Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dallas Road Trip.....oooh yeah.

So Christmas was and the kid (my younger brother Jake) made a trek in my friend's Explorer all the way down to Dallas, TX from Leavenworth, KS. I know you don't want to hear about it, but i'm gonna tell ya anyway so at least i can reminisce about how freakin awesome it was.

Day 1
Me and the kid depart. We make some stops in Wichita (we bought 10 tacos for 5 bucks and shared) Oklahoma City (to check out the
Me and Jake at the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial!) and at some boondock gas station to make a call from a pay phone only to realize.....i left all my numbers at home (yes....i didn't have a cell phone, but the kid bought me one for should check out my
voicemail sometime, it features a classic belch from my little bro...completely unrehearsed!
Anyway, made it to Dallas, caught up with my boo (Sam Williams - Cocounsellor at Camp....awesome guy!) and went out to eat with Steph (another counsellor at camp - she's in the

middle east right now visiting her parents, then going to Sri Lanka!!). Then, as if this day wasn't going to end, we went and met Priya and Amy, two of Sam's best friends, at Priya's mansion (that's right, we hung out in her personal movie theatre....amazing!!). By that time the kid and I were pretty was Sam, so we went back to his bro's house (Tony) and crashed. An incredible first day, but man so much more happenned. (bored yet?)

Day 2
Went to IHOP for brekkie.....can't beat that place. Then we decided we needed to get some physical exercise, so we went and threw the frizz for a little bit, then went and met up with John and Laura, Sam's old college group leaders who work at Dallas Baptist Seminary. From there we went and dabbled in some American football which the kid had never played. Once i told him it was full tackle he rode Sam into the ground on his first play! Ouch!
"And Jesus Wept"
After that we went to the William's residence and met the fam.....incredible people. From there we went to Sam's college group at his church. He asked me to help them out with their worship to which i replied "ummmm heck yes!". We met some more real
nice people there too. We met Tony's girlfriend, Christina, and her best friend Jill.......yeah, we're facebook friends now! Ok...i'll stop bein a geek.

After that we met up with Rachael, a friend of mine from school who happenned to live in Dallas, and went to Natalie's house (another Camp counsellor) and caught up with a couple of other counsellors from camp. It was a great night......we played 16 player cutthroat pool....the longest game ever invented.....but we sat around and just talked for awhile which was great. After another long night in D-town.....we hit the hay.

Day 3
Ummm Christmas in 2 days and no shopping after getting up at 12 we made it over to the Frisco mall in Dallas (which has its own skating rink! yeah.....malls like that don't exist in KS!) . We walked around for a long time - me, the kid, Sam and Rachael.....not really buying anything, just lookin for stuff we might want. Anyway, we ended up buying one thing, and paying too much for Chick Fil-A at the food court (ohhh but it's soooo good!).

That night we went to the Williams house and a party showed up. About 10 of Sam's friends came over including Christina, Jill, Priya and Garry (another counsellor from camp that i used to jam out all the time with on worship songs). We watched some basketball, ate some Sonic, jumped in the hot tub, then jumped in the pool (it must have been below 40 in there because m sure Antartica doesn't get much colder than that pool was. Jill jumped in too, she can back me up!). It was a great night....we just got to hang out and chill with some awesome people. Man i miss Dallas! Well, after all that we crashed back at Tony's place and that could only bring me to....

Day 4
Christmas Eve. We went to Fairfield, TX to catch up with Wiggy (one of the directors of the Camp Sam and I went to) and made a great day of it. Started off by gorging ourselves at
Wiggy, me, the Kid, and Sam huckin some fizz at Fairfield, TX
the buffet at Sam's resturant (no....not my boo), then went to the Big Field in Fairfield, to throw some more frizz. We must have been out there for a couple of hours, and if it wasn't for all the food we ate, we might have been blown away by the wind out
there. But it was a lot of fun.....a lot of catching up, messing around, and unfortunately, a pulled hamstring for me ( still sittin out of basketball because of it!). But it was a great afternoon. Wiggs, is one of the greatest people you'll ever meet, and if you want to work at Camp Champions this summer, he is the man to see.

That night we drove through to "Ritz" of Dallas' suburbs and checked out the Christmas lights. I don't know what was more jaw dropping.....the lights or the size of the houses! But it was a lot of fun. I drove with Sam's parents and his younger sister Shannon, and we listened to Vegetales Christmas Carols for most of the way (quite an interesting collection of music...heheheh!). Another great end to a great prepare for another great day......

Day 5
Jesus' birthday. I really enjoyed the service at Sam's church. Their pastor went through the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, then talked about how this story had impacted his life through the lives of others. We got to catch up with some of the college group people and meet some more of Sam's friends. We then did the whole Christmas thing of opening presents, which was really nice of the Williams family to include us in their day. We went to their grandparents later and gorged on some more amaizing food, and rounded off the day with a relatively early night of watchin TV and Tony's. It was just a great day to pause and remember the birth of Christ and bask in the love He has given all of us by enjoying it with family and friends. Somehow, i don't think Christmas will ever lose this.

Day 6
This day was cool. Tony has this awesome setup in his house which allows him to record music form a piano, guitar, drumset, you name it he's got it. So.....Garry came over,
Me and my Ray Charles impersonation.
and we recorded a song of his that he had written a while back, and one i always enjoyed. He let me back him up on the keys while he played guitar....but it was just so cool to be able to do all that in one afternoon. Garry and i always used to rock out together at camp with just a guitar and him singing, and it was great to be able to record something with him.....i might see if i can audioblog the song or somethin becuase it turned out really nice.

Later that night me, the kid, Sam and Tony went to see the Mavs kick the snot out of the Pacers!! It was cool to sit in such a big arena and watch basketball played at its best. Me and the kid have always loved the game, so it was good to finally see an NBA game together. Later that night, we met up with Priya, Rachael, Christina and Steven and went out to go "clubbing". Ha! If only we knew that we were venturing into a black community where all the clubs that we could go to were closed, and ended up walking around for about 10 minutes feeling like the dorkiest people that had walked the planet. We did get a sweet picture outside the Tiger Club though! So we went back to Tony's and played Texas Holdem' for M&M's and Hershey's Kisses. Was another awesome counting my blessings on this trip for sure.

Day 7
Last Day! I think we got up at maybe 1pm.....spent the whole day at Sam's parent's. Played some NFL Blitz on the N64 and "chilled in the hot tub" for about 2 hours. Sooooo relaxing, it must have been about 75 that day. Then we figured since we had eaten a lot of food at the William's place that we'd cook them all dinner. Priya, Amy and Geoff (another one of Sam's friends) came over and Sam grilled some chicken, and the kid and I made some pasta and a salad. Was a great night to
Garry singing "Hold On"
top off a great trip. We just relaxed, caught up and relaxed some more. My hammy was still hurting, and i seriously thought about callin coach to tell him i was too hurt to play, and that i was gonna stay in Dallas another week. But reality had to set in sometime i guess. The kid and I got up early the next morning and made the 8 hour trip back to LV, KS........the home of 6 jails. Hooray.

But our road trip was amazing......i think the kid fell in love with Texas, and i fell in love all over again. I love that place, and the people. Sure, they have the whole "bigger and better" complex, but most Texans i know are pretty humble about it, and very hospitable. They make you feel like you're at home.....and it least for another week.
I'd love for anyone who reads this to pray for me, and my future. Spending an incredible week like this in such a great place really makes me consider what i am going to do
Me and my boo (yeah.....its a counsellor thing)
next year. God has blessed me with two incredible options to either intern in Leavenworth, or in College Station, TX, which are both as equally appealing, and i am torn to decide where i should go. I know that God has a great plan for my life, and that wherever i choose, i will strive to do His will. But i'd ask that you help me in praying for that decision which could be so crucial for my future.

~Lord, you can have all of me, right now, in this place. None of what I am is hidden from You. Do with me what You will. You know all me, and i want to be with You always. Guide me on Your path where You would have me. Amen~

The Kid, my bro, Jakey prayin for him too. God loves him, and so do I.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You've got to learn how to die before you learn how to live

I woke up at 10 am this morning.

