us were split between three sites instead of all going to the same one; Chloe and Megan went late to our regular site as soon as they were finished with the doctor. When we got to the ranch that afternoon, we were told we weren't working that afternoon because it was too hot. We went to the Shawnee Mall that afternoon instead. Friday evening we watched Saving Private Ryan because Chloe (and Alice?) had never seen it, and Chloe wanted to. Chloe and I were the only ones who stayed awake for the whole thing. That night the girls slept on the couches in the TV room and I slept on a bed in one of the guest bedrooms.

Saturday, Day 8
On Saturday, the girls decided they wanted to go to Oklahoma City. Their reason was simply that they hadn't been there yet. So we went to Oklahoma City. We ate Chinese for lunch and then went to a mall and shopped. I think all the girls bought something or other, and I briefly considered buying a hat. After the mall we went to Hobby Lobby so the girls could buy string for friendship bracelets. Saturday night we ate pizzas and watched Slumdog Millionaire at my friends' house – we didn't do it at the ranch because the owners were having a date night. We were tired, and I was the only one who didn't almost drift off at some point in the movie. After the movie my friend – an OBU alum who's lived in Shawnee ever since he graduated – told us that we were building strong bonds of friendship on this trip and that we would continue to build lifelong bonds when we got to OBU, he then regaled us with instances in his own life of friends he made at OBU that he is still in touch with and other friends whom he can talk to as if no time has passed, even though they haven't kept in touch regularly.

Sunday, Day 9
We went to Heritage again the second Sunday. Chloe and Alice both wanted to visit Immanuel but they gave in and we went to Heritage instead. We were late. The irony of this is that if I had skipped shaving we wouldn't have been late, and the girls didn't tell me until after I shaved that they thought I looked older/better when I was scruffy. After church we had popcorn chicken at KFC and then went back to the ranch and packed up our campsite. It took us four hours or so to pack up the campsite completely. After packing up the campsite I think we went to Starbucks before heading back to the ranch. We spent that night – from about eleven or midnight until four in the morning – talking. First I talked to the girls about healthy relationships, romantic or otherwise (of course, it was crammed full of tangents, because all of our conversations are). I did this not because I am wise but because some wisdom has been imparted to me by those wiser than me and I found that much of that wisdom had not been given to the girls, so I passed it on to them. After I was done lecturing, Chloe shared part of her life story and how she had come to live with her mom and step dad rather than her father – the story was long and took about two hours for her to tell entirely. After she was done we went to bed about four AM, as I said before.

Monday, Day 10
We got up around eight on Monday morning and got ready to leave. I believe we all left before nine thirty. Alice went back to Oklahoma City, Megan and Chloe drove back to Missouri, and I met up with the FBC Tulsa youth group to go to Falls Creek.

This log doesn't really tell the full story of the week, there was so much more to it.
The heat index throughout the week was about 110 degrees. We usually spent our evenings in the pool until dark before going to IHOP and hanging out and talking there for an hour or more. We spent a lot of time talking and learning from each other, discussing life issues and wrestling with theological concepts, laughing and cracking jokes, opening our hearts and sharing our minds, and of course there were many other smaller events throughout the week that I failed to mention – either from forgetfulness or for the sake of prose – that helped to make the week what it was. God used us to teach each other that week, and we built bonds of friendship that I think will stay with us the rest of our lives.

Super Summer Oklahoma

I tried to keep a kind of journal throughout Super Summer, but I didn’t do a very good job. I’m not sure how much of it I will be able to transfer here. I was pretty busy throughout each day.

I roomed alone on the same hall as the guys from FBC Tulsa (the church I came with) and some other guys. I had a roommate, but he never showed up.

Our speaker was an Iranian-born man named Afshin Ziafat. His father and all of his family is Muslim, and that is how he was raised. He was a Muslim until he turned about sixteen or seventeen years old, at which point he became a Christian. Two or three of his siblings have since become Christians and he is praying for his father to become a Christian as well. I bought a DVD of his testimony it is a powerful story. He is a very biblical, expositional preacher. He is passionate and insightful.

