Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How to shave a beard? i got a crazy story for ya..

I shaved another guy's beard!

What? I know when a lot of people see me, they question whether or not I can shave my own beard properly (I have been known to look like a borderline terrorist) who on earth would let me shave their beard?

Well, i was sitting with one of the guys that is a regular at our food pantry ministry and noticed that when he sipped his lemonade, it had to filter through his moustache to get to his mouth. Not only had his mo grown over his mouth, but his beard was almost long enough to get caught in the zipper of his jacket.

Now i know this guy pretty well, and felt like i was at liberty to ask him when the last time it was that he had shaved. He didn't give me a time reference, but he said the last time he lost his job was when he had enough money to afford a shave, so that was it.

I think it was just out shock that i just kinda blurted out...
"AFFORD?!?, Where do you go to get a shave?"

He told me that he went to a barber once and it cost him $19 to get his beard shaved, and that he didn't have enough money to go get it done again.
So that pre-empted another flabergasted, shocked statement that wasn't thought out, or through, not thinking of the get the idea..

"Dude, i'll do it for ya for free!"

Almost immediately after I said it, I regreted it....becuase i just realized what I had asked...probably one of the most awkward offers that i have ever given in my life.

There was still hope that he would knock me back given the wierdness of what I had just said, but with a big, delighted grin on his face......i knew what was coming.

"No you wouldn't!?!"

I sure would. One week later I cut, buzzed and shaved my way through this poor guy's beard in about an hour (with only a couple of razor cuts.....eeek!). He was so happy he could hardly keep the smile off his face, and he hadn't even looked in a mirror yet. My back was killing me from leaning over for that long, but i couldn't help but share in the joy he had on his face.

I don't tell this story to try and point out the good deeds that I unassumingly throw myself into, I wanted to tell it because i believe that there are some basic BASIC needs that some people have in our communities that all of us (including myself), continue to look over because of it makes us feel uncomfortable. Some people just need someone to talk to and someone to listen to them without feeling uncomfortable.

This guy was physically and mentally disabled and probably couldn't hold a razor straight if he tried (I'm not that much better, i soon figured out!). It seemed like he also didn't have the means to get his beard shaved and probably wouldn't be game enough to ask anyone to do it for him. It was a step out of my comfort zone (and probably a step out of his too!), but he really does look like a new man. I wish I had before and after pictures.

~Lord, I don't know where you intend to use me or send me or keep me, but I pray that you would reveal part of Your plan to me. At least enough to know what I should be doing now. Keep my heart searching and questioning, but not over the things of this world. May it be restless over You. Allow me to keep that focus, for your purpose. Amen~

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So today I enjoyed the last of my free time that I think I'm going to have for a while...

But it was some good free time! As you can see, i decided to be real geeky and take a picture of my new planner. It's a pretty beefy thing, but it's one of those organizers that has everything in it (including a spaces for 7 CDs!!). OK, i'll quit being a dork I guess. I got to enjoy some time in worship (me and my guitar), messing around with that photo and talking to a good friend from Dallas. Oh man I miss that city!

But I've noticed that, that city has been quite a source of worry for me lately. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE Dallas, but I worry because it's a place that I hopefully see in my future. And anytime I start thinking about the future.....I worry.

Do you ever have that problem? I think for the last couple weeks I've been living in the future. I've been fretting about where I should go next, stressing about what I'm going to do for a living and hyperventilating about how much money that will make me!

Don't live in the's a scarey place.

I started planning out all my stuff that i'll be doing for the next week and writing it down in my new planner and it's pretty exciting (return to dork phase). I'll be organizing and planning some youth events this week, as well as studying for a financial class and tommorrow I'll be starting Vineyard Leadership Intstitute (ministry training for our denomination). VLI will be just like going back to college because it's about 20 hours a week worth of study and reading! Today I'll also be working on Christmas plans, food pantry and organizing my work schedule.

Enthralling stuff I know........I agree with you, it all sounds pretty boring. But it's so much better than worrying about the big picture. It's almost a blessing to have so much to do and to focus on now, so I can stop worrying about what's going to happen later. I know God's got a plan.....can't I be happy enough with that?

I kept a good verse with me this week:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do and He will direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6

Thats a pretty good promise for me. I just hope I can keep my heart in good shape. I know it's going to be hard with a discouraging job and a little bit of free time. But I'm so blessed to have a Saviour that cares about me and my well being. I know that whatever the fall He will lift me up.

But when and where is all in the future...

Right now I've got to get some sleep......goodnight!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So Long Sweet Summer...

Well....summer is officially over. And life has officially begun.

Yeahp. You know that time in your life when you're actually done with college, are out on your own, and can make your own schedule and do what you like?

Sounds great huh?

Well for someone like me that is used to doing something 24/7 and usually has a plan for the next step in my life, I've found myself at the end of the suburban street, and at the beginning of the gravel road. In other words, i have no idea where I'm going, or what I should be doing, or what direction I should take.

It's so hard to keep a future perspective when I'm not content with where I'm at. Don't get me wrong, I love the people I'm staying with. They have been so helpful and giving to me. The Gilberts are an amazing family and such a great reminder to me that God is willing to take care of me wherever I go.

But I've got to gripe about my job for just a little bit! Maybe it's just because I'm coming off a three day stint where i've been working from 10am-7pm....but I'm almost positive I can't stand my job. I work for the school catering business Aramark, and most of my day is reserved to preparing food and cleaning dining rooms. A short part of my work day is spent serving students and sisters (nuns), which I see as valuable ministry time. But it has been real difficult to stay positive.

Yesterday, I got delegated to scraping food that had stuck to the pans after the students were done eating. That got me pretty low...

Sounding good now?

But after I was done I went and hung out with my buddy Luke. It was just a great time to sit and relax, and chill (even though we were supposed to be working on youth stuff for our church). We just got to sit and talk about our futures, about life and about God's plan through all of it. He reminded me of a verse that I have kept with me all day today. It's one that we usually remember, but don't usually take into context:

"I have learned to survive on almost nothing or everything. I have discovered the secret to living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with little or plenty. For I can do everything through Christ, who strengthens me."
- Philippians 4:12-13

Even though I'm going through some discontentment with my job, I know that God has a plan. He has not trained me and grown me to live in a life of fruitlessness and discouragement. Although I am stuck to serving and cleaning at the moment, I know that God has a purpose for it, even if it is to grow my endurance and prepare me for what's coming.