That is the first time ive done that in about 6 months, and usually when something happens that hasn't for a while you get to thinking. Why did i decide to wake up so late? Usually i get up early each morning to pray, get into some Word, do some worship or go to class ( going to school IS important!). But today, the snow covered plains of Kansas prevented my class from happnening, so i was given a free morning.....but why not get up and spend some time with my Daddy?

I got on my computer and started listening to Luke's audioblog at our youth site ( He was talking about getting our lives focused back on God, and rembering Christ during this time of year where everyone seems to forget His name is actually in the season: Christmas. Had i also forgotten this?

These past couple of weeks have been particularly rough for me. I have had an incredible amount of homework that would probably rival most Ph.D's (maybe not). I haven't been getting a whole lot of sleep as ive been landscaping my mountain of work. But the biggest thing that's been on my mind is basketball.

Basketball is the thing that has followed me my whole life. Ever since i was 6 i have been basketball crazy. I can remember the day when my mum bought me my first basketball, and when it went flat after i had dribbled for only a couple of minutes......i cried! I remember the day that i was picked to play in an under 14's regional team when i was only of the happiest days of my life. I remember when i was 15 and ready to quit basketball and i asked God that if he wanted me to keep playing that he would grant me an oppurtunity to really play for Him, and that i would devote whatever i did in basketball to His kingdom. Basketball has brought me halfway across the world, allowed me to play infront of thousands of people and has formed me into a devoted and intense athlete.

But recently (the past 4 years), basketball has hit me with the rough end of the stick. I've been stuck in some situations where basketball has been less desirable, mainly because of the relationships i had with my coaches. I've felt that they haven't had the same passion and commitment i've had to the game, and as a result....i've became angry. I've turned into a different person on the basketball court. A friend of mine who had never seen me play before just recently came to a game and couldn't recognize me. My teamates have said i've looked scarey when i get mad on the court, and that they wouldn't try to mess with me.

This season i have been particularly angry. The level of basketball is considerably lower than what im used to and the conditions that which I'm playing can only be described as unprofessional. From the coaching staff, to the practices, to the games. I guess im saying, i could do a lot better...............................see.........this is the stuff i think about........the stuff that gets me mad........that causes me to wake up at 10am...........that takes my focus away from God.
I've been trying my hardest to recenter my focus, but to no avail. I'll have a couple of games where ill push all my anger and frustration under the rug, only for it to resurface greater at some point.

After listening to Luke's audioblog this morning and thinking about how my own focus has been lost (on Him), i began to remember all the times that i tried to imagine my life without basketball........i could never do it without feeling terrible. The fact is, basketball has been something that i've always had, and that i've never been able to give up. I can't remember how many times i've prayed and ask God to rid my life of all the things that get between me and Him, and can you believe that it was only this morning......before i started writing this blog.....that i've finally realized what that is.

I believe now that God brought me half way across the world to show me how much basketball could come between me and Him. I have failed to give it up to Him. Althought, i've realized that giving basketball up, and giving basketball up to Him is completely different. I'm sure that if my scholarship would have allowed it, i would have bowed out of this basketball season a long time ago, but since it hasn't, i've had to endure basketball as undesirable as i've ever experienced it.......for myself? No..........for my team? No.......for my coaches? Definately not!...........for Him? Yes Lord........I accept......and i will endure for you.

Paul says in Romans that we can rejoice in our sufferings for we know that God is moving. I've never been able to understand this untill now. I can't tell you how aggrivating and disappointing going to practices and games has become for me......but i can see how God is moving through this. He is teaching me to die to basketball, so that i may live more in Him.

Is this easy now? Definately not.....My body is still wired to get angry and upset everytime i see something i don't like on the basketball court. But Daddy God, i ask you to cut these wires.....i thank you for your patience with me and ask that one day, i may fully let go of this other personality that i have created....may i be able to live only for you in every situation. May i let go.......may i let go.....may i die to this for You. Thank you Dad. Amen.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We all make a difference

So by now your thinking...."What!?!?! It's not possible!!! Bob is posting twice in one day!?!?! Christ's return must be soon!!! OK......well, maybe the last part was an over haul.....but lets face it. This post is much more interesting than todays previous post.
I got this in an email today, and it just really reminded me of how much all of us make a difference in this world, regardless of whether we get recognized or see a change. We are all part of God's purpose and plan, and He uses us (whether we like it or not) because He loves us so much.
~Father I praise you for using me in ways that i will never know or understand. I hope that you continue to use me for Your glory, whether i see it or not. Make me Your tool to sharpen the swords of Your kingdom. Continue to teach me and forgive me in all that I do. I love you Lord. Amen~

Charles Schultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read through, and you'll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." (Charles Schultz)
----- True that!!! My parents live in the future!!!!

My Leadership Style

Another day.....another paper, such is the college life. This weekend i will be putting the finishing touches to a paper on "The pastoral care of homosexual persons". Sounds like a should try writing on it!! Anyway, i'm not complaining, it really is a blessing to be able to research stuff you're interested in and get a degree out of it, and hopefully a job. God's got all that figured out though i'm sure.

Anyway, i had to write about what my leadership style was like.....see what you think. Am i telling the truth? Or am i just pipe dreaming? God Bless all of ya!

My leadership style is an eclectic mix of all the different definitions and categories that have been provided by the text, but also include a couple that haven’t been mentioned. I think the most unique part of my leadership style is the fact that I don’t like being recognized as the leader. I would much rather lead from a position where the glory cannot be pinpointed to me. I am more than willing to take the criticism and responsibility of a leadership position, but when the accolades are handed out, I would prefer them to be spread among the people that were involved in getting the job done.
I believe that this comes out of my desire to be a servant leader, the leadership style that Jesus taught us. I enjoy serving others and believe that it is a powerful leadership style. I think that this can be a hard way to lead in a society that expects something in return once they have served. I loathe this fact, yet understand when people are skeptical when something is done for them out of love. I believe to be a true servant leader, one must have a mission to love agapically, and serve with endurance and patience. Although all leaders want to see improvements and growth, servant leaders must understand that this will take time, as others need to believe they are capable of this before it actually happens. This can only be done by agapic and patient servant leadership.
When it comes to decision making, the best category I have seen that describes myself is consultative leadership. I like to hear the input of the group and base my decision on what the understanding of the group (not necessarily the majority). I would prefer, however, to learn a more empowering style of leadership, which motivates the group as a whole to come to a collaborative decision. I believe that both of these attributes of decision making, as well as authoritative, are important for all good leaders to posses.
As far as leadership moulds go, I don’t really fit into one exclusively. I would say my leadership style is reflective of a strong mix of entrepreneurial and purposeful and a weak mix of authoritative and crisis. I am committed to do the work done but have not found an organization to be strongly committed to. I enjoy change and taking risks, but I am also very goal orientated. I am not extremely systematic but I do analyze things very carefully and closely. I also see the importance in giving orders when needed, yet know when a less demanding leadership style needs to be taken, and when brushfires need to be put out.
Overall, my leadership style is a combination of many different leadership aspects, with a focus on serving. I don’t believe you are able to lead without serving, for there would be no respect, trust or motivation on the part of those being lead. A leader must prove that they are willing to work and do something for their group, and servanthood must be a part of this.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


So in my Psychology class on againg we have been watching a movie called "Tuesdays with Morrie". Its an excellent film! It stars Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, and is based upon a best selling book of the same title. It is the story of a retired college professor (Morrie Schwartz) that is dying of ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), who has inspired a past student of his (Mitch Albom) to write and record his philosophies on life, loving and learning. It is an amazing story, and i would recommend the book or the movie to anyone. Mitch Albom is the author, and he recently came out with a book called "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" kinda interested in that one too.