As it turns out, Super Summer is not a leadership training camp but rather a youth camp for strong(er) Christians. There was some leadership training (Afshin taught a break-out session about David), but for the most part the focus was more on spiritual development and things like that. The schedule was fairly intense. We had a thirty minute break sometime between breakfast and lunch, and about a two-hour break around dinner time, but the rest of the day was packed full of stuff for us to do. We had multiple classroom sessions every day with our “school;” the schools divided by grade, I was in Silver School, for graduated seniors.

The first night, Afshin talked about being content in what God has for us. I realized that night that I have stopped being content with my singleness. It’s something I’m working on. I think I made good progress over the course of the week.

Also on the second day I heard Afshin’s testimony during a break-out session. After sharing his testimony, Afshin filled the second break-out session slot with a talk about the differences between Islam and Christianity. Morally, Islam and Christianity are aligned with each other (that didn’t surprise me), but Islam believes you are saved by works while Christians believe we are saved by God’s grace. Basically, Islam believes that all the deeds of your life are put on a scale and if it tips in favor of the good things, you go to heaven (if you’re a Muslim), and if in favor of the bad, you go to hell. They believe in five pillars of faith: Creed (declaring you’re a Muslim “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammed is his prophet”), Prayer (five times a day, in Arabic, facing Mecca), Fasting (during Ramadan, no food, drink, sex, etc.), Alms, and Pilgrimage (if it’s within your means, visit Mecca; this is very subjective). As has been pointed out, Islam is ultimately a fear-based religion because it is works-based rather than grace-based. Interestingly, Muslims believe that Jesus was a sinless prophet, and that he was born of a virgin. However, there is a controversy amongst them as to whether or not Jesus actually died on the cross. I would tell you a little more about this, but I don’t remember the specifics.

During our evening classroom session (the time of day spent with the other High School graduates in our own room, we had our own speaker and worship leader, and we met there twice a day) on the second day we discussed spiritual gifts. I discovered that my three main spiritual gifts are Hospitality, Exhortation, and Leadership. None of those surprised me (I’d taken a similar, longer test before and had similar results).

On the evening of the second night, Afshin talked about being discontent with where we are in our relationship with God. One of the things he said that stood out to me was that sometimes God gives us what we think we want to show us that it’s not what we really want.

It was on this day that I felt really convicted about my scriptural knowledge; my weak scripture memory and lack of deep study.

On the third day, Afshin spoke about leadership during his break-out session. He used King David as a model for leadership. He spoke of how David’s heart was humble, servile, and faithful, and of how David acted with integrity. It was a good session. Afshin is visibly more relaxed in the afternoon break-out sessions. In the afternoons you feel more like he’s hanging out in your living room or teaching a small group, but in the evenings he’s more like an impassioned camp speaker.

Afshin’s second break-out session was the same as the first, so I went with three girls (Leah Palmer and Sarah Peters will be OBU Freshman this fall, and Kyleigh Colclasure came with FBC Tulsa and is going to OU this fall, they’re all really nice, sweet girls) to a break-out session about Global Missions. It was good, though it would have been a little more applicable to me if I was called to full-time international missions, instead of American missions. Mainly, they spoke on being prepared to go whenever God calls you to go. Their advice was something like this:
• Know your calling “Satan would be happy if we focused on the good things and not the best things.” “We are not called to rock babies. We are called to share Jesus with people. If you need to rock babies to share Jesus, that’s fine.”
• Be an expert student in the Word of God “Always be prepared to give an answer… ” “Never stop learning.”
• Learn to pray “Develop a conversational relationship with God. Pray without ceasing.”
• Start making international friends now.
• Avoid debt & credit cards.
• Get a passport now.
All of which is good advice, regardless of whether you’re going overseas or not. Also, they highly recommended taking a specific History of Christianity college course called Perspectives ( and graduating from College with a practical degree (Business, Journalism, etc.) before going overseas indefinitely. Not only does college life prepare you for being in the world as an individual (they said high schoolers aren’t prepared to live alone overseas), but having a degree gives you an excuse to go in to closed countries (like China and even Italy).