It's funny how this one little thing can put everything into perspective for me. I am discontent with this job. But I am also a youth pastor and a ministry student. Two things I absolutely love doing. Two things that I am praying will be fruitfull and encouraging and effective. I'm praying that God will change this whole city, but I can only start with where I am.

Right now I'm in a valley...but with God's grace I am not fearing the worst...He has always, and will always walk beside me and carry me to where He needs me.

"Even though the journey's long,
and I know the road is hard.
Well the one who's gone before me,
He will help me carry on.
And after all that I've been through,
now I realize the truth
that I must go through the valley
to stand upon the Mountain of God."
-Mountain of God, Third Day

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I am Already and Not Yet

So i know i haven't posted in a while....
I know I haven't written about my summer...
I know I've probably lost a lot of readers...
But it's time to move on and get back in the blogging groove.

I hope you can read the post before this one on Pat and Mary Beth. They are two people I lived with this summer that changed my life. They are amazing, and I miss them so much! Anyway, onto other things...

Ever wondered what Jesus was talking about when He would talk about the coming of the Kingdom?

I didn't.

But just recently I watched this DVD by a guy named Derek Morphey, which completely blew my whole concept of Christianity out of the water. Before I continue, lets look at a couple of passages from the Gospels.

From then on Jesus began to preach. "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near." - Matthew 4:17

One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdom of God come?"
Jesus replied, "The Kingdom of God isn't ushered in with visible signs. You won't be able to say, 'Here it is!' or "It's over there!' For the Kingdom of God is within you." - Luke 17: 20

OK, so is the Kingdom of God here or is it coming?

The answer: IT'S BOTH

Logically it makes no sense, which is why many theologians have decided to define it by calling it "Kingdom Language" (well.....its definately not English!). I guess the point of that is, is that we are supposed to be confused by this and have to try to define it within the context of "God's plan" or "God's Truth".

If we take the coming of God's Kingdom to mean the arrival of His glory on earth, where His name is lifted above all others, where the blind will see and the deaf will hear and where Christ is present to all who believe......

.....then this idea of God's Kingdom being Already here and Not Yet here at the same time, now makes perfect sense to me.


Have you ever witnessed something so amazing and miraculous that you find it hard to put into words the emotions you've felt? Maybe at times when you've fell in love, or witnessed a beautiful sunset, or had a prayer answered or hit a moment, like me, where you just can't explain the amazing thing that is happening to you right now in the present moment...

...That is the Kingdom of God.

Yet we don't feel these things all the time. Truth is, our bodies probably wouldn't be able to take it. Even the most hardcore Christians aren't beeming with joy 24 hours a day (although sometimes we think we ought to be). Infact, there are moments where we feel totally upset at life. We fail and we fall. We sin and we sell ourselves out. And we do it all the time.

...We are human afterall.

And God's Kingdom was not meant for this world. We want to be in God's presence all the time, but the truth is, our human bodies probably couldn't handle it. When we cry or laugh, our body jolts and jiggles and we are overcome with emotion to which our body uses these avenues to find a release. In quiet reflectful times we can also be overcome by insight and wisdom that we can admit we have had no part in aquiring.

The fact is that God blesses us, in moments, with his coming Kingdom. He gives us a window into what will come when Christ finally returns. The Kingdom is within us, yet we have not yet experienced it all. But it is near.

There will be a time when Christ returns and those that believe in Him will be taken to His Kingdom instantly to live fully in the blessing of God. Yet for now, all we have are these glimpses. They are fully given by God's grace...yet our relationship with him deepens our experience. We are able to see more clearly God's kingdom in our lives because we are interacting with Him more.

What an incredible promise from Jesus...

The Kingdom of Heaven is near...

The Kingdom of God is within you...

I am Already and Not Yet...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pat and Mary-Beth

Pat and Mary-Beth Kelley have been the couple I have been living with for the last 2 and a bit months, and I just can't get enough of them. They are two of the most amazing people I have met in my short life, and have been nothing but generous, caring and loving to me ever since they met me. I never get to talk about them enough, so I figure I'll brag about them for a little while.

Not only have they given me a place to stay (and eat at!) this summer, but they have also introduced me to their amazing family: their sons and daughters, and grand children (which are all around my age). There has never been a moment with them that i've felt uncomfortable or lacking something. They have made me feel right at home, and have spoiled me rotten since i've been here.

Not only do I have a king size bed and my own room, but i also have free internet access, an incredible fridge full of food, and a bathroom that just miraculously cleans itself (thank you Mary-Beth!). I've tried to offer to help around the house, even just putting away the dishes or wiping down the table. But i have to have special permission to do those; not because i'm incapable, but because they just want to look after me.

Most nights when I am home we will play Mexican Train Dominoes. It's a game I introduced them to when i first got here, and they love playing it. Sometimes i wonder why they like playing it so much, because i tend to win most games. I warned them from the beginning that I don't lose, but with their competitive spirit, they only saw that as a challenge! I love playing with them, because every game isn't just a game. It's another story about their life, or some funny instance that happenned to them during the day.

They have imparted so much wisdom to me, that i should have written a book about my time here in Houston. I love spending time with Pat over lunch or breakfast and just talking about life; the decisions he has made, the funny stories from his college days, or just advice he gives me about relationships with people from all walks of life. Talking with Mary-Beth always cheers me up, whether its just talking about what has happenned that day, how I'm messing up my laundry, or giving her a hard time about going to the gym. She always has a warm smile and a big hug for any moment of the day.

The fact that my mum called this morning, and asked Mary-Beth how "our" son is going, says a lot for these two amazing people. But it just amazes me how God fills our need for family when we need it. In my stay over the last 5 in the US, there has always been a family at some point in time that has stepped in for my biological family. It has made me value so much more, my own family back home, and what they have sacrificed for me to be over here.

To Pat and Mary Beth, I thank you for being humble enough to welcome to into your family, and treat me as one of your own. I've been blessed because of you and have gained so much from your wisdom. May God Bless you both.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Please interceed...

This weekend was one of the greatest weekends i've had in a while. I got to go to of my favorite places.....was able to be apart of a worship concert and got to hang out with some of my most favorite people in the world.

However, the fallout of a weekend like that is always a bit of a let down. In my case, it got me thinking about the future.....which is never an enjoyable thing for me. Basically, it just causes a lot of stress....i'm getting hot flashes just typing about it (maybe its just because my laptop is burning up on my lap!).