Anyway, in the movie.....our main character has certain epiphonal (is that a word?) moments, and comes up with some brilliant statements...or "Morrieisms". I had to reflect about them in a paper this week, so i thought id share.....since i have no time to update! Hope you enjoy! God Bless

"Life is a tension of opposites – pulling you back and forth like a rubber band"
The idea that life is pulling you back and forth, stretching you from end to end, and snapping you back into place, really resonates with me. Some days we may feeling like we aren’t being stretched at all and life is going fine. We are happy in our inflexibility, in our state of motionless inertia, enjoying the comfortableness of knowing we don’t have to change. Yet life is not like that in Morrie’s mind, nor is it in reality. Reality stretches our rubber band so thin that we feel we are going to break sometimes. We certainly don’t enjoy being stretched that far, but it always leaves us more flexible, knowledgeable and experienced. Morrie lived his life knowing he would be pulled back and forth, yet relished it rather than regretting it. The realization that life will continue to do this until we die can only help us in preparing for and dealing with the ‘tugs’ we will face in the future.

"Love always wins"
This statement is so simple yet so profound. Our bodies are wired in such a way that it makes it almost too easy for us to respond to moments of conflict, anxiety and stress with fear. Yet fear can present itself in so many ways: anger, frustration, retaliation, revenge, etc. Morrie’s statement is advice to approach every situation that might causes us to question, with one act: love. Love is also expressed and presented in many different ways: openness, kindness, self-control, generosity, etc. One could almost argue that all conflicts, arguments and even wars come to resolution one the basis of love. Yet in our daily lives this can also be applicable. To every situation, one can respond in anyway we choose; will we decide to let our instincts and emotions drive our reactions, or will we choose to respond in love?

"If you’re in bed you’re dead"
I have a story that will help illustrate this point for me, and hopefully you! I came home from church on Sunday feeling just generally inadequate. The service had been great however: the worship was inspiring, the sermon was very applicable and the fellowship was excellent. Yet I came home feeling like I’d been thrown in a ditch; wish I could explain it. So, I decided my only remedy was to get some sleep and forget about everything for a couple of hours. I prayed before my nap that God would send me a dream to help inspire me for the rest of the day and get me back on track; that didn’t happen. Instead, my sleep got interrupted by a phone call (someone needing a key to the church), and later by an unexpected visitor that wanted someone to talk to. My plan for forgetting never worked, and God showed me how true this Morrieism really is. He knew a nap, or a dream wasn’t going to solve my issue of inadequacy, but life would. Sometimes a short nap can help you relax and catch up on some much needed rest, but that was not my problem on Sunday. I needed to feel the reins on the horse of liberation, and ride unrestrained in the field of life. OK……so, I went a little overboard on my story, but Morrie’s statement ties it all in perfectly. I wasn’t living by sleeping through my issue, I was stuck in Dr. Suess’s “waiting place”. Thankfully, God pulled me out!

"There is nothing innately shameful of being dependent"
This Morrieism has been reinforced for me by my meetings with Sr. Marie Carmel. She has an incredible outlook on the way that she ages, and has fully realized and accepted that there are now and will also be in the future, things that she will be incapable of doing by herself. She once said that “when you’ve lost enough, the doing is no longer important, it is the being that is”. She is the kind of person that looks at the idea of dependency as another opportunity to explore the freedom in her limitations. She is the one that tries to stretch the rubber band when life decides not to stretch it anymore. Although there are times where she feels the need to be independent in doing certain things, she doesn’t wallow in the times she is dependant, yet looks for an opportunity to develop something new in her life. For her dependency is not a matter of shame, it is a matter of growth. Morrie’s physical inabilities didn’t allow him to do the things he wanted to do, yet it never diminished his ability to love. He strived for that in his dependence, and was not reduced by pride even in his final days.

"Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live"
In Morrie’s case, he had learnt how to deal with death and the process of dying physically; therefore he could live courageously in the realization that one day he would be gone. Yet this statement can be applied in so many ways. We don’t need only to learn how to die physically in order to live, but also materially. I have a t-shirt I picked up from a concert once from a band named “Die to Self”. I feel that sometimes we really need to do that in order to live. Feelings of selfishness, inadequacy, self-pity and even self-glorification will give us as much short term relief as a cigarette. Paul, a one-time Christian persecutor turned deliverer of God’s word said this to the Christians in Rome: “Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died in Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ we will also share his new life.” (6:6-8). I believe we all have the opportunity to ‘die’ to the things in our life that bring us down and we don’t have to do it alone. Dying to ourselves and dedicating our lives to a man that dedicated His death to our burdens gives us life. Morrie’s statement speaks to this not only on a physical level but also on a spiritual level.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Elijah's Jug is filled with prayer

1 Kings 19:1-8
Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them."
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, "Get up and eat." He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jug of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.

One day last week in Old Testament (class) i opened my Bible to find a verse that we were reading, when i stumbled across a page that had not been closed properly. It was all folded up, and crunched between the other pages (probably just from not taking enough care of my Bible!). Anyway, a page like that always stops and make you think "Hmmm, i bet God had something in mind for me on that page". I don't even think i stopped to read what was on it; but i unfolded the page and placed it neatly as i went to the verse i was looking for.

Last night, i was doing some reading for a class and read about this idea that, it is not enough to know where we should be going in life; but how we must question our heart, energy and will power in order to sustain us on our way there. I might have some assurance that i'm on the right path....but that's not enough. It also requires that I am able to continually find and drink from "Elijah's Jug"; or in Ronald Rolheiser's words: "the sustenance that God promised to provide to those who are walking the long road toward the divine mountain".

Sure enough, when i looked up the passage associated with this curious metaphor of Elijah's jug, i landed at 1Kings 19:1-8.......the same page that had been crumpled in my bible a couple of days ago.

Literally and spiritually I had found Elijah's jug! It was just what i needed to hear. With my busy schedule, and just basic calamity (sorry only word i could think of....probably not accurate!) of my life in general, i had found strength from that passage and from God's promise. It's awesome when He works like that!

But i got a lot more out of it than i expected. After reading some more out of Rolheiser's book (The Holy Longing......a great one if ever you want to get it), I got the conviction that the answer to all my problems, and the problems of most Christians is.................get ready for it......................private prayer!

Ewww, how does that one stick to ya? I was thinking about what private prayer is to me, and there is one thing i think i can honestly compare it too......cafeteria food! Anyone that has eaten the food here at Saint Mary's will tell you that it's pretty gross.....somewhat sub-par. Somedays you can walk in there starving, take one sniff of the kitchen and completely lose your appetite. Other days, (once in every 4 weeks....maybe), the food is incredible and you come out feeling like you've eaten like a king! I guess it's the same way for me in my time apart with God in prayer.....its just not appealing.....and sometimes i feel like im getting nothing out of it....and yes...that is most of the time! (Shock horror!).

A Christian writer, Henri Nouwen, puts it really well:

[My time apart is not a time]....of deep prayer, nor a time in which I experience a special closeness to God; it is not a period of serious attentiveness to the divine mysteries. I wish it were! On the contrary, it is full of distractions, inner restlessness, sleepiness, confusion, and boredom. It seldom, if ever pleases my senses. But the simple fact of being for one hour in the presence of the Lord and of showing him all that i feel think, sense and experience, without trying to hide anything, must please him. Somehow, somewhere, I know that he loves me, even though i do not feel that love as I can feel as a human embrace, even though i do not hear a voice as I hear human words of consolation, even though I do not see a smile, as I can see in a human face. Still God speaks to me, looks at me, and embraces me there, where I am still unable to notice it.

Just like the food at the cafeteria, even if i don't have an appetite for it, i still have to eat it, because i know that if i don't i will go hungry the rest of the day; basketball practice will be tough, and my body will probably collapse from lack of energy.....eventually. It's the same way with private prayer. Sometimes i can't feel what prayer is doing for me, or if God is really there, or if what I am saying to God is making any sense. But somehow, that prayer is filling me up, feeding my soul, and giving it energy.....just like the food at the cafeteria.

Still, with all that being said, private prayer can be really hard. Its not easy to take an hour out of your day and devote it to yourself, let alone God. I think, however, that private prayer is easier than we think. Praying is not an isolated activity; it takes place in the midst of all the things and affars that keep us active. In prayer a "self centered monologue" becomes a "God -centered dialogue".

