Saturday, June 18, 2011

"that smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

"that smell" just came on by lynyrd skynyrd and i really like this song so that's what this post is titled.

lately i've been learning that being a christian is very simple. God loves me no matter what, and out of faithful obedience He will guide me in everything. Now, there could be a whole range of emotions that happen, but if i'm faithfully being obedient, I will end up where God wants me. I think that even in the hard times, there is so much rest in embracing the Redeemers unfailing love.

I've been learning how simple being a christian is because I have been making it not simple, and i've grown weary. Our minds are such bastards sometimes, well mine is. I overthink everything and when that spills into my relationship with God it's a bummer because I start to believe in lies and all this muck is created. I also think it has to do a lot with child like faith too. Lately i've been really meditating on what that means.

Also, I've been seeing the importance of intergrity. I know this is darrins main focus kinda and ive been seeing the importance lately. That integrity is the root of my walk with the Lord. It is directly related with obedience. Jesus is constantly by my side, so the way I act at all times determines my integrity. Integrity is unique in the sense that the only person who knows your true integrity is God. It's not something that can be easily flaunted and shown off, but rather it has a lot to do with your concious and direct relationship with Jesus. I like that. There is freedom in being able to say, "Okay this, this, and this are not going very well in my life; but I'm walking in integrity with the Lord so it's all good."

Also, a verse I really like. Psalm 16:8 "I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." mmmmmm :)

i know this was a machine gun fire post but that's whats been going on latelyyy. well one of the things! <3

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is what I want for my life.

As I sit at work listening to music and contemplating Him, I reach this moment of utter awe and electricity  jumps from my heart; chills run to my neck, down my neck to my shoulders, down my shoulders to my arms; and im warmer than I was a second ago. It felt like time stopped. The Holy Spirit surrounds me, He raises a cup as a toast with the Father and the Son and then dumps the cup, full of agape, all over my head. A subtle reminder that whispers, "There is nothing you can do to make me love you less."

The feeling came through watching a lifehouse video, one which films a skit acted out live as lifehouse plays everything in the background. The skit depicts Jesus as rescuer, healer, redeemer, cherisher; but the strongest message I pulled from it was His intense, unfailing, personal love for each and every one of His children.

This moment came out of nowhere and was so refreshing to me. I've been doing awesome lately in my relationship with Him. But yesterday was chalk full of spiritual warfare and I began to believe in lies. The same lies I always believe in. My patience decreased and my frustration increased, my love decreased and my judging increased, my censorship decreased and my vulgarity increased, etc. On the outside I probably appeared fine, but on the inside I was anxious, afraid, and felt weak. This was the first day in a while that I wasn't walking in the Spirit, and i found the fruit of the Spirit being forced and faked rather than flowing from my heart.

this is all in response to the most incredible day ever on friday. we went to the beach to preach the Gospel. I preached to this group of about 20 high school seniors; 6 of them accepted Christ and were baptized right on the spot, tears were flowing from all of their eyes. This was confirmation for my gift of evangelism, for sure. But I let the enemy creep in that night and the next day, i let him whisper in my ear and instead of rebuking him and holding to what i know to be true, i listened and dwelled on this questions from the enemy.

Are you really a good enough Christian to start preaching all the time? Zach, that will be quite a burden no? What about all of your sins, you know, the ones you always struggle with... Just be comfortable. Relax. Slow down, youre burning yourself out by being so ambitious.

And as a result I lost my peace by warring in my head these questions.