For me....the future is just too much to think about. Where am I going to live? What am I going to do? When am I going to settle down? When am I going to get married? How am I going to afford it? Sound familiar? If you roll all those questions together you just get a big ball of stress.....that i always hate dealing with.

Plus, the last two days have been kinda lonely. I've been working by myself in the office becuase the younger kids are on mission trip (in Dallas of all places). So i've had to listen to my head instead of 4 ladies talking about girl stuff (which unfortunately is worse :)

I hate these periods of my life, but they usually mark a turning point for me. I usually have to make a big decision which is uncomfortable, but turns out for the best. It's unfortunate that it's that predictable, which is why I'm praying for something out of the ordinary to happen. There are so many possibilities that i have ran through my head for the next few years of my life, but it would be great to experience a miracle....something out of the blue occur.

Throughout the stress these last few days, "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls has been running through my head (maybe the loneliness has something to do with it). But it has been a powerful song for me. I sat down to play it today on the piano and while i was playing it I had one of those great moments when God decides to interceed without notice:

"When everything's made to be broken,
I just want you to know who I am...
I just want you to know THAT I AM"

For some reason it popped into my head, but it gave me a lot of comfort.....and for just a little while.....I understood that my future was in good hands. That God really does know me and what's best. That He is enough and His grace is limitless. I wish i could feel this way all the time, but moments of stress always seem to overcome that understanding, untill His limitless grace shows me mercy.

That led me to this verse today:
"God replied, "I AM THE ONE WHO ALWAYS IS. Just tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " God also said, "Tell them, `The LORD, the God of your ancestors--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.' This will be my name forever; it has always been my name, and it will be used throughout all generations."
-Exodus 3:14-15

~God, you will always be there. I wish I could always be. But I thank you that you continue to show me mercy everyday, as your personal wish. Take my life and make something miraculous of it. Astound me in ways i can never that I may come to know the glory of Your name. Amen~

Monday, July 17, 2006

Katrina Aftermath

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Take some time to see what Katrina has left in its wake, one year after it hit New Orleans.

Please pray for this city and it's people.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

On a Mission in New Orleans...

This week I am on the road again. I know i haven't updated since the last round of trips i've been on. But i get the feeling that this one is going to stick with me for a while...

On Sunday morning a group of 36 from our church will be making the journey to New Orleans o participate with Habitat for Humanity and Mission Lab to be a small part of the re-building process in New Orleans.

I feel blessed just to even be going on this trip, as i know many have gone before us and prepared the way so we can work. But this is a part of America where many have been struck by deep poverty, if they weren't in it already. Ever since hurricane Katrina I have wanted to be able to participate in just a small way, and getting that chance makes me feel extremely blessed.

But i also know that it will be a testing time for me and many of the others we will be working with.

I would ask that you would pray not just for me and our church, but for the lives we will come into contact with while in New Orleans. If you could leave a prayer in the comment section of this post, i would really appreciate it.

I'll be gone for a week...
Who knows if i will come back... heart and prayers goes out to those that have been struck by the devastation of last years hurricanes. I don't know what this trip will bring for me or our church, but all i ask is that your will would be done in New Orleans. That you would use us for that divine will. And in some small part, bring a glimpse of Your hope and peace to the citizens of this city. I can't praise you enough for this oppurtunity. Grow me and use me on this journey. In Jesus' name. Amen~

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Spiritual Life (Another Imperfect Analogy)

Since I've been in Miami, I've been running every day on the beach. I love it! The first day we got here I really felt like God was speaking to me while I was running. He didn't say anything....He just let me run.....A real long way......So this is what happenned. But first, a good Word.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11


I pose.
I flex.
BIG muscles....yeah right.
Click Click
"Seeya when you get back"
I start running.
The sand is soft.
The water is warm
My legs are loaded.
First beach in over a year.
I'm excited and confident.
I'm gonna run to the end of this beach.

There are so many hotels!
They are so marvellous.
But not for a beach.
I wonder where they end?
I bet at that big one.
That's how far I'll run.
Yeah! It's not even that far.
I bet there'll be a park.
Maybe some grass and dunes
And trees. Palm trees.
It'll be real nice.
It'll be just like home.

I look to the sand.
Cratered by footprints.
Remnants of sweet adventures.
I look to the water.
Tiny ripples but no waves.
An infinite invitation for a runner.
I wonder where it ends?
It's gonna feel great when i stop.
Stop running?
I could go for days!
Forrest Gump style!
I am free and alive.

Ten minutes pass.
This is so pretty.
I could write about this!
I could live at a beach.
I will live at a beach!
And run everyday!
I will be at one with nature.
I will be so healthy and buff!
My wife will like that.
I bet i've run pretty far.
I'm not even tired yet.
That big hotel is getting pretty close.

Twenty minutes pass.
This sand is getting soft
Real soft. Harder to run.
There are rocks i have to dodge.
There are people in my way.
Up the dune. Softer sand.
Two pretty girls.
I never look back.
This beach aint got nothin' me.

Thirty minutes pass.
I'm covered in sweat.
I've been running on an angle.
That must be bad for my feet.
I wonder where my parents are?
They're probably wondering where i am.
Too bad. I'm gonna make it to the end.
You still feeling good?
Ouch! Stepped on a rock.
I like pain!!!
I'm still not at that big hotel.
Not too far now. I'll make it.

Should be spending time with mum.
I've ran pretty far.
I still feel good.
The end will be worth it.
Trees. Palm trees. Home.
Suddenly I stop.
I start walking.
Why did i stop?
I stand.
I see Eden Roc Hotel.
How imperfect is this?
There are a lot of people here.

I walk out into the water.
Oh this feels good!
My body cools.
My feet soothe.
I walk out deeper.
I see the big hotel.
I walk out further.
I see more hotels.
And no palm trees.
Then, I realize where I am.
I emerse my sore body.
This must be heaven.


I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
Phillippians 3:12-14


Then I realize I have to run back.
I swim back to shore.
I walk out on the hot sand.
My body is aching.

I pose.
I flex.
Lots of wierd looks.
Oh well.
I start running.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Update! Update!

Beautiful cloud over Houston sunset

So it's about time i gave an much has happenned in the last couple of weeks that i've kinda been putting it off.....i guess that just means more stuff to update on....

So camp was an amazing time. I had the chance to really get to know a lot of the kids in our youth group at Cypress Creek, but also a lot of the kids in the area Disciples churches . I was the co-leader of a small group, and the laughing stock of the whole camp! I gotta admit though....i kinda brought it on myself, being Australian and all.....hehehe. Well, i also wore a bunch of "orange head accessories" as one camper called it. I had two orange hats, plus i brought an orange scarf.....which i ended up wearing on my head.