Private prayer doesn't have to be sitting in a room by yourself, on your knees with your hands held together. Private prayer can happen when you're walking to class, talking to friends, thinking about life or playing sports! You might want to ask yourself, how often when i'm doing these things (pretty much just living life in general) do i dedicate my actions to God and the purpose of seeking His will? How often when you are catching up with friends and are talking with them do you think, "I wonder what Jesus might have said there". Just the act of thinking this is a form of private is time spent apart from our world to focus on the Spirit-lead actions that we are all consumed by, in being a Christian.

OK, so before i really do go and write a book of what i've been feeling today, i want to offer a simple prayer for myself, and any of you that maybe be needing a sip from Elijah's Jug.

~Lord, i praise you for allowing me today realize the need i have for you. Father, i cannot do this alone. My life is full of stuff that i have no control over and sometimes i feel guilty that i do not give enough of my time to you. I petition to you, for me....and for all who are reading this, that we may be as dedicated as Elijah in seeking out Your will for our lives, and that in our stress we may find ourselves collapsed by a tree with you waiting to give us bread and water to sustain us for our long journey ahead towards you. We praise you Father. Thank you for sending your Son for us. Please help us this day. In Christ's name. Amen~

Friday, October 28, 2005

I Surrender....all to you....all to you

Thanks Courtney for the helped a lot.....

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But God, to a Christian, says:

No, not until you are satisfied with living loved by me alone and have an intensely personal unique relationship with me alone.
I love you my child and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction,
You will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.
I want you to stop planning, stop wanting and allow me to bring it to you
- Just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things -
-Keep experiencing that satisfactions, knowing that I am -
Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you.
You must wait.
Don't be anxious.
Don't worry!
Don't look around at the things others have gotten or what I have given them.
Don't look at the things you want.
Just keep looking to Me or you will miss what I want to show you.
And then when you are ready,
I will surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you would ever dream of.
You see, until you are ready and even this minute to have both of you ready at the same time…
Until you are both satisfied with me and the life I have prepared for you,
You won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me and is thus perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love.
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me
And to enjoy the everlasting union of beauty and love.
I am God.
Believe and be satisfied.
(1247 St. Anthony)

Waking up with the sun

For the past 2 weeks or so i've been waking up at about 7:45am every morning.....without fail. I've never been able to understand this, becuase it doesn't matter if i go to bed at 12 or got to bed at 4, i'll wake clockwork at 7:45am. And it doesn't matter whether i've had 7 hours or 4 hours of sleep. I'll get through the day without ever noticing that im tired, or worn body just keeps going.

When i do wake up, i wake up with this fear that my alarm hasn't gone off and i get up quickly to see what time it is. I have to sit up straight in order to see my clock and as soon as I see it...7:45am...i feel disappointed. "Brenton! You knew you set your alarm, why do you keep waking up before it....quit worrying you'll be late for class!"

But almost everymorning this week, when i've sat up to check my alarm, i look out my window, and there it is....the sun has just poked its head over the tree line. Its almost a blood red color, but as it rises turns to yellow, and the skyline on the horizon changes colors with it, almost mimicking it.

I don't know why this story is important, or what it means, and i still can't figure out why i wake up at 7:45 everymorning. Maybe a humble reader may be able to explain this phenomenon to me, or maybe just writing about it will clear it from my mind and allow me.....and the get some rest....we're both very busy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Shunned and despised, but still going

So i realize that there are now only two people that read my blog, and all they do is complain about how much i dont update (hehehe just kidding guys.....i love you!). But here goes...the next post.

Life sure has taken a twisted turn in the last couple of weeks. Who will ever understand the plans God has for us? Sometimes i wish i could be Solomon for a day and just have God ask me what ever i wanted. Ahhh the possibilities......I think Solomon had the right idea though. Wisdom can be defined as “expert-level knowledge in the fundamental pragmatics of life”. Wha? Basically, from my studies, wisdom comes down to 5 things: factual knowledge, knowledge about strategies and procedures, life-span contextualism, relativism and uncertainty. I think if you've got these 5 down, you've got a pretty good grasp on life.

Solomon on the other had was in a real icky situation. He was just a young king that had no idea what he was doing. All he asked for was an understanding mind, and God gave him riches beyond his wildest dreams. Solomon got the understanding mind, and all the mooolah he could ask for, but he still messed up. He still made mistakes and was even at some points unwise. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines!!! I'd be happy to just handle one girlfriend! And talk about understanding mind.....imagine what the wives went through! Scriptures say that God had warned Him against intermarrying, yet Solomon "insisted on loving them".

Man....that's a powerful piece of scripture for me. Last week i really just insisted on loving my ex-girlfriend, Hanna. I have insisted on having her in my life, where it seems God is trying to get me to move along. In holding onto her, i am choosing to neglect where God is leading me. Solomon asked God for wisdom, yet continued to seek his own desires. I bet Solomon had a firm grip on the 5 essentials of wisdom, but totally lost track of trying to understand what God wanted for him in his life......that's gotta be true wisdom.

As i've been writing this, i've been listen to a Ben Harper song, which speaks to me is so many ways, but particularly in this situation:
"I would rather be locked to you than live in this pain and misery
They say time will make all this pain go away
But it's time that's taken my tommorrows and turned them into yesterdays
And once again that rising sun is dropping on down
And once again, you my friend, are no where to be found
It's so hard to do, yet so easy to say
But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to walk away"
-Walk Away, Ben Harper.

There have been so many times in my life, where i've just tried to hold on to things that have brought me comfort and happiness, and haven't realized that i've been walking away from God. The fact is, a time like this may probably happen again, and i will fail to give it up to the Lord because of the pain. I'll fail to even try and understand where God is taking me, and i'll suffer....again.

But this story doesn't have a bad ending. Even though it took me a long time to understand, and took a couple of people to push me forward, i had a breakthrough last friday. I was talking with Sister Marie Carmel, a very wise lady, and she gave me a very good piece of advice. I can't even really expalin how she said it. But, she in affect just advised me to tell Hanna that i still cared for her and would be there for her, but that i shouldn't try and contact her for a while so that i could move on. Even though this still seemed harsh, it made a lot of sense to me. And yeah....i know....about a thousand people told me to do that already! I think stubborness just runs in my blood.....hate using that as an excuse though.

Since then, my heart really has felt free again. I haven't spent a lot of time in prayer about it, but God has been slowly and gracefully breaking all the attachments of my heart and joining them to Him in trust. I really don't know, or will probably ever understand where this relationship in the last two months of my life fits into the plan God has in my life, but that wont stop me from trying to. I pray that i can be wise in that aspect.

So what else is going on in my life.....i'll make it short. I'm now the president of the City of Dorkville (facebook group), getting my hair braided tonight (will post some pictures), haven't shaved in about 3 weeks and my foot is messed up (basketball injury). I know you're thinking identity crisis....but it's really not. By next week my hair will be cut, and i'll be back to good old, Brenton, Bob, BJ....whoever i am (ok.....maybe i do have an identity crisis)

~God....thank you for being you. Thanks for helping me become me....again. Amen~

Monday, October 10, 2005


So i need to write down how I'm feeling right now, so i can remember that through the hard times there is still God. Usually i'd write this in a journal but for now i think i want everyone to hear.

We will never fully understand the ways in which He works, and we will have the hardest time sitting and wondering whether it is Him acting in our lives, or if it is some other force, maybe our own, that is pulling our life in a certain direction. Scripture is always the constant to fall back on, and reading it gives such a pretty picture of what life should be like. I want to paint that picture in my own life, but yet i feel like i am looking at my paintbrushes in a glazed stare, not knowing what color to brush first. I look back at my picture and find that it is already beautiful; full of color, hope and excitement.....yet there is something missing. Just a few strokes more and it will be complete; in the back of my mind though, i know it will never be finished; that i will continue to add colors untill this life is over.

I'm constantly wanting more from God, constantly asking where i need to go next to be with Him. And the answers i receive are the same ones i've been getting my whole life. Am i just stuck in a carosel? Am i going around and around the circle of life, experiencing the highs and lows but never getting anywhere? I want my horse to break from its stand and run free into the wonderful circus that is life, and live, change, share God's word and serve. But i'm stuck on this Christian merry-go-round that excludes me from this world. People look up to me, rather than at me. They see me on this high and fantastic ride that goes up and down, thats bright and colorful to them, yet for me it goes round and round and doesn't stop.

