Tag Archives: Refresh

PERSONAL PRAYERS

These past few weeks at Refresh we’ve had great opportunities to share prayer requests as a community and pray for one another. But today I wanted to do something different. Even though it’s extremely important to pray for others I believe it’s crucial to pray for yourself. If you’re like me interceding is sometimes easier than personal prayers, but I believe it’s very important to learn and challenge yourself to spend personal intimate time with God. 

We started off with worship and then for the remainder of the time we scattered in the room and had our own individual times with the Lord in prayer. It was a beautiful sight seeing my brothers and sisters spending intentional time on their own in the presence of the Father and taking steps closer to Him. 

For me it was a really powerful and needed time. To be honest it’s been a while since I’ve spent intentional time praying for my personal relationship with God and basking in His presence. It was truly rejuvenating, convicting and uplifting to have that time on my own with God. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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RAVISHED

These past couple of days I have been feeling the battle between me and stress/anxiety increase. I have really tried to overcome these feelings but it’s getting more and more difficult and today I found myself at the verge of hitting my limit and really getting burnt out. It’s been an internal fight, fighting against my own self and let myself get the best of me. This isn’t my first rodeo when it comes to trying to balance ministry and school, but this time it feels like all the heavy stuff is piling up at one time. 

To be honest it took a lot of leaning on God today and finding peace from Him to get through everything at church. When I got home I was feeling extremely fatigued and drained, but my day just begin, because we went to Outcry concert tonight. Usually I would be super excited and thrilled for such an opportunity of worship but today I wasn’t feeling up to it but didn’t have a choice to go. 

But oh boy am I glad I went. Worshipping with Elevation Worship, Lauren Daigle and Jesus Culture was absolutely unreal. It was exactly what I needed and I believe it was a gift from God. While worshipping tonight I felt true freedom, experienced my chains fall off and the peace and joy of the Lord flow within my soul. I’m so thankful for this privilege tonight, for this blessing God has given me to find healing and restoration. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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COMFORTED

We had our monthly praise and prayer night tonight for Refresh, but we did it differently than usual. It was a real intimate time where we all sat in a circle for worship and spent the rest of the time just sharing about how we were all doing and prayer requests and then laying hands on each person who shared and prayed over them. This is exactly what I needed. 

I’m beyond thankful I had this opportunity to talk about some things that were on my chest and receive prayer. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in that position to receive and really be vulnerable. Also it was a huge blessing to pray over our members and hear their stories and how they were all doing. 

All in all I believe nights like tonight I am reminded what the body of Christ and the Church is all about. A community of brothers and sisters there for each other helping one another draw closer to God. 

I saw God today. 

Did you? 

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SOLID DAY

After only a few hours of sleep I woke up this morning anticipating a groggy and tired day. I had no motivation or energy at all on my way to school and the only thing I could think about was figuring out how I could make time to take a nap. But I couldn’t have been any more wrong on how my day would be. It was one of those days where you look back and absolutely nothing was negative, just a solid good day. 

  • As soon as I sat down to meet with someone on campus my friend pops out of nowhere, puts an iced americano (my go to beverage) on the table, gives me a quick smile and disappears. What more could I ask to begin a day. 
  • Had an amazing thought provoking discussion with a guy I’ve been meeting up with on this book we are reading. 
  • Spent one of my classes outside in the beautiful weather. 
  • Had my guilty pleasure of a 5-way at Skyline Chili. 
  • Met up with one of my professors about a grade I got on my essay that I wasn’t satisfied with. Got it bumped up 10 percent so now I still have my A in the class. 
  • 4 of my friends from school came to Refresh tonight and one of them led worship for us. Refresh itself was amazing with a much needed time of worship, prayer, scripture reading and meditation. 
  • It was especially nice being able to share that moment with friends from school. 
  • Went to our campus chapel service. It was crazy how the message was a continuation of what we focused on at Refresh tonight. Had upbeat worship where I experienced true freedom that I haven’t recently. 
  • Ended the night with a nice drive filled with laughter with my buddy. 

What more could I ask for? Today was a day overflowing with countless blessings. All day I could experience peace and joy given to me by the presence of the Lord. I can sleep happy tonight ūüôā

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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ATTEMPTING TO RETURN

Today was my dear beloved sister’s birthday. This year I wanted to do something a little special for her because anyone that knows her will say she truly does deserve it. I talked with the members of Refresh and we planned a little surprise birthday dinner for her. 