My buddy Isaac from Camp. Please be praying for him.

There were so many stories that came out of that camp that i'd be crazy to try write them all down. The most fulfilling parts for me was definately the small group time and the worship. Some of the discussions that took place in our group were really well. They definately challenged my faith, and hopefully deepened some of the campers. The worship times were excellent too. I got to befriend an amazing couple: Chris and Janelle Henderson, who led the worship sessions every day. Just being able to interact and fellowship with them was so rewarding, and them allowing me to lend some of my musical gifts was the greatest gift for me at that camp. I really feel like it helped me develop a greater passion for worship and getting involved.

Me and Chris jammin during some free time
After a week of camp, and life away from reality (it's really should try it sometime!), we came back to another crazy week of full on work in youth ministry at Cypress Creek. Not only are we frantically preparing for mission trip (in the second week of July), but we also had a bunch of programs this week. Tuesday we had Altered practice (our youth band which has two gigs in Dallas in July), Wednesday was bible study (we got through Daniel Chp 2, and the mini-van got a new paint job), and Thursday was TAN DAY!! One of the coolest service days i've ever been on (i wrote about it on our church youth blog

Me snarfing (inhaling) some chocolate pudding out of a styrofoam cup!
Friday and Saturday were also AMAZING! Friday.....i managed to accomplish absolutely NOTHING AT ALL!!! It was a great feeling. Saturday i wrote a couple emails and played some cards and dominoes with Mary Beth and Pat. I tried to teach them Hand and Foot, but i think i messed up somehow....i'm gonna have to get the Gilberts to help me out with that.

Today was pretty awesome though. After church we had a ground breaking for the new youth building which will be completed within a year (i think). Then Sunday School, and youth group tonight which was awesome. It was a worship night, and i got to lead. I think it was the first time i've ever felt confident leading worship, and feeling good about it when it was done. It was a great night where we really focused on the lyrics, intertwined with scripture, and some good prayer time. It was much needed for me.....i pray that the kids felt the same.
Chelsey, Lindsey and Jenica re-doing the soccer mum mini-van.
So thats got to be the shortest version of a two week update i've ever done! I'm hoping to get a video up on here pretty soon of the church where i work.....that will be coming. Also! Tommorrow i leave for MIAMI!!!! I'm off to see my MUM!!!! I'm so excited.....i haven't seen here in over a year now, and there is so much we will catch up on. I'm thinkin a lot of beach time too! I can't wait! Please be praying about that!

Well that's about all i guys have a great week, hopefully i can update from Miami....Love you guys. God Bless

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rainy Day, Happy God (and dog!)

I came home from the church a couple of days ago and there was a dog out running in the rain. As i pulled up and got out of my car, it came up to me and jumped up on me like it was so happy to see me. It started running around in a playful attitude like it wanted to play. As it ran through our grass, beads of water and shards of green would get thrown up into the air, and it was a beautiful site. It was a pretty dog, and it looked like it was having so much fun out in the rain.

I couldn't help but stand out there and play with it for a while. All i had to do was stamp my feet and it would go off running like i was behind it, playing tag or something. It would then come to a stop, where if i stomped it would go! It just seemed so happy to have someone show it some attention and play with it in the rain.

After i went inside and showered up, had something to eat, played the piano for a bit, talked to Pat and Mary-Beth, a friend showed up to take me to another friends house to hang out for the night. We walked outside and got in the car, but as i was opening my door, the dog appeared out of nowhere!!! It must have hung around outside for a good 3 hours waiting for me to come back out!! I felt a lot of emotion for that pup as we drove off, and it stood in the middle of the road, still looking as playful as ever, and happy to be out and about.

There are many days where i marvel at God's creation, and how it continues to astound us and remind us of his presence. As I was playing with that dog the other day, i really felt like God was there.....maybe not in me, but somewhere in that dog. Like a good friend, it came out of nowhere and was so happy to see me, it played with me almost in an attempt to lift my spirits as high as it's were, and it hung around to make sure I was doing ok, and having a good time, even if it wasn't involved.

I wasn't particularly feeling down, or depressed or upset that day, but this dog didn't seem to care. It just wanted to make sure i was as happy as I could be, or at least excited as it was to be free.....out and roaming in the world.......being itself......even in the rain.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Off to camp!


Just thought i'd update to say that I'm going to be away at a camp this week with all the area high-school kids from the Disciples of Christ church. It's going to be an awesome week, with lots of fun planned....but i hope that God's plan for this week will reveal itself to everyone in a big way.

I really would appreciate if you could pray for our campers this week, as we get to spend a week away from reality this week. I know its going to be a good break for them, and i pray so much that the Holy Spirit will become a permanent mark on many kids lives this week.

Please pray for me and the rest of the adults too, that our endurance and strength will last this week. That even after the blistering heat and day full of rowdy activities, we would be able to make time for the kid that has a late night question about why we exist!

~God, I thank you so much for this oppurtunity. I pray that you would bless this week; that relationships would be able to grow; that the rational could take a backseat to the divine; that your love may be shared in a life-altering way; that Christ would show his face to each and every youth. I praise you for this oppurtunity. I love you Lord. Amen~

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Can you bear it?

No!!!! The urge is too strong.......mmmust...tttouch...ccarving!!! Argghhhh!!

I went to go get my passport in order a couple of days ago (it expires in July), and i had to go
down to downtown Houston to find the Australian consulate. I was driving around for a while down there, before i finally found the place inside a small, almost residential looking, art gallery! It was a showcase of Aboriginal art, with a small office on the side which i guess they call the consulate. I actually walked in the office thinking it was another part of the gallery, when i saw the consulate general sitting behind a small desk!

"Whoops! i guess i'll come back later!"

All that aside....there was this really cool crocodile carving, with an even cooler warning beside it. I'm kinda looking forward to going back next week to re-submit my passport app. (since i didn't have all the paperwork). Maybe i could touch the carving!!!! Nooo!!! Must resist the urge!!!!