Don't get me wrong, I am set apart as a Christian. I don't want to be one of the crowd; but i want to be among the crowd. I want to use the skills God has blessed me with, in such a way that i can relate to those I love; walk with them and not be stuck on a horse. Does that make any sense? Or as Christians are we supposed to uphold this stature of virtue and character?

Through all of this I see a loving God. One that forgives me when i don't trust Him. One that picks me up when i have nothing left. One that listens to me when I ignore Him. Whether I'm painting a picture or on a circus ride through life, He is there no matter want. He is in the bristles of the paintbrush, in the woodchips of the carosel horse and in the faces of all the people i see each day. Lord, may I love you in all these places; not see how i can impress others, but how i can love them, be among them....your creation.

Friday, September 16, 2005

I remember.......Father

Hey everyone,

Sorry....i know i haven't updated in a while, but God just blessed me with a song. Its a rewrite of a Damien Rice song, but it kind of describes how much i want Christ in my life. Well here goes

I remember it well
The first time that I saw
Your power unfold
And mine stopped working

I remember it well
You sat in this chair
You answered the prayer
And time stopped moving

Want you here tonight, want you here
Coz i can't believe that I'm found
Want you here tonight, want you here
Nothing is taking me down

I remember it well
I walked out in the storm
I was broken and torn
But Your ships were sailing

I remember it well
I was lost and in strife
But Your love, Your love, Your life

Want you here tonight, want you here
Coz i can't believe that I'm found
Want you here tonight, want you here
Nothing is taking me down
Except you my Lord
Except you my Lord

~Lord, you lead me through hard times and bless me with Your grace. Why should i ever doubt that You will not show? Father forgive me for not always completely trusting in You. Your plans are so much better than mine. Break me in which ever way you so chose my Lord. Make me Yours. Amen~

Friday, August 26, 2005

Can I get another AMEN!!!!

Have you ever sat down at your blog not knowing what to write, but hoping that something good comes out? Well folks, this is one of those times....hope my brain kicks into gear soon.

I guess i should start by talking about what life has dealt to me this past couple of weeks because it has been pretty phenominal. I really don't intend to brag, and by no means am i trying to put anyone down....i really just want to praise Him for all that has happenned. I'm definately experience a wet period (wet being opposite to dry). There were days when i found it hard to count, or even see how God was blessing me, but these days i seem to forget the numerous experinces i have been granted.

Before i continue any further i guess i should say this. God is faithful. Looking back i guess i could count the last few years as a dry spell. I've gone through some rough and depressing personal issues, mainly becuase i felt isolated by my own personality. But He has brought me through that. I've learned to find the person that i am....and maybe starting to learn to love him.

This has been for many a number of factors. A big one was reading a book called Blue Like Jazz, which if you haven't already heard of it, I'm buying it for you. It made me realize many things i should have known but completely forgotten. I really started to feel God's love through reading that book, and came to realize many of my own faults, and ways in which i was holding myself back.

Being with Hanna has also taught me a lot. I don't feel afraid to be myself around her, in fact, she encourages it without knowing. I see in her a lot of what i'm beginning to see in me: comfort in who she is, and love and affection for all. In her, i've gained a life-long friend and partner in Christ. For the longest time i figured that i would go alone in my search, but God is teaching me new things everyday; that we can grow in Him through the companionship of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

I've also been blessed by the oppurtunity to see my family. With my Mum and step-dad coming to visit during the summer, i was once again reminded how important a strong and lasting relationship with your parents is. I miss my family very much, and i gets harder and harder every day we are apart. I want to put so much effort into staying in good contact with them, and never forget how important they are. My brother is also in the US at the moment, staying with one of the coolest girls i know, and who is now offically my "little" sister, Katie. The experience of spending time with the both of them this summer will be one i will never forget. The relationship i had with my brother is slowly turning from one that was based on hate, to one that is now based on love. I really miss being around him and talking to him about his life. He is such an interesting guy, that i learn new things about every time we talk, and am astounded at his love for others. And Kate, i have grown so much with this summer. It truly feels like she has become apart of our family, and continues to bless me and my brother with her incredible patience and humility. I cannot describe how it feels to have a friend like her without talking about her like a family member. It really has been a blessing getting to know her better this summer.

Finally, God has also allowed me to reuinite with some friends from Australia, and has got me looking forward for them visiting. Two of my best friends from home, Jakky and Giuseppe are planning to visit next year, and i am so excited!!! I haven't seen them in a long time, nor had adequate time to sit and talk with them. I've also been able to talk to two other friends, Chris and Kate, with whom i probably haven't spoken to forever, but the conversations have been so meaningful to me, to know that i can still connect with them personally after all this time.

I know this all sounds really cheesy and awfully corny (hmmm those two sounds really good right now), but i am no afraid to attribute all these incredible things in my life to the faithfulness of God. One thing i've learnt more than any other this summer, is that being out of control is incredible. It's better than being on auto-pilot. It's almost like riding first-class and getting served constantly. Every time i've tried to fly the plane it always crashes....but i think i've finally been able to let go of the controls and im allowing God more and more to take over. And it feels like a flight i've never experienced. (Nice move from the food comment to the plane analogy Brenton!).

~Father in heaven, i want to thank you and praise you more as each day passes. You guide me with your likght and lead me out of darkness in an unpredictable way. You are so faithful. I pray that my family and friends can come to know what you have already done for them; given them a way, a truth and a life. Lord continue to take the controls form my hands. Allow my will to be formed with Yours, and may i never cease in praising you every day of my life. Amen~
Photo section
OK, so i know my arm looks like a dead fish. But i really have enjoyed hangin out with my bro (Jake, for those who don't know). I can only hope he been able to put up with my dorkiness this week!

Being able to hang out with Katie, Kristen and Lance last week was also a real blessing. Definately missin the good old days back in Highland. Manhattan is still pretty cool though!!

By far some of the best icecream i've ever had. Coldstone rocks! (For the record......its a salmon polo, not pink!)

I really cannot say enough about Hanna. I love that we can be dorks together. God has blessed me with an incredible person to grow closer to Him with. I learn new things from her everyday, and she reminds me of how real our relationship is to Christ.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Finding happiness

So a lot has happenned since the last entry. Not only is summer almost over, but my life has changed in a way i would never expect. I loved the experience of camp very much, and the memories and character building that i experienced during this time was incredible. But i also have to shed light; for those who still bother to read this; the biggest change in my life: Hanna Broussard.

Yes, I indeed have a girlfriend, but to even call her that doesn't seem to do what we have justice. By now you may be thinking, "Wow Brenton has gone off his rocker, and found a camp girlfriend and is going to attempt to make it work". But trust me, this relationship is different from every other one i have been involved with due to one simple fact: it's not about me........or her. Now you probably think i've really gone crazy, but to me, this relationship couldn't have gone any other way.

Yes, Hanna and I did meet at camp, and we did have a short courting time, but we both realized very quickly that we weren't seeking each other through our interactions. We were both seeking God. For some reason, we discovered that our feelings for each other were not directed toward building a relationship based on us, but based on Him. We are both at a point in our lives where we need more of His presence, and the fact that we live apart (yes, she goes to school in texas) gives us more of a chance to do that. I have never found someone that has allowed me to realize what i want more out my own life, than by looking at hers. It's almost like God reveals more of His plan for me through her.

Sure this sounds corny, silly, or maybe even too good to be true. And by now whoever is reading this is probably still hung up on the distance part. The fact is, that if i tried to explained to you how this relationship fits into my life, i could never rationalize it for you. It's completely a God thing. I feel like, i've been out of control throughout this whole experience.......and i love what is happenning to me! I feel like i'm laughing different, i smile more, i'm slower to get angry.....and this is not just because of her, but because of what God is doing through us.