But then today while watching the lifehouse video i was reminded of His love, and how He fought for me, and continues to fight for me, and how He died so that I could live. I was reminded that the only reason I'm here on this earth is to give glory to His name, and that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few... and that I am called to be a laborer, to make disciples, to preach the Gospel. "Beautiful are the feet of those who bring the Good News." and "Woe is me if I dont preach the Gospel." I'm reminded of the power and the strength that I have through the Holy Spirit, and that Jesus says if I want to find my life I will lose it, but if I lose my life for Him, then I will find it. I really feel like I'm taking another step deeper in alying down my life, and i think Satan is pissed off and afraid. In this new season of digging deeper into the lifestyle of a disciple, I'm finding it essential and absolutely VITAL to be consistent in my seeking; to daily step out of the world and just be alone with Jesus, to purify my mind and keep it clean from the crap on TV that takes my mind off of my calling, to invest all of my time advancing the Kingdom in my life, increasing my love for Him and increasing my love for others. I really am focusing on being not of this world. I feel strongly that so many christians these days have lost their zeal or their passion because it's slowly become okay for a believer to fit in with the world and to watch the same things, listen to the same music, have the same desires and struggle with the same things.... It's one of the enemies favorite tactics.

Francis Chan has a sermon where he says, "Church used to just happen because believers were so exhausted from living out the great commission that they simply had to meet to bandage each other up and exhort one another, only so that they could back out and share the Gospel."

That's how I want to live my life. I know i have a lot of growth and a lot of progress to make. But, By God, I am not going to let the lies of the enemy make me settle. I will settle and rest in His unfailing love and as a result I will preach the Gospel. He deserves nothing less. He is the King. The Almight God. The Creator. Everything was created through Him and for Him. I can't hold back for Him in order to recieve comfort here on this earth. I can't settle for less than everything I have. Through His power and His strength all things are possible.

Lord Jesus, I ask you for strength. Strength to never give up, to never be comfortable, to never be selfish in my walk with you and to never prevent sharing your love because i dont feel like it. Lord I need more of your love to fuel me. To push me forth into an evermore radical lifestyle. Jesus, please continue to show me the areas where you have set me free from this broken world, but I still choose to dabble in bondage. I want so desperately to go all in for you Jesus. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, increase your Spirit in me Jesus. Continue to teach me and show me what it looks like to die to myself on a daily basis. Refine me, Lord. I want to suffer for the Gospel, and rejoice in doing so. Thank you for your unfailing love Jesus, I can't wait to see you. Amen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Ortberg, page 55, Par. 2)

"A disciplined follower of Jesus--a "disciple"--is not someone who has " mastered the disciplines" and never misses a daily regimen of spiritual exercises. A disciplined follower of Jesus is someone who discerns when laughter, gentleness, silence, healing words, or prophetic indignation is called for, and offers it promptly, effectively, and lovingly."

i really like this book. a lot. it's answer to prayer in a lot of different ways. its cool how God uses books to speak to us, how humble is that! its rad.

im only on page 55 but i love what ive read so far and im excited to finish the book.

relating to the quote above, this is revolutionary to me and now, looking back, it's so obvious this is what discipline is. i always thought of discipline as like rigid and unenjoyable and boot-campish. i thought of discipline as cleaning my room on thursday every week from 8-9am. and reading my bible everyday from 5:15- 6:25am and then eating cereal from 6:26- 6:32 (by the way i tried a new cereal this week, the eggo waffle and yeah i thought of discipline as that. and then as far as spiritual things go, if i felt i needed discipline in listening.... i would try my hardest never to talk. and if i wanted to work on hearing words from the Spirit, i would forcefully and very frustratingly try and play psychic with everyone i saw (embarrassing i know) and if i needed to focus on being light hearted i would find myself stressed cause i wasnt light-hearted ALL THE TIME. it's a great revelation and perspective that discipline is learning how to be discerning when to act and behave a certain way. and that way is centered around what others need at that particular moment of time.

i also loved the concept of "training and not trying." im not just going to go "try" and surf a 100ft wave. now most likely i would be a natural and get a massive barrell and be fine, but if i did fall.... i would surely drown. the way to become a big wave surfer is not to just TRY, but to traiiiiiiiin. to swim and practice holding your breath and all that stuff. same with following Jesus. gooooood stuff. love you all. so pumped for the retreat. im at work i gotta go clean the coffee maker now! until next time

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matt. 3:11

 the exact cries of my heart. it's all i want. it's all i need. it's my only prayer.