What's kind of funny, now that i think about it, is that our first bible study kind of tied into all that. We've started a study on the book of Daniel; we went over the first chapter yesterday. It talks about how Daniel and his posse were taken from their families Jerusalem, cross-country to Babylon to start a three-year study program so they could be advisors to the king over there. A bunch of other people were brought over too. They were all given the finest food and wine to drink and a great education. But Daniel decided that he wasn't going to accept the food and wine; it went against his religious laws, and felt it was displeasing God. So he negotiates with the officials and pulls a deal:

"Test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water," Daniel said. "At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king's rich food. Then you can decide whether or not to let us continue eating our diet." So the attendant agreed to Daniel's suggestion and tested them for ten days.
(To demonstrate what this must have been like for Daniel, i made our group eat Vegemite on crackers!)

After ten days, they were stronger and healthier than the rest of the recruits, and God blessed them for their obedience with a lot of wisdom, so they could understand their education far better than the rest.

I really felt like that step of faith Daniel took can really apply to a lot of us today. We are constantly told that everything in moderation is a good thing. The problem is, that "everything", apparentley applies to EVERYTHING: alcohol, drugs, sex...etc. I really don't think most of us realize how even "a little" of these things can change the course of our lives, or even influence the course of others.

It's also interesting that we use that phrase to rationalize the things we do that go against our beliefs......*I'm the first guilty culprit*. I'm so glad Jesus didn't come down and say ".....but the greatest of these commandments is to enjoy everything is moderation!" I get the feeling he wanted us to love in excess, not by becoming apart of the crowd or the pressure to follow a cultural norm, but by loving God and others. And especially yourself. Somehow, i think Daniel understood that.

Well, i'm glad i got that out of my system.....haven't done that in a while. Hope everyone is having a good week! I'm missin my Kansas peeps!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

R & R & Rock Climbing!!!

Patrick belaying Dustin with Crystal looking on.....they knew what they were doing!

So...back to work this week...but last weekend was total veg out for me. I tried to figure when the last time was that i spent a day and did nothing......i got back as far as March and thought i better stop there. But this last weekend was great! I think i spent over 20 hours on Friday and Saturday in my bed, either sleeping or just doing nothing!

We had a daily devotional today before we started work which focused on the importance of having a day off each week. I thought to myself "Hmmmm, maybe having two is a little self indulgent!", but i definately justified that thought with everything that has happenned in the last month.....or two.

Kristin and John Frey

On Monday (memorial day over here), i went rock climbing with a bunch of the kids from the youth group at this indoor rock climbing center called Stone Moves. It was awesome! We were there for about 2 and a half hours.....and it rocked!! (pardon the pun). I got to hang out with the kids a little more and get to know some of the guys that worked at the place....they were all real cool, and could do some pretty amazing stuff on the walls. One of the guys was telling us how he could get to the top of a wall in four moves......after a few laughs from us, he went over to the wall.....and did it. We were all pretty impressed.

I've really found myself struggling with this idea of balancing work and rest. I'm in a position where i love my job so much, that it doesn't really feel like work, and that i'm working 12 hour days without even thinking twice about it. I guess it's because i haven't really found a social scene here in Houston yet.....or a group of guys i can go shoot hoops with or hang with. But i get the feeling that even if i had that, i'd still want to be at work, in the youth room, or just getting things done.

Me trying to tight-rope walk....i didn't get very far!

I get this image of me as a candle, with a fire burning at one end , yet knowing that there is an end to the wick. Is youth ministry just like that? You just work untill all of your energy. or your enthusiasm just comes to an end , when you're out of wax (whatever that represents)? All i know for know is that i'm loving my job, learning that i need to pace myself and living an experience that i'll remember for the rest of my life. Praise God!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Brenton "Soccer Mum" Jayatilaka

So it has begun....the craziness that is Summer. But as you might be able to has been a lot of fun so far. The car pictured above, is my vehicle for the summer - one that the church that I am at have so graciously provided me with. It has been dubbed "the Church Mini-Van" and I am it's "Soccer Mum". After i discovered that i was going to fill this position for the summer, i figured i'd "pimp" the car out with soccer mum apparell. I'll leave a list of all the stuff i put in it at the can probably see most of it from the pics.

(^^^Like the soccer mum sticker!). My other job (as a youth pastor intern!) has been just amazing. For instance, i worked 13 hours yesterday (9-10) and i didn't even realize it untill i came home! I know i'm going to have to slow it down a little otherwise i might burn out....but i'm just having so much fun. I got to meet so many of the youth on Sunday, and even participate in a Ping Pong tournament fundraiser that the youth were holding! My first match was against the senior pastor (Glenn Wilkerson), and i beat him 15-4!!! Afterward he gave me a big hug and welcomed me to the church! But he did say that he's never seen anyone that didn't care so little for his job security!!

I've been living with Patrick and Mary-Beth Kelley, who have been two of the sweetest people i've met since i've been here. They have pretty much accepted me as a part of their family since i got here. They have provided me with a room and have shown me the love of Christ everytime i've been with them (unfortunately, it hasn't been too much...tonight is the first night i've been home before 10pm in 4 days!). I have truly been blessed with this oppurtunity, and I'm so happy just to be able to be in the position to be in a job where i am paid to share God's love. I hope that all full time ministers can remember this at some point in their careers, as it really is God's grace at work.

So i know you've been anxiously waiting to read how "pimped" out my car here's the list:
- Ultra-bright windshield sun protector
- Smiley face antenna ball
- Soccer Mum sticker (all important)
- Overuse of in-car air-freshners (i have two....and yes, it smells like a flower garden)
- Chalk on the windows reading "Cy Creek Going to State!!"
- Eratic driving on the highways (just kidding!!!)

I hope all that reads is having a great summer (or winter, back home!) and please let me know how everything is going! *Leave a comment*!!!

God Bless "Ya'll"!

P.S. Check out the new Youth Blog I helped make for our youth group here in Houston:

Thursday, May 18, 2006

From Graduation to Dallas

What an incredible month it has been! It has been so busy, but so rewarding. I've had friends visit from Australia, finished up with school, GRADUATED, and had my Dad and Step Mum come and visit for a week! But so much more has happenned.....I had a beautiful reception after graduation, where my family from all over the world were able to meet...some for the first time.
I was able to take my Dad and Step Mum to Kansas City and show them the Plaza and the Blue Room; to Highland to meet the family up there and finally to Dallas to see some friends i made last summer.

Everything has gone off without a hitch, and i sit here marvelling at how blessed I have been. There have been several moments this week where I've had to stop and catch myself wondering what life would be like without all these oppurtunities and priveliges. I don't think i've had more than 5 hours of sleep a night for the last night, just because i've been doing things that i enjoy doing.....not because i have to work, or commit to an obligation...but purely because i am just enjoying life and who i am at the moment.