The fact is, is that God has placed us together in our walk towards him. Whether we will be walking together the whole time is up to Him. But what He is doing right now is really exciting the both of us, and we are overjoyed in what He has provided us through each other. She makes me happier than i think i've ever been in my life, because i know that we are both focused on the same thing. For me this is finding happiness. It's another one of those blessings i don't deserve, but God's grace has sufficiently covered.

I understand that being apart is going to be hard for me and for her, and even my situation as an international is also going to be an issue. But for the first time i've been in the U.S., I'm not worried about it......i'm even excited about it. We have planned so many ways to keep us focused on God, and we have realized that finding love for each other can only be found through Him. Maybe this distance thing will be rough, but it will teach us to rely more on Him and less on each other.

I'm amazed at Hanna's love for the Lord, and how focused she is on building that relationship with Him. I just feel blessed and honored that God has chosen me to be a part of that journey, and even more amazed that God has placed her in mine. I feel like i could type forever on this......fact is i haven't even told the story about how her and I met and that would take forever. I'd love to tell that story to anyone that is interested, but even with that story, i don't think that it could explain to you how much she means to me. I've never been in a relationship where i have been solely focused on building a relationship on God and not about just building a relationship. It's like i am more excited for her to know the Lord more than i am about her knowing me. And the fact that she feels the same way makes me feel like distance will never be an issue......even though it will.

Well before i go on......i'll let you marinate on the confusion that this entry has probably caused many of you. But all i can say through all this, is that i am i never have been before.....and i can't wait to see where God is moving next.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Get it out there

So I guess i just have stuff to say. Don't know what. But i'm just putting it out there. I feel like i should update everyone on how i've been doing on this site, but i think once in a while i might just throw in random thoughts to offset my brain. Hope it doesn't scare anyone.

So, God has been incredible lately. The last 4 nights here at camp i've either spent time in worship, time in fellowship, or time ministering. Three incredible oppurtunities to serve Him and i feel blessed with that. I've also been spending a lot of time reading. I've been getting into Galatians and Ephesians which have been really feuling my soul. I'm also reading a book called Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, which is incredible btw. I think im going to buy the book for a couple of friends. Basically, that book has just inspired me to think and reflect more. It offers a lot of random experiences and conversations that he places in a crazy order that makes you think about your place in the world and what God has to do with it.

I say this a lot, but i think my life is just getting started. I think i'm finally starting to find my place in the world. For some time i think i was suffering from an identity crisis, and i think, that i probably will for the rest of my life. But at least at this point i think im getting a grasp of who i am. Next week could be different though....whole new set of days. Im at the point where i feel confident about being me and not having to fit in or please everyone. A part of me still wants to get that feeling of gratification that everyone i know likes me. But now i just don't seem to care. Cinicism you might say? I don't see it like that. I see it as a point where i i'm fine with myself and i'm not afraid to show that person before others.

I know it sounds like i'm writing to a psychologist, and that i've just had a self-esteem break through, but for me its more than that. I think that this is the first time in my life that i am not afraid to dissapoint people for just being me. I don't feel awkward when i'm telling people that my life revolves around Christ and how He saved me.

I still feel helpless however when i try and explain Christ to a non believer. Here comes the analogy: I'm the non-magician that knows how to pull off the greatest magic trick the world has seen. I can perform the magic trick to my own and others amazement, but i can't explain how i do it. I don't even know how it works. All i know is that i understand it, and that it looks incredible. I could tell you how to move your hands and body and what objects need to be moved at certain times to make the trick work, but i have no control over how it happens and at times i feel confused by it all. But the greatest part about this trick, and to my own ignorance i often forget, that it is not an illusion but that the magic is actually real and that im really not performing the trick at all. It has decided to let me understand it and somehow show it to others.

How do you explain Christ to others? I don't know.......and i want to be a minister? Scarey? Never......God is not an easy thing to comprehend and we often fall in times of doubt and confusion and thats OK (I think i've finally worked that out). All i need to remember is that He is real. I can see it anytime i want......It's not an's real. And i can't praise God enough to why i understand that. I just wish there was an easy way to show others that its a heart thing. It's just another door that needs to be opened.

~Praise you God for being You. For whoever, wherever and all that You are and do. I may not completely understand you. But i know you are there and real, and that one day.....i will know.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Thank God for Family

Well, I'm back from my one week off from camp, and i sure needed it. Not only for time off, but for the time spent with my mum and stepdad, who i hadn't seen in almost a year. It was so good to catch up with the both of you and just having you around. I miss those times, and im jealous of all people who get to spend consistent time with their families. It is definately a blessing that is too short to take for granted.

For those that don't know, after term 2 ended at camp. I had a week off before the start of third term which started yesterday. My mum and Dave (my step dad) came up to visit from Australia and we spent three days in Las Vegas before heading to Kansas for the rest of the week. Vegas was definately an experience. If you can see through all the gambling and over accentuated sex appeal that a town like vegas offers, you definately marvel at the incredible minds God has placed within mankind to build and invent such amazing towers, buildings, rollercoasters and light displays. We spent a fantastic three days in Las Vegas and i got to grow closer to my family during that time.

The next four days were even better. I got to take mum and Dave back to Kansas, the place where i have definately done a lot of growing up and learnt so much from so many different people. I got to introduce them to my "extended" family and take them to all the places i'd been to school. It was a great time for them to thank all those who had helped me so much. To all those that got to meet my parents, thank you for showing your appreciation for my family, and know that i consider all of you a part of my family. They couldn't thank you enough for all you have done.

And so camp starts back up again.........Third and final term, and i have to admit im running low on energy. I have a feeling that the campers in our cabin this time aren't going to be as exciting as the last term, but i've heard some amazing stories about these guys and one in particular, Trey, who has been longing to become a Christian. I was talking to one of the division leaders yesterday about him and he is fired up about winning him over for Christ. We're apparently not allowed to talk about religion, or as they told us at orientation: "no conversions". But a lot of the guys here at camp are taking the "well if i get fired.....i get fired" policy on that one, and i'm longing to do the same. I've never held myself back in talking to people about Christ, but i want to be completely open and unashamed this term. I just pray that my energy levels don't interfere with what God has planned for these campers.

~Lord if i may only plant a seed, for it to grow without my watering, I know that by your grace alone you will harvest many passionate believers. May my job be done for your purpose, and may i always keep that at the front of my mind and discern your will. Amen~

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Can we sing religious songs......again?

So this is the final week of term 2 at camp. Its a wierd feeling because in one way i am totally drained and in another way im extremely pumped up. On Saturday ill see my mum and step dad for the first time in about a year, and i can't express how excited i am about that. I just got off the phone with them this morning, and they are counting down the hours. My bro, Jake, is also going to be in Kansas in about a month also, so.....exciting times are ahead. Also, Luke, I'm so pumped that you're even thinking about coming down to visit. You would love camp down here, and especially the Marble Falls area. Can't wait to have you down here bro.

So the title of my blog??? Well it has to do with an incredible oppurtunity that i thought would never present itself. Basically, i have a Jewish kid in my cabin that is infatuated with Christian praise and worship songs!! So much to the point that every spare minute of my day he's asking me to play some for him. He even wants to sing in front of the whole camp! God you are so amazing!!!! You might think that for me this would be a great ministry oppurtunity for me, but to be totally honest i feel so confused about what to do. I'm still trying to discern whether he's just singing to sing songs or whether he's interested in what they're about. We had a talk today about some of the Jewish songs he sings at Temple and how they're all in Hebrew and he hardly understands the meaning. He says that's why he likes Christian songs so much.

~Lord, i praise you for the oppurtunity to worship you infront of my campers every day. But i am helpless in bringing them to you without your help. I lay this all down at Your feet Father. I know you your children to be praising You in your kingdom. May this be part of their preparation and growth for their eternal lives in Your paradise.~

~I also ask Father that you watch over my parents and Katie, and keep them safe on their trips to Las Vegas. Father i ask that this week as I get to spend time with more of my family, that you would bless it and always be present. I'm dying for the oppurtunity for my parents to know you more, and i ask that you would come into their lives in accordance with your will. Allow me to be patient and wise in my decisions this week. I want to praise you in all my actions. Amen.~

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Patriotism Day!