All Consuming Fire
you're my hearts desire
Living Flame of Love
come baptize me
come baptize me

Let me, fall more, in Love with You

i want to know how high, how deep, how wide
Love Love Love


Friday, May 6, 2011

White Castle Employee of the Month 1971

i don't do my laundry very often. i wear all of my clothes until they are all dirty and the search for a cute outfit in the morning reaches about 10 minutes. Then i do all my laundry and start over. so last week, after i ran out of clothing, i was looking through my dads closet when i found a t-shirt that said "White Castle Employee of the Month 1971." I couldnt believe the treasure that hung before me. it was as if i saw a new color. i was in awe, i was confused, i was well pleased, and i was shocked all at the same time. but then i realized that although extremely random shirts are in style right now, White Castle Employee of the Month 1971 is crossing the line. i couldn't pull it :/ but i'll probably wear it to circles just for kicks and giggles. this has nothing to do with my walk with God right now. i apologize if you were pre-emptively(?) trying to uncover some hidden metaphor ;).

the Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith. Hebrews 11 is often called the "faith hall of fame" and it talks about the best examples of faith from men and women in the old testament. how they did great things because of their faith in God and His Word and His promises... faith is such a huge part of our... faith.

  • we walk by faith, not by sight.
  • we're saved by faith.
  • we're justified by faith.
  • we are instructed to keep our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfector of faith.
  • "I have been crucified by Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me; and the life which i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."
  • "and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him."
when i recommitted my life to Christ my junior year of high school, it took a lot of faith because i was terrified of telling all my old friends i wouldn't be partying with them anymore, or even seeing them very much; but i knew it had to be done in order to follow Jesus. it's a scary thing sometimes, acting on pure faith. but that's exactly what is most pleasing to God. i feel like throughout the Christian life it's a series of cliff jumps. God is speaking; softly, gently, powerfully; "Jump." And I am standing over the edge looking down at the jagged rocks of doubt and all sorts of possible outcomes saying, "Lord.... look at those rocks!"


and then when I do jump it's still scary while  in the air but He always catches me and teaches me and blesses me and He is glorified.

i'm falling more and more with love with Jesus, but a lot of times i lack faith, i lack trust; in His plan for me, in His characteristics, in everyday life. i find myself having faith in the good times, but then leaning on my own understanding in the bad times.... still, much too often; i try to understand every little thing... it's not very hard for the enemy to throw me the perfect lie and it just cruises right through my faith and causes me to overanalyze. im over it.

Jesus, LORD, abba! pleeease give me more faith. i need it. i want it. i want to sprint and gainer off of the cliffs of life knowing your LOVINGKINDNESS always, always, always prevails; even when it completely doesnt look like it. Amen.

PS i love you guys. circles continues to rock my world week in and week out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the red wire!!!??? or the blue one!!!???

So i've been wrestling with this big decision coming up. Vanguard or football. Vanguard means bible classes, solid solid fellowship, and full time ministry. Football means football, and trying to lead people to Jesus on my team. I have been hyper analyzing and super stressing and praying praying praying and wrestling with this in my head for the last 3 weeks, which is definitely a solid reason why I haven't blogged. idk how those are connected, but the stress and lack of decision made me feel like i had nothing to blog about even though i should have definitely blogged about this long ago. Anyways, i have FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY come to peace!!!! and it's definitely the result of my prayers and the wise counsel of certain peeps i sought out.

I felt extremely guilty about leaving the football team. i felt like i would be condemning them by leaving them and pursuing Vanguard, and it was killing me because even though at one point i had decided i was staying and playing football, i didn't have peace, i still had this killer urge not to just give up on Vanguard. 

