Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Scandal Of Grace

 I have been going to local Young Adult church services and bible studies in the area on Tuesday nights. I had the oppertunity to go to Calvary Chapel for their night of all worship. It was a wonderful time of music, scripture reading, and prayer. Anyways, we sang this song and I liked it so much I had to share it with you all.

"The scandal of grace is God died in my place!"

Grace what have you done
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in your blood

Too much to make sense of it all
I know that your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace
You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like you
Give all I have just to know you
Jesus, there's no one besides you
Forever the hope in my heart

Death where is your sting
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live and mercy my heart now to sing

The day and it's trouble shall come
I know that your strength is enough
The scandal of grace,
You died in my place
So my soul will live

And it's all because of you Jesus
It's all because of you Jesus
It's all because of your love that my soul will live

Monday, October 27, 2014

There and Back Again

  Singleness... Man, I used to hate that word so much! It personified everything that I didn't want. To have that someone special to love, touch, hold, and laugh with was something I wanted very much.

   To be honest though, the hate for the word single, was fueled by a bigger motivator, fear.  The fear that this word would describe me for the rest of my life. Now, I know, that that statement is a little melodramatic, but it was a struggle for me. Bear with me because this is not, and will never be an easy subject for me to write on.

   So, here we go. I shall title this, There and Back Again, since I am and will always be a Tolkien fan.

   I am going to walk through this as candidly as possible. A little over a year ago I met a beautiful godly girl and was smitten. It was a match made in heaven or so I thought. To meet someone that believed the same things that I held important was awesome. So, we entered into a relationship and it was great, but in the end it was not meant to be and ended. To have someone that you have opened up to completely, to have shared all that you shared, and then have it end when you thought it should go on, hurts deeply. I was wounded, heartbroken, and scarred.

   Neither of us ended the relationship well. I was  not happy and I did not respond well spiritually. I was angry at her for ending it, I was angry at God for allowing it to happen and I was angry at myself for being angry. I wrestled with God for months. I would go to bed at night fighting all of these emotions, asking God why.

   Life goes on though and months go by and the hurt goes away bit by bit. Then I started to smile on the past and the memories were no longer painful to think about anymore. There are conversations and times of prayer we had together that I relish to this day. Am I okay 100%? Nope, scars are scars, they don't go away, but by Gods grace I can over come them.

  The biggest thing that God is still helping me through this year is trust. I have the hardest time opening up and trusting someone because of this experience. This effects me greatly, as I honestly step way back and keep my space from people, more specifically girls. I do not trust girls, and the thought of being close to one and sharing a relationship with each other terrifies me. Even just with my friends, there are times I am close to someone and then I will back away because I fear that the trust I am giving them will be broken by them. It forms this oscillating pattern of friendship and I am sure it frustrates people, as it frustrates me.

    Fast forward to now. God has taught me much through the heartbreak and I can only hope that I am a better man for it. The whole singleness thing doesn't bother me as much anymore. As a matter of fact I embrace it. It is the place that God has me right now. Do I still wish for a relationship? Oh yes, but not in my time. Never again will I jump head first into a relationship. If it supposed to happen then it will happen on God's time and not mine.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Confident in Grace

   I have been sitting here just thinking for the past hour or so. Scary right? Originally, I sat down to work through some lyrics for a song that has been floating through my head today, but I am having major musicians block. So, I have just been sitting still! Pondering on things that have me concerned. 

       To start, I have been noticing that Christians as a whole struggle with confidence in Grace. Gods unmeritted favor and love for us. I know personally I have been struggling to be real, to be honest, and to live a life that is without the masks. I think that the life I am striving to live is the end result of the working of God's grace in the believers life. 

   As Christians we are supposed to be iron sharpening iron. Correct? How then can we live with the masks? The masks of perfection that we place on ourselves to keep others from knowing "The Struggle".  The true monster hidden inside us if you will. The masks we create are quite frankly wrong and unbiblical! In my personal life it showed that I didn't have a true understanding of Grace in my life because if I truly understood God's grace in my life. Then I would have realized that no matter what I do, nothing can take away God's love for me! That is where our confidence can be found. 

The masks just show our insecurities. 

     If we are secure in what Christ did for us on the cross then we should be fostering that genuineness. I will be the first one to say that I am not perfect. That being honest scares me. I just want to be accepted and being open and honest about my struggles might change peoples opinions of me. That they may no longer accept me, because I am not perfect. That is a real fear in my life. So, when someone asks me how I am doing? I am faced with the choice. Do I answer with fine or do I answer with I am really glad you asked because I am really struggling in these areas. Can you please be praying for me. Now when I am talking about confidence in God's unchanging grace. I do not mean pride. I am not proud of the things I struggle with, I am humbled by God's forgiveness and love! Is it possible to be humble and confident at the same time? Absolutely!