Since it’s Wednesday we were supposed to have Refresh and I told my sister she could have the day off and go out to dinner with my parents at a restaurant I made a reservation at, while I would be at church. But I actually cancelled Refresh and had everyone come to the restaurant to surprise her. We don’t usually cancel Refresh for people’s birthdays but I thought this one could be an exception. 

The reason why is because these past few years she has always prepared and planned things for all of our members birthdays. Every month she organizes things to bless others for their special day so I thought we could attempt to return the favor today. 

So after class today I tried to prepare the way she does for others. I got a photo developed of her and the rest of the group, bought a frame, had everyone sign it, booked the restaurant, had one of our friends get the cake etc. As I was doing all this it really had me thinking. 

I’m not really the event planning type and doing this stuff is not my expertise and it ended up being a little stressful. But to know my sister does this stuff all the time willingly to bless others really blessed me. Trying to do what she does really put in perspective how much effort and love she pours out to others all the time and I’m thankful for that. 

I’m glad I was able to atleast attempt to bless my sister on her birthday. I’m also thankful we were able to celebrate with my family and our Refresh family combined. I was able to witness once again how loved she is by others but most importantly by God. 


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I saw God today. 

Did you? 

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WORSHIP IN SPIRIT

It has been one crazy week so far and it’s only Wednesday, but at last I was able to finish all my heavy assignments today. It was especially nice getting everything out of the way before Refresh tonight. With it being the start of Lent today we had our praise and prayer night, focusing on Jesus. 

I had so much in my plate this week I wasn’t able to really think too much about praise and prayer but God definitely did the unexpected. Our worship leader and I were planned to lead tonight but we had a meeting before the service which went longer than expected so we had no time to practice. Also right before we started one of our members walked in with his cello (he’s a cello major and didn’t want to leave it in the car) and we asked him if he wanted to play. We didn’t run through a single song together and just decided to go with the spirit and it all worked out. 

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‚ÄčIt’s obviously good to practice and prepare, but moments like these when God leads us spontaneously is amazing. It’s been a while since I’ve played the cajon and I had my worries but tonight I felt genuinely free in worship. God moved in my heart personally to really set my eyes upon Jesus and give Him all my worship. 

It’s amazing how the spirit truly moves. Tonight I was able to experience the Holy Spirit in action and the living God do His works within our congregation and in my heart personally. God really set the tone for me tonight for this Lent season. To seek Him completely. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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END & BEGINNING 

October 11, 2015 was the beginning of our 1:30 Refresh Sunday Service. After many seasons of difficulties having my ministry members come to church on Sundays God put it on my heart and opened the doors to make our own service. For over a year it has been absolutely amazing personally as well as for our ministry. Through it God gave me the opportunity to preach every Sunday to my congregation and with that service we experienced a lot of spiritual growth for our members and it was also an avenue to bring in new members. 

I am a believer that there is a time and place for all things. This past year our 1:30 service is what we needed and what God wanted for us but it has come to be the time where this door is closing and God is opening a new door and setting forth a new challenge. He is pushing us to a new chapter and all we can do is obey and trust. 

Today, February 26, 2017 was our last 1:30 service and starting next Sunday we will be combining with our 9:45 English Ministry service. It was a very bittersweet day to see something come to an end but also know that a new endeavor is ahead. A couple months ago God put in on my heart and the heart of other leaders that it is time to look upon our church as a whole and not just our ministry. God is calling us to truly take part in the body of the church and integrate within the bigger picture and to do so we decided to unite with the other service. 


It was not an easy decision by any means but it was a decision that was needed to be made. I truly believe this is what God wants and I trust in that. I believe this is evidence that He is continusouly working within our ministry and our church. This next step will bring forth fruit and growth for many and I know God will work through this. I am excited to see what more God has in store and how He will have His will revealed. 

I saw God today.

Did you?

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UNORTHODOX BIBLE STUDY

The reality about standard ways of Bible study is that it is directed towards only certain types of personalities to be effective. The ones who are able to word their thoughts and willing to speak up. But not everyone fits under that personality. For individuals who are more artistic, poetic or hands on the orthodox way of Bible study can be less effective. 

So for Refresh tonight I wanted to try a different way of Bible study. Our theme for this month is “Church” and we have been going through Ephesians to view what the church is to look like. So instead of doing a normal question and answer type of study we did something more creative and hands on that was an unorthodox way of studying the Bible and doing reflection. 

We split up into two groups and drew our personal understanding of a church. One of the groups drew an actual church on top of a hill and labeled each element of the church. For example the foundation was Jesus, the air inside was the Holy Spirit and the hill referred to the verse that the church is to be the light on top of a hill. 