I really believe that this is one of God's greatest gifts He provides us: when we finally feel blessed with who we have become....even if it is for a brief moment. I've had these moments every now and then in my life.....but it really feels like i've been riding this wave of blessing for about a month. However...I am still restless. I still feel like i am grabbing and reaching for more examples of Christ's life like a kid in a candy store. I still want to share the Gospel with all that I meet....but more as an example, rather than a preacher. I find myself constantly reveiwing my actions in a positive light.....and learning more from my mistakes.

On Saturday, I will take another step in my life's journey, and travel to Houston to begin my youth pastor internship at Cypress Creek Christian Church. I will be there for three months learning and gaining experience in full-time ministry, and truly find if this is where God wants me in my life. I am so excited at the prospect of spending three months with a new group of highschoolers, getting to know them and sharing the Gospel with them. With all this going on though...i can't help but stop to think of all my friends and family i'll be leaving behind for a little while....I'm going to miss everyone so much...please keep in touch!

~God, i can't praise you enough for all that you do in my life. I don't know what i did to deserve this blessed life, but i know that Your Son has provided the Way for me. I thank you Jesus for all that you have saved me from, and pray that you would continue to bless the lost, downtrodden and impoverished. I love you Lord. Amen~

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ode to Human Ingenuity

Well done mortal men!
We have done very well!
We have captured the essence of heaven,
And conquered the depths of hell!

We have built buildings high
And discovered seas low
We have allowed man to fly
And made it a great show!

We have pondered great thought
And philosophized deep theory
Our minds can think not
Of the limit to our creativity!

Let us boast to the degree
That all of gravity can hold
Let me flick on the switch
So that all of us can see

Whoops! I forgot to change the light bulb!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Guitar Hero Night!!!! (cont.)

The saga continues......

Dukey himself thought that if he maybe wore a hat he would be as good as wrong he was....

Dukey struggled to find strength, as Greatness took off his hat.........and beat him anyway!!!

This made Dukey very sad......

And the Dunce just got confused......and started playing the guitar behind her head.....

As the game came to a close, onlookers watched in amazement, and dreamed of one day becoming a Guitar Hero Superstar, like Greatness.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Guitar Hero Night!!!!

So if you haven't ever played Guitar Hero
on PS2 gotta try's a blast. I must say, that when i've been wearing my hat....i'm undefeated....even on level medium!!! Feast your eyes boys and are some pics from the other are watching greatness unfold!!!

Dukey and the Dunce thought about playing some Guitar Hero one night.....

They thought they were pretty good.....They thought to themselves "We can beat anyone in the world!!!"

Little did they know that Greatness was staring them in the back.....and laughing.....mauahahahaha

Greatness was ready to shut them down.....and he was wearing a hat!

Dukey tried as hard as he could to battle Greatness....but he was soon put to shame

Stay tuned.....for the next installment of....."Guitar Hero Night!!!"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Youth ministry video!

So i've just added my new video to my blog! I made it for a presentation i had to do for my class about my ministry education, and it's of all the dorky stuff i've done in my last two years with ministry. If you can tell, i'm really excited about it! You've probably already heard about it....i emailed everyone in my address book! Anyway....please check it out and let me know what you think.

God has really blessed me with the oppurtunity to even participate in youth ministry, let alone study it and have the joy of leading it. I have had so much fun while doing youth ministry, and have done some pretty crazy (but safe!) things in the name of building relationships with kids and sharing God's love.

~I praise you God for all my oppurtunities. All my lessons that i've learned, and for those i've yet to learn. I thank you that you have blessed me with a passion and a vocation to minister to Your youth, and i pray that You would lead me where I need to go. Praise you Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.~

Monday, April 24, 2006

Need a break? (Revised)

A train found it's brakes had broke, and couldn't stop
Passengers were in danger of death or worse
Broken limbs, lost friends or plain fear to top
A burdened trip, brought on by this train's curse.
Gravity for sure, must be put to blame
This hill on the journey was far too steep
Inertia was pulling to harm this train
And the tracks narrowed up, so fate could reap.
Yet the driver was raring, as the route
And busy schedule required such speed
Those in his care and himself were blanked out,
For the notion to slow, he felt no need.
Will the haste to the end give us great pride,
Or will we burn out, and forget the ride?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

In a Dark Time

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly.
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind.
In a Dark Time, Theodore Roethke, lines 19-24

In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God's will.
Romans 8:26-27

Both of these lines really spoke to me today......i'm not even going through a hard time.....but what a blessing to know that He is working through good times and bad. Praise You God.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Being a College Student........

So, for the last two days, it's really felt like i've had the college student mentality....again. After one of the busiest weeks of my life, the last two days have probably been some of the slowest. It's easter break, and yeah.....i'm looking down the barrell of 7 major assignments before the end of April, and these last two days off could have come in real handy.

But the last two days i've managed to sleep in untill at least 11am, watched some tv, messed around on the computer.....pretty much doing nothing. For me, that is definately an accomplishment, but one that attaches some guilt to it. I think once you become so busy that your free time doesn't even include meal time anymore, you have this kind of nicotene affect when you aren't doing anything. "I have to be doing something"....."I have to find something to do"....."Im going to get really bored if i just sit here".

The other day, i went out to a park with a couple of buddies and we sat at this overlook of the Missouri River and watched the sun go down. There was an older couple there sitting with us, and they whispered when they talked. I think once we recognized that, we thought we may as well be quiet also. For about 10 minutes, me and my two buddies, and this older couple sat at the overlook, in complete silence, and watched the sun go down. All you could hear was the squirrels rustling the leaves nearby.

This is what i needed. Just time to be still. To stop moving. To stop thinking. To stop. I really wonder how many people take time out of their day to do that.....just stop. I think some people, (like myself, sometimes) become so busy that they do know how to stop. Its like they see a red light and drive straight through it. Have you ever had the urge to do that when no other cars are around? Gotta be somewhere?

I think these last two days have taught me a lot. I have accomplished nothing in terms of schoolwork, or churchwork, or paperwork.....but i think my spirit just took a huge breather. After taking a big breath i can really feel it too.

'Be still and know that I am God' has been a good verse this week.

