Monthly Archives: August 2016

LEARNING ALL DAY

What a fruitful day it has been with God. Literally all day God has used people, circumstances, music, the weather etc. to speak to me. To teach me things. To give me the guidance that I need.

God used my classes to teach me things in two ways. Academically/wisdom and personal faith. In my history of Christianity class I was able to learn a lot about interesting facts and truths on the apostles and the early church. It’s such a blessing to gain wisdom on the roots of my faith that I have never been aware of.

Then in my second class I learned from not just the class but through my professor. Not just as a teacher but as a person and a fellow Christian leader. She showed vulnerability and told us about her personal struggles, doubts and relationship with God. Honestly you don’t see much of that from many professors. Through her humility and vulnerability I was encouraged to do the same in my ministry and with my relationships.

Then at refresh tonight God started to really reveal a lot about myself. He opened my eyes to my brokenness. He humbled me tonight by letting me realize there is still so much to learn about Him. I am not just a leader but I’m a member also who has room to grow.

After church I was a little overwhelmed with how much God has been moving throughout my day and then this song came on:

It spoke to me in the most perfect ways to end my day. The words that really touched my heart were:

Through the fire we are restored. From the fire we are reborn. Take all impurity and I’ll stand holy in your name. 

Going through a transition period in my ministry these words seemed like a perfect message from God. To look upon the fire as a blessing and let the fire do its works.

All day today God has taught me things and I am so thankful that God is always wanting to reveal and teach. It’s amazing how obvious God can be when we are aware.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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HE WOKE ME UP

I had a long night last night. For my theological themes in film class I had to watch the movie “contact” before class today. I thought it would be a pretty short movie so I started it pretty late, but boy was I surprised, it was 2 and a half hours long. While watching it I had to stop it here and there to take notes and by the time the movie was over it was almost 3am. But by that time I was already pretty wide awake so I couldn’t actually fall asleep until almost 5 in the morning…

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I don’t have class until 11 so I get to sleep in a little more than the other days. Since I went to bed late I was nervous that I wouldn’t wake up on time since I’m a super heavy sleeper. I have to set over 5 alarms in 5 minute intervals to wake up and sometimes I even sleep through that lol.

But something weird happened this morning. Even though I slept extremely late I woke up on my own (more like by God’s will) and hour before I needed to. That’s a super rare case for me. Usually if I wake up early I go right back to sleep but today I was wide awake. I was so confused why I was up so early but that’s when I started to get the hints of why God woke me up.

Every Tuesday there is a chapel service on campus, but to be brutally honest I haven’t been since my first semester going to CCU. But for some reason today I really felt like God was calling me to go. I honestly didn’t want to at first, I was thinking about just taking advantage of being up early and relaxing but I had this deep urge and conviction to go to chapel.

I got there right on time and the moment I walked I kind of felt like Moses when he encountered the burning bush. When he took off his sandals because he was on holy ground. That’s what it was like when I walked into the chapel, I just knew I was in the presence of God, that I was called there.

When worship began I was immersed by God’s divine presence. Words can’t explain how I felt. All I knew was the Holy Spirit was in motion in my heart. God broke me down into a genuine and intimate time of prayer at His feet. No distractions, nothing on my mind, only my heart gazing upon God.

It has been such a long time since I’ve experienced such a powerful personal moment with God. But it only got better. When the speaker got up and began giving his message that’s when I knew God brought me there this morning to hear these specific words. He said “I wonder how many people are busy doing “ministry” that we forget to do ministry”.

Those words struck my heart like a lighting bolt. I fully believe that those words were from God for me. It was exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of. To not be caught up in the busyness of ministry but rather to live ministry in all that I do.

God woke me up this morning with a plan and a will for me. He called my name, brought me into His presence and spoke His words to my heart. This morning was the definition of the saying, “God moves in unexpected ways”.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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WHEN I’M 86

It’s been almost 9 months now since my dad’s injury, 9 months without being able to fully walk, work and go to church. Since our church is an extremely old building there are many stairs and isn’t really handicap friendly so that has prohibited him from going. But what I’m truly thankful for the fully supportive church family that is always reaching out to him.

Today one of our church members who is really special to our hearts came to visit our home for lunch. He is an 86 year old man who I call “grandpa” that I’ve known all my life. Since he is getting older in age and having a hard time seeing he can’t really drive so he can only come to our house if he gets a ride. It’s already been 4 years since he has visited.

As we were around the dining table eating lunch I became very emotional just looking at him. Seeing him at our house brought back many memories of my grandpa who passed away 9 years ago. This man was my grandpa’s closest friend and I remember when I was little he would visit all the time. Whenever he used to come over he always brought me boxes of cereal so we gave him the nickname “cereal grandpa”.