Our group went a more abstract route. We drew the church as a garden. God was the sun, Jesus the fertilizer in the soil, the Holy Spirit water from a sprinkler and us as flowers that grow due to these 3 things. We drew a bee to symbolize pastors and leaders who help the flowers grow and the air/oxygen as love. Apples hanging from the trees symbolized worship which is produced by the garden (church). 

It was extremely powerful tapping into the creative side of my brain and especially hearing the creative interpretations of people from the group. Through this experience I was able to see sides of my members that I have never seen before. This was an apportioning for us to look at God and creation in a very creative and intentional way. God has revealed that there are so many ways to think about Him, worship Him and study Him. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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NOT ALONE 

After my accident on Friday I finally felt like I was in good condition so I went to class for the first time since. For the first half of class I felt totally fine but nearing the later half I could start to feel pain in my lower back starting to increase but it was bearable. After class I met up with my friends to do an assignment and that’s when I started to really feel it again. So I called my chiropractor and made an appointment for today. Once I left and got in my car I knew that this pain was only going to get worse. 

I’m currently driving a rental car and my set of keys are at the body shop so I don’t have a house key. All I wanted to do is get home and lay down but I needed the house key so I had to stop by my dad’s store on the way. Once I got there I realized that I was supposed to get my X-rays from the hospital to take to the chiropractor, so I had to drive back downtown. That’s when I realized I’m in a lot of pain and had to make the difficult decision of going to Refresh tonight or not. 

Since I missed Sunday I told myself I had to go today but my body was telling me no. But I felt extremely guilty and selfish for not going because of my pain. So I started to cry out to God and ask Him what I should do and that’s when I knew He was allowing me to take another day of rest. But instead of comfort I felt more guilt, I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t give me the strength to get better quickly enough to get back into ministry. I felt unworthy and undeserving and truly self-centered in taking time for myself when I should be at church. 

Feeling really uneasy, discomfort and mixed emotions I was driving to the hospital to get the X-rays. That’s when I continued to express my frustration to God and in that moment He spoke to me the lyrics of the song “I am not alone” by Kari Jobe. I didn’t have it playing but randomly He started to speak the lyrics to me in the midst of my confusion. 

That’s when I felt at peace and truly encountered His comfort. I am not alone. I have God who is there. 

“I am not alone 

I am not alone

You will go before me

You will never leave me”

I have a God who is here next to my side. A God that will never leave me and God who goes before me. He is my strength and in Him I trust. He has everything in control and I must just believe in that. 

Just as God is there with me in this time I have amazing brothers and sisters too. I was able to reach out to our worship leader who was more than willing to take charge tonight in my place. And I also have amazing members of my ministry that are completely understanding. This again made me realize that I really am not alone. I have God and people of God around me to walk with. I don’t have to do anything alone. 

I saw God today. 

Did you?

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ANSWERS

This past winter break was a time where God gave me a lot of opportunities to reflect, gain vision and pray for my ministry and all the things I am involved in. It was a much needed time. To be really honest, the past several months have been very difficult and challenging for me in my ministry. It was the first time I ever felt like I was failing God and my congregation, the first time I questioned God if I was doing the right thing and even questioned if this ministry really was what God desired. 

This past break was a time where God didn’t only give me conviction or reveal things to me but rather called me into action and gave me answers to my questions. He has filled me with an excitement and a desire to serve fully and lay down my burdens, fears and insecurities. 

Today before Refresh I was able to meet with one of my brothers who is a part of our servant leadership team and it was the first time I was able to truly be open and vulnerable about what I have been going through. It was such a blessing to have that opportunity to be real and share with someone what God has been putting on my heart. But what was really amazing and evidence that these things were from God was that he has been feeling the same way. So we started to get back to the fundamentals of scripture and began to brainstorm a vision and direction for what to do with Refresh for this year. 

Through our conversation I really received confirmation that God was wanting do do something amazing through us and through this ministry. But God gave me an even clearer confirmation and taste of what is to come when we gathered for Refresh tonight. We had the largest Wednesday group we have had in months, with a new member and members who haven’t come for a long time. What was truly amazing wasn’t the number of people but the hungry hearts that everyone had. 


Through tonight God revealed that He did desire this ministry and that He has big plans ahead of us. He gave me truth that overcame the lies and doubts that have been lingering in my mind. God gave all of us a glimpse of the future and potential of HIS ministry. I am so thankful God revealed Himself to me in such an unexpected and surprising way. He has proven to me once more that His works are not finished.

I saw God today. 

Did you? 

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