A train found it's brakes had broke, and couldn't stop
Passengers were in danger of death or worse
Broken limbs, lost friends or plain fear to top
A burdened trip, brought on by this train's curse.
Gravity for sure, must be put to blame
This hill on the journey was far too steep
Inertia was pulling to harm this train
And the tracks narrowed up, so pain could reap.
Yet the driver was raring, as the route
And busy schedule required such speed
Those in his care and himself were blanked out,
For the notion to slow, he felt no need.
Will the haste to the end give us great pride,
Or will we burn out, and forget the ride?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


This poem is for you.
You know who you are.
There's no games this time.
I'm not trying to change your heart.

In fact, I'm not trying to change anything.
Or make you see a different light.
I just want you to be you.
And might to be might.

I surrender all advantage I have.
Or all power I may have attained.
Because its not a victory that I'm concerned about.
Just Love - That's all that needs to be gained.

"For I know the plans I have for you"
But, I sure don't know what they are.
I just know that you're great.
And i wish you could see that far.

This poem is for you.
But really, it's for me.
Coz I'm sick and tired of being fake.
And i want the world to see.

Monday, February 27, 2006

You already know.

Was there ever a love so great...
That nobody saw,
Nobody felt,
Nobody recognized...
Untill they needed it the most, was there all along.

This is the love i have for you.
You can have it any time.
All you have to do is.......

Monday, February 20, 2006

Week in Pictures...

So i found my adapter (read below post) this is what happenned

Mr. Spire Competition....had to dress up in some wierd outfits....i'll explain. Me and Kate "Ms. Spire" Schebaum.

"Spire Attire" - pretty much dressing up in anything Saint Mary's. I decided to dress up as an actual spire (top of a church building....also, our school mascot.....go figure)

"Formal wear - from any decade" - you may think im a pirate, but this is the actual formal wear worn by Australian convicts. That's history for ya!

"Street clothes" - clothes from the street right?? Ohh.

The HCC crew catchin up at Jana's birthday party

Jana and Lance - the birthday twins! Was awesome hangin out with you guys!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

4 hour sleep week!

Yep. It's been that kinda week. You let yourself get in the habit of thinking that 5 hours of a SLEEP-IN!!! Man....i've gotta kick this habit.

So this is another update i guess. Poetry's takin a back seat. This week has just had too much happen to it to let it here goes.

So Tuesday....i won the whole Mr. Spire deal. It was pretty funny. I won a cape and a crown and lost a lot of shame (had to paint my toenails!). I wish i could post some pictures, but i guess i've lost my adapter for my camera.......what a nails looked so good.

Wednesday. Got the call from Cypress Creek Christian Church in Houston, TX (, and they offered me a youth intern position at their church for the summer with their high school group!!!! I was really stoked. God has blessed me abundantly with that oppurtunity, and even though i've never been to their church before, and I will be missing some valuable time with my buddies here in KS, i'm looking forward to learning a whole bunch from the group in Houston! I even got to write a letter to the's an excerpt:

"During my college years, I really felt like God was pulling me towards ministry, and especially towards the youth (Hey, that’s you!). I made the decision to dedicate my life to doing His will and developing a relationship with Him……and it has been A – MAZING. I’ve taken some pretty hard falls during that time, and gone through a lot of tests (which I’d be glad to talk to you about), but I have learned that God is faithful in everything He puts us through and that He will never lead us into things that are too much for us to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Based on this, I just live my life FULL OUT for God, and hold nothing back. You’ll find out that I can be a little weird at times….a little dorky…. and a little tall? But I am passionate and serious about our God and the love He has for all of us through His son. I can’t wait to meet y’all (oh man, the lingo has caught on already!)"

Please be prayin for the youth of Cypress Creek and that my experience there will help all of us draw closer to Him.
Youth group on Wednesday was awesome too. It was a lot of fun for everyone and i got to hang out with the youth again...which is always good (Love you guys!!!)

Thursday.....crazy day. Senior night for basketball. Im gonna was pretty tough to get recognized for this year....i got really choked up about the idea of not playing college basketball again. You really do realize how much you miss things when they're gone, and with my injury, it has been difficult this year (still nursing a torn hamstring). But I've been taught so much through that experience...even through the bad times......
That night i had an 7-pager to write, and stayed up way to late trying to get it done....took a nap and got up and finished it though.

Friday.....4 classes later, i'm at Zona Rosa, and my old roomate Lance gives me a call, telling me he'll be in Leavenworth for the weekend! I was super excited, and it was really good hangin out with him. We went ghost hunting on campus when he got in (well, just toured the campus at night). I introduced him to a couple of St. Mary's buddies, and we just stayed up all hours. to 7pm...nuff said. Lance's birthday also.....we ate dinner with his volleyball team as he was at a v-ball tournament all weekend (reason he was at St. Mary's). We went to Lawrence that night and caught up with our mutual friend, Jana...who was also celebrating a birthday. It was great to see her and to meet her friends.......miss hangin out with those two. with no was awesome! the sense that i got to talk to heaps of people and meet a couple new. Our church is growing really fast, and the atmosphere is really unintrusive. It's just one big family....i love it. Got to hang out with Tara (friend from school) too.....haven't done that in a while. We talked about just about everything....she's great for that.

Well as you can probably dyin on ya....4 hour sleep week has definately caught up with me....and its time to visit Sleepytown for at least 8 hours.....Goodnight Sweet World......and God Bless!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Same blog...same guy....different skin

Hey everyone......

So as some of you might be able to tell, i've been fiddling around with my blog just recently. Kinda gave it a new face....hope you like the new additions. can use the message board as much as you like, i think it's starting to feel lonely.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback on my poetry. Yeah, its a little rusty and raw...but it helps so much in expressing how you feel. I really didn't think i could write some of the stuff i have (not that it's great to begin with), but it's workin for me and that's what i like about it. I would recommend anyone to give it a go.

Not much to update on....
  • Im in the Mr. and Ms. Spire competition tommorrow: part of our Tower Power week at St. Mary's. Ill post some photos of me making a fool of myself.
  • I have moved into a new apartment: It's much bigger and a little more homey. I know you can't see much from the picture....but i like it.
  • Still out of basketball :( my hammy has been torn for the good part of the semester, and our senior night game is on thursday...probably miss that. It's been...let me experience at St. Mary's for me with basketball. In a sense, im glad its coming to an end.
  • I've been posting a lot more?!?!? Wierd, i now.....must be due to having Tuesday's off school. I feel like i have so much reality, its not true :(

Keep in your prayers....