Yes, today is the 4th of July. A lotta patriotism flying around camp, but even better......they played the Australian national anthem over the loudspeaker this morning...i have to say, i almost shed a tear; well not really. But i did sing along, everyone thought i was wierd.

Something i have been getting really fired up about is my future. I know, sounds crazy, usually im so anxious and get stressed as soon as i think about it, but now for some reason im really excited. I have an oppurtunity with my visa to spend a year after I graduate, as an intern......wherever i choose. After talking with some staff people at camp, they have really talked up some big churches and i've looked up a couple that look really interesting. But honestly, i have no idea what oppurtunity might present itself. I might just move back to Australia, and that would be cool. Sure i'll have debt and ill probably be drained from study. But God is so incredible. Through every struggle there has been a triumph. In every time i felt im down to nothing, something happens. To me thats more than just a coincidence. And with the awesome oppurtunities i've had in my life, i can't wait to see what happens next.....even if it sucks!

~Praise you Lord, for those bad times and for the incredible rewards you provide that we are not worthy of.~

Kansas crew, I am so excited to see you again and for all of you to meet my parents. I am going to try and get a hold of all of you to see if we can meet up sometime. But if you feel like I haven't talked to you in a really long time, please get a hold of me and tell me i'm a punk for not talking to you. Then ill make a time for us to meet up next week!! I'll be in Kansas from the 12th through the 16th. I get in on the 12th at 2:14pm on American airlines. So let me know if you have anytime that week, or any ideas of what my family can do.

I'm praying for all of you, that God may move succintly in your lives, and that we may be able to spend some great time together for his glory.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I hate my shell

I've definately crawled back into it again. But this time i know why. Distractions are the devil's weapon with unlimited ammo. I should have seen it coming. I felt my relationship with the Lord growing so strong and getting more and more intimate. But another test had to barge its way into my life, and i must admit, you succeeded. My shell is cold dark and damp, and is an endless pit of low self esteem, lack of confidence and self doubt. Its ironic that when you can't be yourself you become a piece of everybody else. Lord, from the darkness of my shell, i cry out to You. You are magnificent, you are all powerful and i want to praise you always.

So this picture thing is kinda new, and i don't know how it works. But these are pictures from our last dance. (Sam and I had "dates"!!) And the other one is from our Trojan/Spartan war day. (Sports game day). Anyway, im trying to write a blog and have a conversation at the same time which is not cool. So ill make this a short one. Lord I love you and I am not ashamed.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Is consistency good?

The reason i ask the question is because that's what i'm missing. Some days i feel spiritually loaded, other days dry. Somedays i feel like i make better friends with my peers, and other days i feel like i make better friends with campers. Somedays i feel like an adult, and other days i feel like a kid. Some of these things i know how to solve, others i don't. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Is it better to be consistent, or live life like a carosel? Or do we really control that at all? Most times i look in the mirror i see a different reflection. One that i recognize, but not similar to the last. My question to you: Is that a good thing? I'm not much for deep thoughts, but that one has really been bugging me lately.

Otherwise, camp life is continuing to be incredible. I definately have my days, but im slowly learning how to correct it. I have my cabin mostly to thank for that. They are an incredible group of guys that continue to inspire me and energize me. The other day we had a really open talk about the bible and about Jesus, from their perspective as Jews and from my perspective as a Christian. The great thing was, we built a stronger relationship as a cabin through that discussion, and i can't praise God enough for these oppurtunities.

My Mum and step-dad are coming to visit in two weeks!!!! I cannot wait, and have been telling just about everyone i can about it. To my Kansas family, i can't wait to show you the relatives! You have been there for me in such a way that you have blessed my life and taken a lot of the worry off both my parents (not that they don't worry anyways!). I can't wait for them meet you and show how much they appreciate what you have done. My Dad and stepmum are also planning to come next year for my graduation!!! So i am blessed to have them come as well. My parents have put up with a lot with me (as i'm sure they'll tell you), but have been so supportive and incredible for all that i have wanted to do. Mum and Dad, I thank you so much for the oppurtunities you have provided me, and through this you have given me a platform to learn so many lessons about life, independantly, that you otherwise could have taught me. Thank you for you selflessness.

~Father in heaven, i praise you above all for the incredible family you have blessed me with here in the US and at home. Your grace has been more than sufficient in my life, and i pray that my family may see just a glimpse of the incredible love you have for them, and that you may bless them with your grace. Amen.~

P.S. Luke, hurry up and blog bro! I haven't heard from ya in a while!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

God You are Amazing

~ Father, i give all the glory to you my God.
I praise you fo the incredible day you blessed me with yesterday, and i stand in awe of hoe incredibly faithful you are.
I have seen my life go through so many stages, so many ups and downs, so many triumphs and turmoils.
But now i stand in awe and amazement of how trusting in you can be so rewarding.
I see myself and my energy levels.
Why am i so full and excited about this term, while others are wallowing in their tiredness?
My only explanation is that you have been graceful enough to provide me the energy i need to perform the duties you have lined up for me.
How can i show my friends and family Your awesome power Lord?
How can i show them that all of lifes stuggles and problems can be answered in You?
I mourn for them Father.
I want to see them living the fullest lives they possibly can.
I want them to have security in all that they do.
I want them to see that they cannot find answers in money, music, possesions and worldly things.
You are the answer to all, and there cannot be any other way.
Forgive me for my boasting Lord, but i only want to boast in you.
Praise you, Lord of my life.
I want to worship you in every action and in every breathing moment of my day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Torchlighter celebration....always fun

Me as torchlighter....sorry bout the pic

Shannon and I doing our song. She ended up singing "Ain't no sunshine"

The new cabin!!! Cabin 1

Lay our drills for ultimate Frisbee

BFF (Best Friends Forever). It was a tatoo he wore one day.

Boys allstar Brenton?

Reading over Lake LBJ

Sam and I at the school spirit dance. I'm sporting my exchange student high school's practice jersey.

Flinstone night at the Fillin' Station

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


Yesterday, i was bestowed the honor of being torchlighter at our final activity of the day ( appropriate). I know this will probably mean nothing to any of you, but i thought i should note it, maybe so i can read it over someday. All it really is, is the person that gets to light the torch, kind of olympic style, at the beginning of evening festivities. They make a big deal out of it here. They mostly give it to campers, but yesterday they gave it to a counsellor on both the boys and girls side of camp. It's usually someone that has carried the "spirit of a champion" that day, but there are so many other people who deserve it other than me, that really go unnoticed. I was very honored to receive it, but i don't like the politics involved behind it. Plus i feel like I haven't given all that i have just yet. Anyway, i'll try post a picture of it soon.

*Note: This is for all the X-Faithers* We had the most incredible game of "Potty on your neighbour" last night with our cabin. For those who don't know what that is, it's basically a card game where the person with the lowest card gets a strike, 3 strikes you lose, and face a consequence. Everyone gets one card and you have the option to trade it with the person on your left, and so the game goes in a circle. Anyway, our cabin played last night with our consequence being the loser had to jump in the lake with all their clothes on and rub mud in their hair like shampoo......oh poor Max Kunik. The last round of play, just about everybody had 2 strikes (there was about 13 of us) and by process of cancellation (there's a lot more rules i won't care to explain) he ended up losing. But he took it like a man, and put on a show for the rest of the campers. He pretty much covered himself in was hilarious. The thing i liked about it the most, was that it was a great time for Sam and I (my co-counsellor) to build up relationships with our cabin. We really got a fell for how everybody acts, and some of their personality traits. I really feel that God has a strong presence in our cabin. From our game last night came a plethora (sorry bout that word) of conversation the next day, and some of it even involved religion.

~Lord, i ask that you continue to strengthed the bonds we have with our campers and that those relationships will lead to more conversation about you. Father i pray that they may see my every action as an act of worship to you and your Son. You know that these campers long for Your presence in their lives, and i ask that they may see that in accordance with Your will~

I noted in my last blog that this term is mostly full of Jewish campers. Well yesterday i seemed to forget that while i was teaching swimming lessons. I had them tread water to build up endurance for the kilometer swim they have to do at the end of the term. And i thought it would be a good idea to sing some songs while they were doing it, so the first thing i thought of was: "OK guys! It's Christmas time, we're going to be singing some Christmas carols today" Then one little kid bobs his head out of the water and says "But half of us are Jewish". Everybody started laughing, and i have to admit, i did too. I completely forgot that Jews don't celebrate Christmas. So we ended up singing Waltzing Matilda instead. The cool part was that most of the Jewish kids didn't care and got a laugh out of my slip up.

