It’s About Time

It’s been a while, I️ started out writing this blog about a year ago, and unintentionally took a break about 8 months ago. The words haven’t left me, the passions God had placed inside me haven’t changed, but getting words on a piece of paper seems impossible. Almost like I️ have forgotten how to share the thing stirring inside of my heart. Even today as I️ sit in a Starbucks trying to organize my thoughts, the idea of posting again terrifies me. What if the words that I️ was supposed to write no longer apply, what if the passions inside me are perceived in the wrong way. So much doubt plagues my inner thoughts, yet I️ know that this is something I️ am supposed to do.

As I️ have shared before I️ am currently walking in the role of Community Life Coordinator at Little Country Church in Redding California. This not so “little” church in the middle of Redding (not in the country) has been my home church for almost 9 years and I️ have had the opportunity to be on staff for almost 3 years now. I️ moved from youth ministry about 18 months ago, and have had the opportunity to develop a life group ministry, oversee our First Impression team and work on many of our Church Community Events. I️ am getting to walk in so many of my gifts, and learning of gifts I️ was not aware I️ had.

I have seen a church latch on to the idea that we are not meant to just sit in a chair, but be known by the body of believers around us. I️ have seen people who have sat next to strangers for 10 years realize that God had placed them next to each other with purpose. People from the masses realizing that God had called them to more, and equipped them for more.

I️ have realized in myself that in this role I️ had not expected I️ was too equipped for more. Over and over I️ have seen goals be surpassed, not because of what I️ did, but because God has a plan for my life in ministry and has chosen to use me. I️ have realized in my life that God has huuuge (say it in a Trump voice) plans for my life. Those times that I️ don’t know how to move forward, He is using to build me and mold me in to the minister of the gospel that He plans for me to be.

This journey has been difficult, which is partially why I️ haven’t written consistently in about 8 months. I️ have had difficulty being real because I️ am scared that people will think I️ was weak, or think that I️ am not appreciative of the opportunities in ministry that I️ have been given.

Luke 9:23

And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Daily I️ get to choose to follow Him. Daily I️ have to lay down my pride and choose to pursue Him in all that I️ do.

There are days that I️ fail miserably, most actually. Days that I️ am broken down and defeated, days that I️ get home wondering if this life of ministry is really worth it.

Then there are days when I️ am reminded of the why. I️ am shown the lives that have been transformed, the families who have been restored, and the individuals who were broken and alone and now are doing life with other believers, engulfed in community.

I️ choose to do this daily because despite my short comings, God still chooses me as His “plan A”. I️ write this because despite your short coming He still chooses YOU as His “plan A”.

On a regular basis I️ have people from the church criticize every detail of who I️ am, my looks, my weight, the changes I️ am a part of at LCC. I️ have been told I️ hate old people (which I️ promise I️ do not), I️ have had people tell me I️ don’t respect the Lord because of how I️ dress, I️ have been encouraged to lose weight, been told to gain weight, I️ have been told my beard looks horrible, I️ have been told I️ look better with facial hair (right after I️ shave). But I️ will choose to walk in this every day for the rest of my life if it means one more person can experience the love and comfort of Jesus Christ.

And to be honest, it doesn’t matter what they think, it doesn’t matter what they say, I️ am learning to be confident in the man God created me to be, and I️ think the man God created me to be looks good no matter what I️ am wearing! Cop glasses and all.

I️ am his “Plan A”. Each moment of this journey is preparing me to be used by Him the following day the day after that and so many days to come. I️ will choose daily to pick up my cross, to follow him even if I️ am broke and hungry. Whether it be in Redding, or be in a 3rd world country, I️ am willing and ready. Lord use me.

I️ won’t commit to writing on a weekly basis, but I️ do commit to writing down the things God is placing on my heart.