On the third night the Silver School (high school graduates) and Purple School (a separate school for any students called to vocational ministry) got to pray over kids from the Red School (the 7th-graders). We each took one aside and prayed over them and shared with them the things we wished we’d known when we were their age. They gave us five or ten minutes to do it right in the middle of the worship service, with the band on stage. It was cool. We were told that it was all that Red School talked about the following day.

On the evening of the third night, Afshin spoke about Integrity. This is a paraphrase of something he quoted (he didn’t name his source) “Character is the ability to follow through with a decision long after the emotion for the decision has passed.” I like that quote a lot. He talked about how:
• Integrity honors God when no one else is looking – we make decisions in life and those decisions make us. We live in four worlds, our private world (us and God), our personal world (our closest, most intimate friends), our professional world (our co-workers and fellow students), and our public world (strangers with an opinion of us based on our reputation). Character is rooted in our private world, and it shows itself in our other worlds. Proverbs 4:23, 1 John 1:9.
• Integrity honors God when things go bad – David waited for God’s timing to become King, even though he had opportunities to kill or dethrone Saul before then. Hebrews 11:6, Daniel 6:5, Daniel 6:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.
• Integrity honors God when no one around us wants to.
Of course, he had scripture woven throughout all his lessons, but I’m only including a few of the references I wrote down, and I missed some of them when he was speaking.

On the fourth day during the morning classroom session, our classroom speaker (who spoke mainly on Apologetics, though he told us it’s not his specialty and he usually focuses on other things) pointed out something I’d never seen before: Psalm 22 is a very accurate prophecy of Jesus’ death on the cross. I believe this was the same morning that he told us that Jesus fulfilled all sixty-eight* major biblical prophesies about the Messiah, and all three-hundred-and-one* minor biblical prophesies about the Messiah. (*I might have these numbers a little off, but I know they’re close.)

On the fourth evening, Afshin talked about living for others. He said that some people look at life as if looking at a mirror – it’s all about them – while others look at life as if it’s a window – it’s all about others. He referenced the fact that Paul delighted in the godliness and joy of others (1 Thessalonians 3:6-13, emphasis on v. 8, 1 Thessalonians 2:19). He then went on to talk about how living for others requires:
• Authentic Fellowship – 1 Thessalonians 3:10-11. Your life will not be impacted or impactful in isolation. Relationships must be authentic.
• Authentic Faith – 1 Thessalonians 3:8, 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
• Authentic Love – 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 1 John 3, and 1 John 4:7-8. We cannot keep love trapped inside us; love must come out of us if it is to be real and authentic. We must love those who wrong us, as well as those who don’t know God.
• Authentic Holiness – We must examine ourselves (which means sometimes looking in the mirror, instead of out the window) to see how we can better reflect God.
• Authentic Passion – Philippians 1:21-26.
Then he went on to talk about a kid named B.J. Higgins. This kid prayed the salvation prayer when he was six, and then came again to Christ when he was eight. He immediately became an evangelist. I don’t remember all of the story, but he shared Christ with everyone he encountered and began going on missionary journeys whenever he could. I’m leaving out parts, but ultimately he ended up dying in a foreign country at the age of fifteen. We were told that he told the nurse in the hospital about Jesus while coughing up blood and being told to stop talking for his own health. Afshin said that some people call his a wasted life because he died so young and could have done so much more, but then he told this story:
A few years later, B.J.’s dad was in Kenya on a mission trip when this kid came and sat next to him. The kid told him that he had been a Christian for two years but didn’t have a bible. God told the father that the kid was going to be Kenya’s next evangelist, and to give the kid a bible. The father didn’t want to because the only one he had was B.J.’s bible with B.J.’s notes in the back. He wrestled with God a while and finally relented. He told the kid what God said to him (the kid got excited) and then gave him the bible. The kid was fifteen years old; the same age that B.J. was when he died. B.J. kept a journal (you can actually buy it I Would Die For You, by B.J. Higgins) and Afshin quoted this “He went through the blood, the least we can do is go through the mud.”