So, Are you living in and confident in the fullness of God's work of grace?


Friday, June 20, 2014

Honest Moment

My mom was reading this the other day and I just had a chance to read it. Needless to say it broke my heart.

"My mom had only one eye. I hated her......She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

There was one time during my primary school when my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed. How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school, one of my schoolmates said "'EEEE, you're mom has only one eye!"

I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said " If you will only make me a laughing stock, why don't you just die? My mom did not respond......I didn't even stop to think about the words i hurled at her because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

I wanted to be out of that house and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study. Then I got married. I bought a house of my own. I had kids. I was happy with my life and the comforts. Then one day, my mother came to visit me.. She hadn't seen me in years and haven't even meet her grandchildren.

When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her and I yelled at her for coming over to the house uninvited. I screamed at her, " How dare you come to my house and scare my children!" GET OUT OF HERE NOW!!!" And to this, my mother answered calmly " Oh, I'm so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address". And she disappeared out of sight.

One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity. My neighbours said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have."

My Dearest son,

I think of you all the time. I'm sorry that I came to your house and scared your children. I was so glad when I heard that you're coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I'm sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

You see, when you were very little, you got an accident, and lost one eye. As a mother, I couldnt stand watching you having to grow with one eye. So I gave you mine. I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me with that one eye. I wanted you to be successful in life. Till then..I love you my son.

With all my love to you,

Your mother

  And now for that honest moment. I related very heavy to this story. I am ashamed to say as a younger guy that I would make fun of my mom's singing and was not very respectful to her at all. I struggle with guilt about this almost everyday because my mom used to love to sing and would always be walking around the house sing while she worked. Now she will not sing anymore and believes that she has a horrible voice from my negative comments. Mom, I love you and I do hope that you will sing again! Moral off the story please be careful what you say to people you never know how much it will affect them.

Ragamuffin: My Thoughts

“So go out and live real good and I promise you'll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you're dead, you'll be rotted away anyway. It's not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn't live.” 
― Rich Mullins

“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.” 
― Rich Mullins

To start this movie was a complete earth shattering experience for me.  It shook me to the very core of who I am. To be honest I have never really liked Rich's music, but after watching this movie and seeing who he was and what he struggle with. It left me with a deep respect for him as a person.

 Honestly, I have been struggling with so much in my life lately. The biggest thing I have been struggling with is how can God love me? How? I am such a mess and I mess up everyday of my life. Now yes, I knew that He loves me. I truly knew that, but I didn't feel it. While watching this movie it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Seeing Rich struggle with feeling like God actually loved him and realizing. Nothing I can do will ever remove Gods love for me. He loves me soo much that he came and died for me and for the whole world. Now if that isn't true love then I don't know what true love is. I know God loves me and am fully secure in that.

"A ragamuffin knows he is only a beggar at the door of God's mercy!" Brennan Manning

"I am now utterly convinced that on Judgement day the Lord Jesus will ask one question and only one question. Did you believe that I loved you?" Brennan Manning

“Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.” 
― Rich Mullins

“So go out and live real good and I promise you'll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you're dead, you'll be rotted away anyway. It's not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn't live.”
― Rich Mullins

“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
― Rich Mullins

I am a Ragamuffin

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Life Update

Well, since I have not updated in a long time I figured I would get on here.

A picture first to hint at the next phase of my life.

I start on April 14th and am very very excited! This is what I have been working towards for a long time. Now before my AZ friends get to excited. I am not going to be at the Avondale campus. I will be going to their campus in Philadelphia. If the driving is to much though then I will be transferring to Arizona.

There you all go.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Another Year

Wow, I can't believe another year has come and gone. It amazes me how quickly time passes. When I look back on this year so many things have happen. It was a year of ups and downs, joy and pain, heart-warmth and heartache, but through it all. God was and is faithful!

I am going to post some pictures up of this year and I hope you enjoy them.


  I had the opportunity to go on a 2 day Kayaking trip down the Susquehanna river and I had a blast. It was so nice to put everything away and just be out on the water with friends.

   I don't want to give all away, but there are some big things coming up the pike for me this year that I am very excited to see what God does with!

  One last thing, to those friends who have left my life and those who have entered into my life. I love you all and thank the Lord for the time I was given, and am given with each of you! I wouldn't trade time with friends and loved ones for the world! So, to my friends and family that read this. Thank you for being a part of my life!

Happy New Year!!!

   Last night, we ushered in the New Year the way I love to! With lots of gun smoke and warm barrels. After all you just have to get the 12 gauge out to announce that we have rolled over to the next year. Jonathan absolutely loved being allowed to stay up with us big guys. Some quick pictures since I was playing with the camera a bit last night.