  • One of my good friends from Highland, KS, Cheryl Rasmussen, had to put her beloved dog Coda to sleep this week due to a nervous system disease. Cheryl is a great friend, and her house is pretty quiet without Coda.
  • One of Cheryl's good friends, Angie Eberly, just found out after taking a pregnancy test at the doctors office that she is 4 and a half months pregnant!!! It came as quite a surprise, but i hear she is pretty excited. Pray that she might be prepared for this amazing addition to her family
  • Garry Davis, a great friend of mine from the summer at camp, is about to give a talk to his Christian fraternity about homosexuality. God has really been preparing him for this event, and it seems like this may be a great ministry oppurtunity for Garry. He's a dear friend and i'd love for you to pray for him.
  • Our youth group at the Vineyard along with other churches has just embarked on "The 7 Project". An idea that is designed to tackle 6 problems facing teens with 7 solutions. Later in the year, we will go to Leavenworth HS and talk to the kids about these 6 issues and invite them to a youth rally event. It has proven to be very successful in many cities around the nation, and i really hope that God uses this event to touch a lot of the troubled youth in Leavenworth. There is a great desire to reach the youth in Leavenworth and show them a better way of life in this drug infested city. Please keep this in your prayers.
  • My family. My bro is havin a hard time readjusting to living at home since being here in the US. Its putting a lot of tension on the family. Pray for their salvation and their relationship with the Lord. I know He loves them very much.

Well that's about it.....i think i might stick with the poetry thing for a while.....but i'll update from time to time. Love all of you heaps! Let me know what's goin on in your life!

God Bless,

Brenton, Bob, BJ......whatever!

Marana Tha

Beside my schedule,
Aside from the incident,
Inside that cage
My heart is displaced.

For how hard shall I toil?
For how long shall I wait?

Will the sweat from my brow
Give salt to the soil?
My friend, my Rose,
I want you to blossom.

Ahhh...Grace wont shower till my work!
And the petals will fragrance
Before my heart is found.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

For you.

That hole inside your body
That's filled up with unknowing
Is a glimpse in time away
From becoming what you want.

I wish i could give it to you
But words cannot express
The pain, the embaressment, the anger
That i want to undress.

I wish it could feel what I've felt
That emptiness and strife
From the ugliness of past
Turned darkness into light.

What more could i ask for?
I ask just one more tear
For the love, forgiveness and compassion
I want you to hear.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

All about me.

I am transparent.
You can see right through me.
You can see how I act, or how i might.
How might I?

Do you know me?
Are you sure?
Can you tell me what i'll do before
I do it?

Of course you can!
Im as predictable as 1 + 1
It's no just have to do the math.
It's all what you figure.

Just take the time and look.
That's all i ask.
That you ask.
And you'll know
All about me.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Kid has gone home.....:(

So, my bro, Jake has come to the US, conquered it, and decided to return to the mother country. Good on ya kid...ya did Australia proud.

It was really good to spend time with my little bro. For those of you that don't know, i rarely get to spend time with my family since being here in the US has kept me away for 5 years. Having Jake around has not only allowed me to reconnect with the fam, but also to get to know Jake a lot better. There were so many things that i didn't know, or had forgotten about him and it was refreshing to have him around to hang out with.

It was also a blessing to introduce him to so many of my friends that have been apart of my family. Everyone warmed up to him so much and took him in just like they did me which really makes me want to thank everyone. To the Gilberts, Luke, the Vineyard and the Youth Group, Ryan H, Kate and the James family, Jana and the Collins Family Lance, Kate S, Candi, Kara, Kristen, Kelly, Rachael and Rachael, Cheryl, Sam and the Williams family, Mo,the nuns at the mother house and anyone else that got to spend time with him....thanks so much for taking him in. You're all family to the both of us.

It's funny that me and Jake never used to get along...(and we still don't at times), but after his stay here i've really grown to love him and value every minute i've got to spend with him. We still get on each other's nerves all the time, but i've really began to appreciate the brother he is to me. We are both very different, yet oddly similar. And its funny that in both the similarities and differences i've really grown to appreciate him.

We got to spend about a month with each other and do a lot of things like going to Dallas, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, golfing, bowling, partying, catching some live music and a lot of chilling. We got to share a lot and talk about many things. But now that his trip is all said and done, im really happy that we got to build a relationship (whatever it is), and not slip into being at each others throats (which i feared might happen!). I just hope he had as good a time as i did hangin with him. I love ya bro.........good luck with your school year.

I know its been a long time since i've posted, but i think its because Jake's been here and i haven't had a lot of time to just sit down and think about what all i've done. I think my blog entries are going to look a little different from now on. I might just start writing out what im thinking, or try my hand at poetry or something. Everyone else seems to have a go at it......i might as well see how it fits on me. I hope to update a little more frequently too......and leave more comments (i know, i've been real a student, can ya blame me?)

~God, I praise you for the time i've got to spend with my brother. You have done an incredible work in our relationship, and I pray that it continues to grow and flourish in the love you have provided us. I continue to pray for him, that you may keep him safe and searching.....for whatever it is he is looking for in his life. Oh.....and help me to update more.....i really do miss it.hehehe thanks. Amen~

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Conversations Part 1


I don't know what has brought me to this point, to talk directly to You, in this public forum, but i hope that You know it is from me to you. I guess it's just because i crave to spend more time with you, but my rational or logical or emotional being doesn't persuade me enough too.

Maybe that's what i want to talk about. I wish i could listen more to my spiritual being sometimes. I realize that a lot of what i do, at this point in my life, is based upon how i feel at the time. Thanks to You, Your Spirit is keeping me out of trouble. But I bet you're fighting pretty hard for that.

I think it's come time for me to move past that emotional/logical/rational phase of my life and lean more to the spiritual. Not saying that all those other things aren't important. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I need more time in prayer.....more time asking you for advice.....more times like this, where we can

I'd ask that you would help me with that. You have been so merciful to me throughout my whole life, and only You know where i would be without Your influence. That sounds like a scarey place. You know.....i think i focus on that too much. It sounds wierd, but i really do spend a lot of time thinking about the things i do and whether you're in them or not. Whether I am seeking you or not. But now that i look back, i can't imagine a time in my brief years as a Christian that i have consciously not wanted you around. Sure, my sin shows by my action that i deny you many times......but you've got that covered.......Christ, that's you........and i am eternally thankful.

Lord, thankyou for letting me be me. Although you know i am still trying to find out who "me" is, you have allowed me to stumble and trip and fall; but have always been there to pick me up and say "I've been here all along". Thankyou. Thankyou beyond all that i am able to say. Thankyou.

Although i dont always recognize You, know that my heart longs after You......always. May that never change. I love you Lord.