At some point in the night, Afshin spoke of how he’s still trying to win his Muslim father to Christ. He told a story of how a crew that came to clean up his father’s yard after Hurricane Ike (Afshin and his family are from Texas) made a cross from one of the tree-stumps left after the storm. He said that he and his wife (of seven months, he’s still moonstruck) now have that cross in their house, “to present to my father, on the day that…” and his voice broke. I think he almost cried in the next minute, but he went back to speaking and got over it. It tugged at all of us. In fact, when he said that, the entire auditorium gave resounding applause. We might even have stood. It was very touching.

On the last day, Afshin spoke in the morning. His sermon was shorter, and it was about Evangelism, and how God wants all the world to know of Him and His love.

Our worship band for the week was the Chris White band. They were really good. Not just as worship leaders, but also as musicians. I bought their CD.

In the course of the week, I became richer by five t-shirts: I got one dark blue Super Summer t-shirt on the first day for free as the camp t-shirt; I bought the Silver School t-shirt for ten bucks – it’s cool-looking and super comfortable – probably my favorite; I got a green t-shirt from OBU for filling out a survey (it was meant for younger kids without a college selected yet, but they let me do it too); I bought a baby blue Super Summer t-shirt for ten bucks to help pay for a Super Summer Youth Camp in Alaska; and I got a red OBU t-shirt from the admissions office for being an enrolled student (they were giving them out to anyone who filled an admission application).

The youth with the First Baptist Church of Tulsa are pretty cool. I like the guys. One of them impressed me more than the others though. There was a sixteen-year-old homeschooled guy named Daniel. I didn’t get to know him well, but I think that every interaction I saw him in impressed me. To begin with, he’s pretty buff; he’s a football player and he plays with a homeschool team. He’s also good looking; he reminds me of the dark-haired guy from the movie Pearl Harbor. He’s very friendly and personable and reminds me of myself at sixteen, except for the fact that he’s cooler. He’s more stylish than I was at sixteen; he’s more stylish than I am right now, for that matter. I don’t think I ever saw him alone; he was always with someone, usually smiling, laughing, and talking. I wasn’t around him enough to see if he really loves people, but he definitely likes them a lot. He loves worship music. He likes other music too, but he really loves worship music. I heard him talk about worship music several times in the course of the week.

Regrettably, I didn’t get any real quality time with Daniel or any of the other guys in the group, but I like them all and I got the impression they like me as well. They adopted me as a youth group member, and I was the only guy (there was also a girl) “with” their church to be in Silver School, so I was the oldest of them.

Friday, April 10

More on Prayer

Here are some additional thoughts on prayer. Take everything I say with a grain of salt because I may be all wrong here. If you have some insights or thoughts, please share them.

Here is what I've found thus far:

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. He asked, "Do you understand what I have just done for you? 13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because that is what I am.14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other's feet.15 I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you.16 I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
- John 13:12-17 NCV -

4 The greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who makes himself humble like this child.
- Matthew 18:4 NCV -

35 Jesus sat down and called the twelve apostles to him. He said,
"Whoever wants to be the most important must be last of all and servant of all."
- Mark 9:35 NCV

So, the greatest and most important in the Kingdom of Heaven is the one who makes himself servant of all... hm...

"Have you ever noticed that even though you call me Lord and King, I have never really acted in that capacity with you? I've never taken control of your choices or forced you to do anything, even when what you were about to do was destructive or hurtful to yourself and others."

Mack looked back at the lake before responding. "I would have preferred that you did take control at times. It would have saved me and people I care about a lot of pain."

"To force my will on you," Jesus replied, "is exactly what love does not do. Genuine relationships are marked by submission even when your choices are not helpful or healthy. That's the beauty you see in my relationship with Abba and Sarayu*. We are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be. Papa is as much submitted to me as I to him, or Sarayu* to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way."
*The Holy Spirit

Mack was surprised. "How can that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?"

"Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don't want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me."

. . .

"And all I wanted was a God who will just fix everything so no one gets hurt." Mack shook his head at the realization.

- The Shack pgs. 145-146 -

Do you see where I'm going with this? The greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven is He Who Serves All. Serves all. The idea of God being in submission to us totally freaks me out. I don't think this is the whole picture, but it does help explain prayer somewhat.