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The Small Whisper 

Victorious. 
It’s no secret that stepping into ministry has been one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I haven’t hidden the fact that there have been moments where I felt without hope, wondering if I had made the right decision to step out of the secular work force and move into full time vocational ministry. 
These past two and a half years have been highlighted with countless opportunities to walk away, to let go, and pretend my call to ministry was never heard. What would my life look like if I had taken one of those moments, would I be married with kids, would I have a house, a job that paid enough to start making a dent in my student loans, would I be enjoying the little things, would I be happy? 
These questions bring thoughts of an unknown, a world where I can walk confidently knowing that I was enough, walking in a world where I was responsible for the outcome. This thought is so tempting, but I know that a world where I am responsible for the outcome is not a world that I want to live in. 
God has been reminding me of HIS simple whisper. HE is reminding me of those moments in these past couple years where HE reminded me that I am HIS. HE has a plan, HE has a life for me. He is reminding me that in the moments where I feel like I am doing this on my own, HE is not only walking with me, but HE is walking steps ahead of me, making a way for me. 
Two weeks ago I was realizing that I was in need of a new bed. The idea for me to spend money on anything big at this moment is over whelming, but it was something that was needed. I spent time trying to figure it out, I looked at my budget, figured out how I could get by on only ramen for a few months, and nothing seemed to work out. I thought about every thing that I could do to make this happen. 
A few days into this I woke up with a reminder that one of my usher’s owns a mattress and bed store. I felt a whisper tell me that I am supposed to drive myself to the mattress store the following morning and talk to the owner and see what options he had available. He shared an amazing opportunity for me to buy one of the floor models, it would be reasonable and I would even be able to make payments without any interest. I felt like this was the golden option, the one that I was praying for. 
I took some time to pray and ask the Lord if this is what I was supposed to move forward on. The next part was frustrating. As I sat with the Lord I remembered that He asked me to go to the mattress store, but HE never told me to buy anything. I know what you are thinking. 
Adam you are crazy, God provided that for you, but seriously, God is so much bigger, so much better than we could ever imagine. God asked me to once again wait. I have waited so much this year so you would think that waiting is easy for me, it’s not. So I sat on that bed, the one that was such a good deal and I fought the Lord, thinking that what HE was saying to me was a mistake, and then I left. 
The following day I went to church and was sharing with one of our campus pastors what had happened. The journey God was taking me on, and how HE was teaching me to wait on HIM. That pastor then let me know that someone in the Church was giving away a bed and bed frame. The bed had been in their spare room and needed a new home. Not only that, but they would give me the bed frame which was hand crafted by their father over 40 years ago, and it included sheets, blankets, anything that I would ever need at no cost to me. 
I thought that I had seen God provide in an amazing way at the mattress store, and then He asked me to wait just a little bit longer and He was going to show me that once again, HE is so much greater than I had imagined. 
I can look at the opportunities that the world would tell me it’s time to move on, but as I look back at each of these moments I know that God was telling me to wait on HIM. HE was reminding me that HE is in control and that HE has my back, my front, and is always leading the charge. 
Sometimes victories come in tangible things such as a bed, but often the victories are never seen. The battles taking place in front of our path, the ones that are making way for God to do amazing things in our lives. 
Ministry is hard, and the enemy does not want victories to be had. He doesn’t even want us to know there is a battle, but when we listen to the small whisper, we realize that victory is ours through Jesus Christ. 
God providing a bed may not seem like a huge victory, but what an incredible reminder that we get to serve a God that meets even our most basic needs. 

Week 11 of 52: A Week of Humility

IMG_1259Praise the LORD all you gentiles!

Praise the LORD all you peoples!

For HIS merciful kindness is great toward us,

And the truth of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD !

This week has been hectic, so much so that this post is coming out about 4 days late.

As I sit here writing this, I look back at a week full of life, a week full of anxiety, and a week full of God’s continued faithfulness.

This week started off as I had some work done on my mouth. The process was nothing too extravagant, and it brought about two months of pain in my mouth to an end. Though any time you have any work done there is a bit of angst that comes along with the the journey, more so I was overwhelmed with the financial burden of having dental work done.

I don’t know if I realized what it really meant to be an adult until I had to trust fully that God is going to take care of the finances that come with the procedure.

During this time I have also been house sitting for a family at the church who have two very energetic dogs. I didn’t realize that dogs could be nocturnal, but these dogs proved that I don’t know everything. From barking and jumping on my bed to lick my face, my sleep pattern has been an adventure.

I don’t think that any one of these items would bring me to my knees, but the combination of life, lack of sleep, finances, and dogs constantly testing my stability and patience, I am brought to a place where I realize that I have nothing, and the LORD has everything. I am brought to a place of humility where I am reminded how blessed I am to be able to walk step by step, knowing that I have a good Father who desires to know me in a deeper way. IMG_1290

Through trusting HIM, I am able to see how God is continually drawing me closer to HIM, how each step that I take, He has built me a firm foundation to move forward in.

I wish I could say I have have it all under control, but that would be prideful and not true. What I can say is that HE has it under control, HE has my finances, HE has my hope, HE has my future.

Psalms 117 is very simple, praise the LORD, HE is kind, HIS love endures forever.

I am so blessed to know that even through this week filled with anxiety I am not alone, and I can, in peace, give that anxiety to the God who cares not just about me on a surface level, but cares about my finances, my mental well being, my dreams and passions. I get to serve a God who is bigger than my fears, He lives outside my understandings, and truly desires the best for HIS children.

So my prayer is this…

Lord, may I sing praise in the good and the bad, may I see your faithfulness when I don’t know what is next. Lord may I bring you glory in how I walk, each step moving toward you, even when I don’t know what that looks like. Lord may you be my foundation, may my life reflect your will. May I be a light in darkness, may I be truth where truth is not the accepted dialect. Amen