As we were eating and having conversation I couldn’t help but see the joy of the Lord in his heart. He is 86 years old and lives only with his wife who has become really weak. He does the laundry, cooks, cleans and does everything. While he was telling us all this he didn’t complain one bit but kept on saying “I am young” with a smile on his face. One thing that he loves talking about is God.

That’s when I thought to myself. When I’m 86 years old will I still be that energetic, joyful, optimistic, filled with joy and have God on the tip of my tongue? He has encouraged me to strive to live a life fully based on God so when I am old and weak one day I can still smile and talk about Jesus.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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THE UNEXPECTED EXPECTED 

There is a girl in youth group that I have been able to witness grow in the past few years she has been in our community. Just like everyone else in the group she really is something special. The biggest thing that shines about her is her heart of worship.

She has the voice that pierces through any loud room. That voice becomes radiant during worship. She sings not with just words but from the cries of her heart because she genuinely loves God. She is the type to not care at all about how she sounds and only cares about giving praise to God.

But the thing about her is that her circumstances aren’t always the greatest which prohibits her from being able to come out to church all the time. Some may use her attendance as a reason to judge her faith but I don’t and haven’t at all. Why? Because I know her genuine heart for God. I have always confidently known that God will use that heart in amazing ways and today was a moment when that was revealed.

Even though she is a loud and outgoing person she isn’t the type to be that way in front of a large crowd. She is the type that serves in the background but God chose her today to use her in the foreground.

Today she joined the praise team for our first service as a vocalist. Many probably didn’t expect that but to be honest I knew this was going to happen. I knew God wanted to use that heart of worship to spread this heart to others. I was beyond blessed to see her being used today for the kingdom. To witness her heart being poured out in worship and leading us in that heart.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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STEAK SURPRISE 

I have aunt who lives about 2 hours away in Columbus that I’m extremely close with. She is one of the most encouraging people in my life for my faith. Even though she doesn’t live in the same city she is here a lot. I atleast see her a couple times a month.

She is an amazing cook and one of my favorite things she makes is steak. A couple weeks ago when she was over I was joking around and I told her I wished I could have one of her steaks. Of course being the caring person she is, she didn’t take it as a joke and today she came over from Columbus with her delicious steaks for me.

To me that was such a blessing and I was speechless. I am so thankful to have someone like her in my life that goes out of her way to bless me for no reason. I believe the reason she is always able to do these acts of kindness is because the love of God that’s in her and today I was able to witness that.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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NO HESITATION 

One of the biggest things I am thankful for since starting classes again is the community God has given me at school. That’s something I have lacked for a couple years but this year is totally different even from the start.

I’m a biblical studies major but last year our school started a new concentration for my major called Public Theology. I have chosen to do that route and only 5 others decided on it too. Since it’s a new program and there are not that many people in it we have one main professor who teaches the courses for the concentration. But I am so thankful for that because our class is extremely small which makes it intimate and since we continue with the same professor we are able to have that tight knit community.

Since being at Cincinnati Christian university I think the greatest decision I have made was to have a public theology concentration. I love the things we learn but I especially am blessed with the community. I feel like I’ve finally found a group of people at school that I can truly relate to and grow with.

At the end of our class today while everyone was about to leave our professor shared with us a personal prayer request. She asked us if we could keep her in our prayers today. But that’s when one of the students said, “let’s just pray now”. So in that moment with no hesitation she led us in a time of prayer for our professor.

That’s when I realized how thankful I am to be in a university where we can just be open in prayer. To encourage eachother not with only worldly words but with prayers and the word’s of God. But the biggest lesson I learned today is not hesitate to pray for someone on the spot. If it wasn’t for that sister I would have walked out of that classroom and just prayed on my own. But through her heart we are able to bless someone with prayer in that moment. That is what I aspire to do, when God puts it on my heart, to just pray.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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SLOW DOWN 

I felt like this past summer flew by so quickly. It had to have been the quickest 3 months in my life. With school starting this back past Monday, this week couldn’t have been any more different. It has felt like the slowest week ever, every day seems like a year in itself.

I can’t believe it’s only Thursday. All I know is I’m already pretty drained from using my brain again. Yesterday was a super long day with classes and ministry. So today I’m feeling the effects, but even though I am tired I knew there were things that needed to be done.

After I got out of classes I made a schedule in my head to do a handful of homework assignments ahead of time. I have one paper due tomorrow and a couple readings due Monday and I wanted to get started in advance. But of course I got ahead myself and wanted to even start on two books that need to be read by next month. To be honest it was a little overwhelming thinking about everything I needed to do. God knew how I felt and He knew exactly what I needed to do, slow down, but it happened in the most unexpected way.