Jesus, You are
Jesus, You were
Jesus, You will always be
A perfect servant to us
A perfect servant to death
Even death on a cross

Give us a piture of your face
Show us the measure of Your grace
Reveal the love of the Father
Put within us tenderness
Release from us all selfishness
We'll consider them better
We are yours
Give us hearts of servants
"Hearts of Servants" by Shane & Shane

But also note the importance of faith in this. Faith is trusting in God. It's not just believe in God, it's really trusting in Him; trusting that He will redeem every story. Faith is "complete confidence in a person or plan etc." Complete trust.

8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.
- Matthew 7:8 NCV -

24 So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.
- Mark 11:24 NCV -

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.
- John 16:24 NCV -

So what are you praying for? Does your prayer reflect a relationship of submission to God? Does your prayer reflect a complete trust in Him?

22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

- Luke 12:22-34 NCV -

9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
- Matthew 6:9-13 NCV-

Think about all this.


Sunday, March 22

Winds of Change

Can you feel the pains of life?
Wrapped around you like they're chains
Restricting all your dreams
Do you wonder if there is a way?
A way to set you free
Set you free

So tell me all your dreams
Tell me all your fears
and what you're longing for the most
It's not another way
That'll end up the same
for it's under my control

Do you feel the winds of change
Soon this weight will fall away
And take you to a place
Only found through these winds of change
A breeze that's new and free
New and free

So tell me all your dreams
Tell me all your fears
and what you're longing for the most
It's not another way
That'll end up the same
for it's under my control

I'll be the one who you can cry to
The one who will give you wings
I will give you wings
Someday we'll sail away
Mounted up on wings like eagles
We will run and will not fade away

So tell me all your dreams
Tell me all your fears
and what you're longing for the most
It's not another way
That'll end up the same
for it's under my control

I'll be the one who you can cry to
The one who will give you wings
I will give you wings
The one who will give you wings
I will give you wings
to set you free
The one who will give you wings
I will give you wings
to set you free
The one who will give you wings

"Winds of Change" by Kutless


I am very tired right now, but I'm also restless. I feel like there is something I need to say; something that needs to be expressed, but I'm not sure what it is.

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. I pray frequently because talking to my God is important. He is the "Lover of my soul," shouldn't I speak to Him? But there's a struggle within me. I know that He hears me because I've heard His response. I know that He sometimes grants my requests because I've seen Him do it.

However, I don't understand it. Does he do what I ask Him to only when He was already going to do it? Do my petitions change His mind? If so, how does that work? If God is timeless and unchanging, how does my prayer affect what He's doing? How does my prayer affect the things and people I pray for?

I'm not doubting here, I'm just wondering... how?

Maybe this is something I'll never understand this side of Heaven.

7 "Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

9 "If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? 11 Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!
- Matthew 7:7-11 NCV -

21Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. 22If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
- Matthew 21:21-22 NIV -

Same story as last quote, but a different book, and a different translation:
23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, 'Go, fall into the sea.' And if you have no doubts in your mind and believe that what you say will happen, God will do it for you.24 So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.
- Mark 11:23-24 NCV -

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.
- John 16:24 NCV -

Saturday, March 21


If I was your love
I would love only you.
I'd lay at this altar,
give all I am,
all that is true.

This old scarlet letter
won't keep me from holding you.
And there is nothing you can do.
Nothing you do.

For love I have scaled
the face of these kingdom walls.
So let down your hair,
let our kiss make fools of them all.

This old scarlet letter
won't keep me from holding you.
And there is nothing you can do.
Nothing you do.
"Scarlet" by Jars of Clay

Friday, March 20

My Introduction to the Sacred Romance

Hello. I haven't made a real entry in a while, and seeing as I had a new "follower" (Hello Aubrey; however did you find my blog?) I thought I'd make a quick one now.

I've been reading this great book called The Sacred Romance, it's written by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge. It's a book about the Great Story (or "the Sacred Romance") behind every one of our lives; ultimately, it's a book about God's passionate love and desire for us.

Most of us will agree that our lives are stories. They have some kind of plot (even if we don't know what it is), main characters, moments that makes us want to weep with sorrow, and moments that make us want to jump for joy.

