Hosting for Sky VBS!

Da Hawk

Last day of VBS ended with an impromptu haircut!

The Gathering

So blessed to have the opportunity to speak to the youth in the Katy community

Youth Paint Fight

Coloring outside the lines #onlyatcrosspoint

If ya ain't first, your last

Blue team took home the gold at our Paint Fight Night!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Prayer Is Where The Action Is

Prayer is quite possibly the most underrated aspect of a Christian life.  It is so simple, so logical, and yet so neglected.  Many learn the Lord's Prayer when we are young and are taught to pray daily.  Yet, somewhere along the way we become jaded...

Whether it is a lack of thorough knowledge of the purpose of prayer, a lack of faith, or a lack of commitment, we lose sight of the power that prayer holds.  As we get older and our schedules get busier, it becomes almost natural to push off prayer until it is convenient.  Then, as prayer becomes less of a habit, it becomes something that we only turn to in times of great need.  And for some, it becomes so meaningless that it never even occurs to pray at all.

Prayer has always been something that I have struggled mightily with.  When I was in high school my grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  This was a man who was in good health, relatively young, and had never smoked or had any particularly unhealthy vices.  As you can imagine, this was quite unexpected and upsetting for our family.  I was particularly distraught, as I had a very close relationship with my "Grand-Dad."  I believe this was when I lost faith in prayer.  I was so bitter that I could not bring myself to speak to God.  Over the years, as I built a shield of resentment and anger around my soul, I led myself to believe that prayer was utterly useless and a hoax.

Now, with my shield broken and my faith revived, I find that it is still something that I continue to struggle with.   In the months leading up to my Residency, I was in constant communication with Him and as a result I had an incredible relationship with God.  However, at the start my Residency I was immersed in His Word daily and constantly in prayer... at CrossPoint.  One of the dangers of ministry, is that it becomes very easy to make excuses or to procrastine one's private prayer.  Fortunately, I have an incredible network of friends and mentors that have provided much needed counseling and accountability.  Through this accountability, I have purposefully renewed my efforts to make time for prayer.  I have found that prayer builds a sense of peace and joy that can only come from talking with God.

I think it is important to touch on the fact that prayer is not talking to God, but rather it is a conversation.  If you are seeking guidance, how will you get your answer if you don't take time to listen?  The missionary Frank Laubach said, "The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he says 'Amen' and runs away before God has a chance to reply.  Listening to God is far more important than giving Him our ideas."  Be patient and give Him a chance to respond.  Will you hear an audible response?  No, at least not in my personal experience.  But as you continue to diligently pray, you will learn to hear and understand His will.

"The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he says 'Amen' and runs away before God has a chance to reply.  Listening to God is far more important than giving Him our ideas."

Prayer is a powerful force.  Prayer is the essential work of all Christians, and by prayer all other work is accomplished.  One of my favorite quotes concerning prayer is by Martin Luther, "I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer."  When we pray for ourselves and others, we are beseeching God to intercede on our behalf.  Without prayer, we take the burdens of this world and put it on our own broken shoulders.  So make that time to pray... pray for yourself, pray for others, pray for this world.  There is so much work to be done that we cannot do it without Him

"I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In God We Trust

In God We Trust...  But how often do we trust in what those words are printed on rather than Him?  As you may know, I am currently in the Residency Program at CrossPoint Community Church.  This is an intensive, full-time development process that will equip me for full-time ministry and help me discern if Seminary is my next step.  Residency is an unpaid experience.  Fundraising is what makes this Residency possible.  While I am incredibly grateful for my financial supporters, I realize that it is God working through them to provide for me.  

In order to pursue this opportunity, which is a full-time commitment, I left my job.  This was a salaried position that provided benefits, a residence with all bills included, and afforded me the opportunity to pay my way through college with zero loans.  You probably think I'm crazy, right?  Well let me give you a little back story on what led me here...

I have not always been a faithful Christian.  For many of my teenage and early college years, I was in conscious rebellion against God. For a very long time I tried to fill a void in my life with comforts outside of Him. However, God never quit pursuing me.  Through the compassion of a friend, God led me back to Him and for the first time in my life I realized His truly infinite love.  I submitted myself completely to Him, and His love changed me. As I continued to become very involved in my home congregation, CrossPoint Community Church, I began to feel a very strong desire to pursue ministry.  As I became more involved in leadership in the College Ministry, I was able to further investigate life in ministry.  The moment of decision came in a time of prayer.  Shocker, huh?  I had been wrestling with it for a few months, but while I was praying, I was reminded of the story of the fishermen.  When Jesus called, these men did not make plans of their own to prepare for this journey.  Rather, they trusted in Him and left their jobs, homes, and families to answer their calling.  This hit me hard.  I was putting so much of my trust into money and making my own plans, that I was blind to what it's all about... trusting in Him.  

Now I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but rather I hope my testimony can encourage you to re-evaluate what you trust in.  Is it your bank account? Your marriage/relationship? Your job?  These are all great, biblical blessings from Him.  But when placed above Him, they become an idol.  As humans, we were CREATED to trust in and worship Him.  When that isn't happening, there is a void.  Our very core says that we MUST trust in and worship something.  So what do we do?  We find something to fill that void, consciously or not.  And there lies the problem.  How can something earthly and finite fill that infinite need?   

Money is a touchy subject.  We are willing to talk about anything and everything, but money is a no-no.  We get cautious and tip-toe around it. It's too personal.  So let me get really personal.  I'm going to ask YOU for money.   This Residency cannot happen without your support.   There are two specific ways that you can support me. First, I would like to ask you to commit to praying for me as I take this leap of faith.  Pray that God will shape and mold me to be an effective leader in His mission.  Second, I would like to ask you and your family to graciously consider partnering with me through financial support.  Finding partners like you makes this opportunity possible and is also an essential piece of my growth as a leader. 

My goal is $1400 in monthly support for the remainder of this Residency (10 months). This can be through one-time gifts and/or monthly commitments.  Pledged dollars will be submitted to CrossPoint Community Church and go directly to supporting me as I take hold of this opportunity.  It’s a large goal, but I am confident in God’s ability to provide.  All pledge dollars are tax-deductible.

If you feel called to partner with me -- prayerfully, financially, or both -- please click here, follow the steps for "Support our Residency Program" and select my name.  In return I commit to making the most of this opportunity that has been afforded me and sharing with you my experiences and learning.

I know that you may have questions and I will gladly answer them, so please feel free to contact me.  Thank you for the love and support you have already given me and I look forward to this opportunity more than words can express!!