~Father i thank you for the love and the tolerance you have placed inside these campers, and in a way i pray that we can find a way to break down the religious barriers and come together as a whole to worship You, that is pleasing to You. Amen~

Monday, June 20, 2005

New Term, New Faces, New Culture

Sorry. It's been a long time since i hit the computer....this past week or so has been really busy with the end of first term and the beginning of second term starting. Life has been so crazy, that i've found that i have a lot of reading to catch up on and many people to get in contact with......including my parents eek! Sorry Dad, haven't wished you a happy Father's day yet, but if you read this before i get to ya, know that i was thinking about you on Sunday.

Luke, and the rest of the Leavenworth crew. I've been praying for you guys. You're constantly in the back of my mind and still the greatest youth group i've been apart of. I know that God has some incredible things lined up for us and is working so strongly through all of you. I feel blessed to be a apart of the fellowship we have formed down there, and i hope to be calling you guys soon to check up.

Jana and family, i hope that this weekend went smoothly and joyfully for all of you. To Andrea and Dallas, i've been thinking and praying for you all weekend, and i pray that your wedding this weekend is only the beginning of a beautiful life-long union. To the rest of the people in Highland, i will be seeing you very soon!! I can't wait!

And to all the other incredible people that i have met and become friends with, which are also lucky enough to read this top secret website (whatever), i miss you and i hope to get in touch with you soon.

Lord, bless all who read this and those people that have made such an indelible impact in my life. I understand that you have a purpose for me in many places, but i just ask that that they may know how much i appreciate them and how you have used them to get me where i am today.

So, term 2 has started at camp champions. My hair is longer, my skin is darker, the bags under my eyes have gotten blacker, but im still having the time of my life. This term has a lot of campers from Houston, and also from a predominantly Jewish community. I believe that all but two in my new cabin are Jewish. For me, this is an awesome oppurtunity for me to learn about their culture and more importantly about their beliefs. I've studied about Judaism, but know very little about the culture. I'd love for you to pray for my new cabin that we may be able to form relationships under God's great love.

Letting go of the first term campers was not as hard as i thought. I loved all our guys very much, but was kind of happy to see them move on. A couple of them told me that this was probably the best camp they'd be, and it was awesome to talk to their parents to see how much appreciation they had for us. I praise you Lord, for the success of first term and ask that you watch over the guys as they move back in and move on in the world.

I also enjoyed my time off in between first and second. Even though it was only 18 hours long!!!! We went to a friends lake house and about 20 of us stayed the night and watched a movie and hung out on the lake. I went jetskiing for about half an hour! It was a blast. I worked out that you can flip a jetski if you take a sharp turn and gun it while you're flying at 30 mph!! But i also learned the best part of jetskiing is getting thrown off one!

James 1:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

~Lord, i long for you me to remember what you have taught me to apply what you have taught me to teach others what you have taught me...I praise you for my friends and family...keep them safe in your grace. Amen.~

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Music on the rise

Hey everyone,

So i figured that i would come to camp and have absolutely no time to either read, or work on playing the guitar. But it seems to have been the other way around. I'm currently reading 2 books at the the same time!?!?! Wierd? If you know me, i hardly read a book a year, so this is pretty crazy. And Luke, yes, i'm still keeping up with, i have no clue.

Also, on my off nights, there has been a group of us that gets together and just jams out to different music. We have a guy named Alex who plays the djembe, and a girl named Shannon who has an incredible voice who sings pretty much anything. I play the guitar for the most part. Other people have been jumping in here and there, but all round it has been a great time to build relationships with people.

Shannon asked me the other day to sing a duet with her at counsellor skit night. Yes, be very scared. I have not attempted to let the wild animal that is my voice out of its cage too many times, so this could be interesting. I love the music we're playing, being all secular stuff, mainly because there is a wide diversity of religions at this camp. I tried busting out some Christian music one night, and for the most part people liked it, but i know I made a couple of people uncomfortable. Somehow, i think this is part of my mission as being a Christian, but at the moment i seem to be valuing the relaltionships im building over expressing my beliefs.

Lord, i praise you for giving me enough musical talents to use it as a tool to further your Kingdom. I ask that you guide me with Your Spirit to use the gifts You have blessed me with to help me follow the will you have for my life. Just for the record, i think Shannon wants to sing Volcano by Damien Rice. I might ask her if she wants to do Lean On Me. Any other suggestions?

Our final dance for the term is tonight, and we see our campers off on Friday. It has definately been a journey with our cabin and all of them have grown in some way from being at this camp. Im sure that we will probably not see the fruits of the growth but i pray that they have enjoyed their time here and that they may have seen a glimpse of Christ's love. Im gonna miss them, they've been a great crowd

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Kassie the lifeguard......alien maybe

Lauren M'am and Laura Ma'm

Sam and I in our pirate costumes.......don't ask

Torchlight on Space Pirate Dance Night

The Pushup Crew of Cabin 2 at Lunch

Friday, June 10, 2005

Drill Sergent Brenton?

Today's been a wierd day. Many ups and downs, but pretty much just........yeah, one of those days. Last night we had a surprise barbeque for the Aquanaut Division at camp (all the boys that are in my campers age group). The plan was to trick them into thinking that they were in deep trouble, and send them to bed early thinking we were all really upset at them. The plan worked perfectly. We gave them ten minutes to go from torchlight, to being in bed. After they had been asleep for about ten minutes, we woke all of them up and got them to clean the bathroom all together. A lot of them were mad, but after about 5 minutes we turned on the floodlights and blasted the radio, and revealed the prank. I think we stumped all of them, and it was fun to watch. They were still mad, but really happy about the hamburgers and hotdogs we dished out.

During this time i was being kinda self reflective. I knew i had to go back to my campers and make up something to get mad at them at so they would fall asleep. But the thing i realized was is that i've kinda been mad at them the whole time. Well, not really mad or angry, but i've always been quick to jump on them when they step out of line.....and i let them know it. For me, it was kinda hard to fake being mad, because i feel that maybe they just see me as mad all the time, when truly i love all my guys. But still i feel like I'm some kind of drill sergent to them. Am i contradicting myself or making perfect sense?

Anyway this kinda got me thinking about my whole mission here and whether or not i am showing Christ's love to my campers. As i look back on my time with them, is it possible that in some freaky way that they could see the love God has for them through my actions? They see me reading my Bible, they know I'm a Christian, and i hope they see the stuff i do for them. But am i really being the example God has called me to be?

Lord, i know your plans for me are greater than i can understand, and that i will probably not see the the fruits of Your work done through me. But i trust in You to use me however You need me. Sap my energy and use every bit of my strength for the growth of these campers. I pray Father that i am doing Your will, and please help me to understand where you want me next.

Another conclusion i came to is that i need tocontinue to emerse my self in the Word. Even during this blog, i had to stop half way and read my Scripture passage for today before i could continue. I know its anti-climactic for some, but i always seem to find the answers im looking for and the spritual strength i need during those times

God even gave me an "I told ya so!" today: "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49 NIV)
Translation: "Brenton, why do you keep searching for answers to your spiritual dryness? Don't you know you have to be in my presence?"
God, you are glorious in Your workings, continue to teach me in ways i cannot fathom and surprise me everyday with your wisdom.

I want to thank you all again for writing replies. Luke and Jana, thanks for encouraging me to write. I'm blaming the both of you for getting me stuck on this!!! Also, Lindsey, you asked for my camp address so here it is:

Camp Champions
775 Camp Road
Marble Falls, TX 78654

Plus, anybody else that would like to send me camp mail that would be co-counsellor gets one everyday from his girlfriend, so i feel left out.....heheheh just kidding.