What kind of story is this, though? Is it a love story? Is it a war story? Could it be both? Is it a tragedy? Is it some kind of modern comedy? Is it a fairy-tale?

Where can we find the answers to these questions? If we look at the whole thing, taken together, we can find the answers in the Bible. The Sacred Romance shows us how.

I highly recommend you take a look at the book. These podcasts are also excellent.

Monday, March 2


You're worth so much
it'll never be enough
to see what you have to give
how beautiful you are
yet seem so far
from everything you're wanting to be

wanting to be

Tears falling down again
tears falling down

You fall on your knees
you beg
you plead
"Can I be somebody else
for all the times I hate myself?"
your failures devour
your heart in every hour
you're drowning in your imperfection

You mean so much
that heaven would touch
the face of humankind for you
how special you are
revel in your day
you're fearfully and wonderfully made
wonderfully made

Tears fallin' down again
come and let the healing begin

You fall on your knees
you beg
you plead
"Can I be somebody else
for all the times I hate myself?"
your failures devour
your heart in every hour
you're drowning in your imperfection

You're worth so much
so easily crushed
wanna' be like everyone else
no one escapes
every breath we take
dealing with our own skeletons

You fall on your knees
you beg
you plead
"Can I be somebody else
for all the times I hate myself?"
your failures devour
your heart in every hour
you're drowning in your imperfection

Won't you believe it?
won't you believe it?
all the things I see in you?

You're not the only one
you're not the only one
trading in imperfection

"Imperfection" by Skillet

Saturday, February 28

Lay It Down

Tommy's haunted by the pressure to become
The first family member to wear a cap and gown
Time it ticks and the sweat it drips down
He's longing for the tassel dangling from his golden crown

Lay it down
Let it go right now

Misery loves company with those who cannot set it down
Throw your cares on Him
He'll show you how

Now is not the time to be missing out

She dreams of white picket fences
Has thoughts of marrying him

She believes is her existence
Somebody should tell him
And now you'll find her on her knees
As Jesus takes her lonely heart and holds it tenderly

Lay it down
Let it go right now

Misery loves company with those who cannot set it down
Throw your cares on Him
He'll show you how

Now is not the time to be missing out

Life's melodies can be accompanied by doubt
They start happy then comes the minor key
That brings us down

Lay it down
Let it go right now

Misery loves company with those who cannot set it down
Throw your cares on Him
He'll show you how

Now is not the time to be missing out

But in times of endless tragedy
He's been known to compose His best symphonies

Lay it down
Let it go right now

Misery loves company with those who cannot set it down
Throw your cares on Him
He'll show you how

Now is not the time to be missing out

"Lay It Down" by Seven Places

Friday, February 27

I'm Blue

You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

To find your color, go here.

Tuesday, February 17

The Beautiful Letdown

It was a beautiful letdown
when I crashed and burned
when I found myself alone, unknown, and hurt.

It was a beautiful letdown
the day I knew
that all the riches this world had to offer me
would never do

In a world full of bitter pain
and bitter doubt
I was trying so hard to fit in
until I found out

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I will carry a cross and a song
where I don't belong

It was a beautiful letdown
when you found me here
and for once in a rare blue moon
I see everything clear

I'll be a beautiful letdown
that's what I'll forever be
and though it may cost my soul I'll sing for free

We're still chasing our tails
and the rising sun
and our dark water planet
still spins in a race
where no one wins
and no one's one

I don't belong here
I don't belong here
I'm gonna' set sight
and set sail for the kingdom come
Your kingdom come
won't you let me down!
let my foolish pride forever let me down

Easy living, you're not much like your name
easy dying, you look just about the same
would you please take me off your list?
easy living, please come on and let me down.

What a beautiful letdown
painfully uncool
the church of the drop outs, the losers
the sinners, the failures, and the fools
what a beautiful letdown
are we salt in the wound?
let us sing one true tune
"The Beautiful Letdown" lyrics by Jon Foreman

Sunday, February 15

Proverbs 18:2

"Fools do not want to understand anything; they only want to tell others what they think."
- Proverbs 18:2 NCV -

Saturday, February 14

Valentine's Day

Today, February 14th, is Valentine's day. Created in honor of St. Valentine (for reasons that I do not remember at the moment) it is a holiday that has come to be a celebration of Romantic Love.