As I left school and got on the highway to head home my gas light came on so I got off the closest exit to fill up. That’s when my dad called me and told me him, my mom and sister just the left a doctors appointment and was wondering if I wanted to meet up for lunch. At first I didn’t want to because I knew I needed to go do some work, but I asked them where they were. Ironically they were in the area I was getting gas at. Since I was so close I decided to just go ahead and meet with them.

After we ate I was about to head home when my mom said she wanted to go to some stores in the area and asked me to come. Again I didn’t really want to because I was already behind “my schedule” but I felt like I should go with them, so I went. What I thought was going to be a quick lunch ended up being a 3 hour event. At first I was a little flustered because my schedule didn’t exist anymore at that point but that’s when I realized something.

God gave me a moment to rest. To slow down. To take some weight off my shoulders and help me not be overwhelmed. I realized I was trying to do too much, more than I needed. He gave me a time with my family to be filled with joy and peace so I could be rejuvenated and I am so thankful for that.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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I LIKE THE BIBLE

To be honest all my life reading in general has never been something I enjoyed at all. The first book I finished from cover to cover was only 3 years ago. It’s sad but reading was never a strong suit for me by any means and I’ve seen some negative fruits of that. Because my lack of interest in reading I’ve always found it really difficult to enjoy reading the bible.

But God is a good father and because He is a good father He teaches His lessons by discipline His children and boy did I get taught a lesson by Him. How? Deciding to be a Biblical Studies major a couple years ago. I did not know what I was getting myself into. My major literally consists of reading books, writing papers, reading the bible, writing essays, reading more and writing more. But I am so thankful for that. It wasn’t easy at first and I’m still learning but slowly and surely I’m gaining a passion and enjoyment in reading.

This past summer I had a conviction a true conviction that I haven’t been reading scripture as much as I should for my personal faith and growth. The times I did read was for school (academic purposes) or for ministry. So near the end of the my summer break I started to get into scripture more and more but then I saw it fizzling out once again.

But again God is a good Father. I just started school a couple days ago and God has opened doors for me to further my personal scripture reading. I somehow have made two separate commitments with two brothers from Refresh to do one on one bible reading together. I haven’t done something like this in the longest time and God of course made it happen in the most perfect timing.

At first I looked at it quite honestly as another thing on my to-do-list, another burden. But as I have been taking time on my own to do the readings that we decided to do together before we met, I have been falling in love with the Bible once more. God has been using these times to really speak into my heart and encourage my personal walk with Him.

Today I met up with one of the brothers for the first time since we decided to read the book of Titus. So we met to talk about the notes we have taken and share what stood out and challenged us. I really saw God through it. I was able to verbalize how God spoke to me through the verses which helped me process even better what really stood our to me. Also it was a blessing to witness how the words of God impacted my brother. This time of bible study together today filled me with an excitement to dig deeper into God’s words of me.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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UNEXPECTED CLASSMATE

One of the biggest blessings of working with the youth group is seeing growth. Not just spiritual growth but maturity in life. There has been one brother who I have seen grow since children’s ministry. He was once the “weird kid” who is now an aspiring servant of the Lord. I have been blessed with the privilege to mentor him and witness his exponential growth.

He just graduated high school and is now attending Cincinnati Christian University with me. That is the last thing I would have ever expected but obviously God does the unexpected. Honestly no one would have ever guessed that he would grow up to have the desire to give his life for ministry, but God knew. It’s truly amazing to see him take these first steps in his calling.

Yesterday was the first day of classes but our schedules didn’t match up so I wasn’t able to see him. But today we had a similar break in between classes so we decided to meet up and do devotional together.


It was honestly really weird grasping the fact that he is going to school with me but I am sincerely proud to see him in this new season of his life. I am thankful to walk along side of him in this chapter and I’m excited to see what God is going to do in his life. I’m grateful that God has given me the opportunity to have front row seats to witness his works unfold.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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INTIMATE DISCOVERIES 

Today was the start of my new semester. It was way better than I had expected. Going over the syllabus in each class and getting introduced to what we will be learning got me really excited (hope this excitement continues). Even though I was pretty exhausted after a long day of classes my heart was filled with joy, but it didn’t end there.

God gave me the opportunity and privilege to hangout with a few members of Refresh tonight. It was such a blessing and a much needed time for me personally. God used this evening to open my eyes.

We had a very intimate time in sharing about our lives and how our personal faith journeys are going. God allowed me to be vulnerable and open about what’s on my heart, which I haven’t really been able to do for awhile. But what really touched me was being able to hear the hearts of my brothers and sisters.

I have realized how blinded I have been to the personal walks of faith of these individuals. By meeting only on Wednesdays and Sundays in church I have only been able to know just the surface level. Tonight God has revealed to me the importance of intimacy with a community. The importance of getting know how eachother is doing on a deeper level. This helps us better serve one another but most importantly shows us how we can be a better brother or sister.

I saw God today.

Did you?

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