Valentine's Day is great for those who have lovers. For those of us who are romantically alone however, this day tends to be a dreary reminder that we currently have no one to hold and say "I love you" too. Many singles even go so far as to call it "Singles Awareness Day" instead of Valentine's Day.

I want to change that.

There are things to be celebrated about being single. It may not always feel that way, but it's true. When you are married or pursuing marriage you have to focus on the other person: what they want, what they're feeling, etc. When you are single though, you can focus on growing closer to God without the distraction of another person. You can also spend time bettering yourself in preparation for the day when you have someone to Love; after all, you want to be the best person you can be for them, don't you? Finally, single people don't have restrictions on who they can spend time with. As a single person you can go out for lunch with or
chat with a friend of the opposite gender; a luxury it is not wise to have when married or in a relationship.

Here are some things you can do as a single person this Valentine's Day:

1) Pray for your future beloved. There are all kinds of prayers you can make for them: prayers for their present, prayers for their future, and prayers for yourself to be better for them. These are examples of a few things I pray every day.

2) Write a letter to your future beloved. It can be a letter that you write and then throw away, just to get your feelings out, or it could be a letter that you plan to give to them shortly before you get married or on the night of your wedding. I have an entire envelope full of letters like the latter. As for what you put in the letter... that's up to you.

If you are one of the Blessed few who has been called to live a life with God as your sole Lover, then I have a question for you: Are you content? If not, then this is an excellent day for you to become better acquainted with the Lover of Your Soul.

May God bless you with Love this
Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13

To Write Love On Her Arms

Today I wrote the word "LOVE" on both of my forearms. My younger sisters asked me why I was doing it, so I explained it to them.

I told them that people hurt inside, and that there are many causes for this hurting. I told them that some people hurt so badly that they try to escape their pain. They do drugs to make them feel good, or they make themselves drunk on alcohol to make them forget, or they hurt themselves; because they think they deserve it, or because it helps them avoid their emotional pain. I told them that these are not good things.

Now comes the "LOVE" part. Some guys got together and decided that they wanted to help people who are hurting
inside like this. Because the first girl they helped (a young woman named Renee) cut herself, they decided to call their organization "To Write Love On Her Arms" as a metaphor for replacing bleeding wounds with love.

Today, February 13th, is "To Write Love On Her Arms Day" and the guys at TWLOHA encouraged us all to write the word "LOVE" on our arms as another way to get the word out about this great organization.

Donations to TWLOHA, as well as the proceeds from t-shirt sales, are used to fund a support center for people to contact when they need help or someone to talk to, and the remainder ($420,000 in the past year) is forwarded to treatment and recovery programs like Mercy Ministries.

I encourage you to support these guys, but not just financially. I want you to go out and be Love to those around you. Start small -- by loving your spouse, your sibling, your parent -- and work your way out through your social circles. Let me remind you that Love is easier to give when you're hooked up to the source of all Love: Jehovah, the creator of the Universe. Before you do anything else, you should get on talking terms with God. If you already talk to God and have a relationship with him, just remember to refresh yourself with His loving cup of Mercy and Forgiveness every day. Whether subtly, or in a massive way, it will change your life.

Thursday, February 12

The First Few Thoughts

Now that I have already reserved the name, I wonder if perhaps I should have named my blog differently. My soul is broken, yes, but it is also being healed. It's a daily process. With each new cut I add to my soul (and it is oh, so easy to do) I pray for healing. And it comes. Slowly or quickly, it comes. My soul heals. There is a scar left there but the wound is healed.

Every soul is different, but each soul is broken. Each soul needs healing. Has your soul been healed yet, or are you still looking?

Welcome to the Memoirs Of A Broken Soul


Welcome to my blog. I'm not entirely sure what kinds of things you'll be reading here just yet, but I imagine the thoughts I write here will be of the spiritual variety. I may perhaps blog on every-day things occasionally as well.