I want to go to Vanguard. And so I was struggling in my head with, "Since this is what i want, it must not be God's will, and I need to die to myself." But i was confused because at the bottom of my heart i want to go to Vanguard to glorify God in the fact that I think He is calling me to full time ministry. But then there was fear with being in ministry and having student loans and blahblahblah....

so i struggled and wrestled and stressed and prayed over these two decisions, literally, literally, like my life was on the line. I felt like I was snipping one of two wires which was tied to a spiritual nuke that could literally just obliterate God's plan for my life. RED OR BLUE, RED OR BLUE!!!!????

and then i realized it's not like that.... haha. i started to dwell in the fact that perhaps the Lord has given me two great options and is letting me choose, and that i shouldn't feel guilty about doing what my heart pleases because perhaps the Lord has conformed my will with His will in this one. i haven't exactly made up my mind in this but i'm leaning towards Vanguard. God has opened this door and i want to go through it, for Him. i think the enemy was really guilt tripping me about leaving the team, as if salvation for others was up to me.... I realized that i was over estimating my importance in the Kingdom, and that God is gunna do what God is gunna do whether I'm there or not. and besides, I still have about a month left to pour into some guys! but what's cool is that the Lord could say no to Vanguard at the last second and I would be totally cool with that. bummed out a little, but i would still have peace knowing that God is God and as long as i keep serving Him everything is going to work out. tomorrow i have a meeting with the vanguard counselor where we will go over financial info and so my decision should be made by the end of the week. it feels so good to have the pressure off of me, like the rest of my Spiritual journey with God isn't riding on this one single decision :) God is good.

PS i memorized pslam 23 recently. it's been really awesome reciting it all the time. i HIGHLY suggest doing it for anone who needs a spiritual boost. I SURE DID :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I recently read the Circles blog with the story of the alcoholic and how he needed some extremely tough lovin' to get him to realize his problem. I looked at that story as one big REBUKE! It's funny because last night I totally got rebuked by one of my closests friends, although she did it in an extremely gentle, soft-spoken, and loving way; it still felt like an emotional sock in the face haha.

I have a big mouth, and I like to talk. A lot. For some reason when I feel like Zach Hoffman has something to say that it's the most wise, most amazing revolutionary thought that anyone has ever had and it would just be a crying shame if everyone in the room didn't get to hear it. (it's terrible, I know.) I've gotten much better at this, but it still creeps up sometimes and I don't even recognize it! and another thing, it's especially bad when it comes to biblical topics. (yes, i am THAT guy :/ sometimes.) So last night we were at a friends talking about stuff and we were just talking and I had some AMAZING points which I made sure were heard and everything was great, until...

I got into the car with my friend whom I was driving home and then I totally got REBUKED! She kindly pointed out to me that I was talking out of turn, talking over people, not being patient, and yeah she was completely right and I didn't even realize it. It was pointed out that my behavior was not Christ like at all and that I made myself look like a person I'm not. I had to literally fight to hold down the urge to blurt out my justifications but I just took it and yeah.

Rebuking is a good thing. It's important because a lot of times I don't realize when I'm doing stuff that isnt representing Jesus and when someone is loving enough to point that out to me, it allows me to get a perspective of myself from the outside. That, in turn, allows me to grow closer to Jesus, which is my life goal. It's nice to have friends who I know love me enough to hurt my feelings in an effort to help me grow closer to the Lord :) but I dont think it's good to get overly excited about REBUKING and then become the REBUKE king. then the rebuking loses its purpose and often has the opposite effect. that's not what I'm talking about, you guys know what I mean :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

lying down in green pastures

oh man, i've really been slackin in circles and first of all, I just want to apologize for not upholding to committment i said i would uphold. I'm getting back on track! These last few weeks have been insane because of midterms. Between football, school, work, and circles I just havent had enough time in the day for anythign else and I often had to sacrafice time from one of those four places and it just happened to be circles :/. The consistent 4 hr sleep nights have killed me and had its toll on my physical health. I haven't had the chance to finish here and now yet, but i will! and then my here and now post will come! :)

SOOOO, since i haven't posted in like 22 days.... (eeeeh that looks bad when i write it haha) i'll do sort of a quick summary of whats been clear through the chaos. I feel the Lord calling me to some type of full time ministry, I feel like full time missions work/ evangelism is the specific nudge I feel from the Spirit. The missions part is going to take much prayer and discernment because I'm not about to just move to the jungle without receiving confirmation i've been called haha, that would not be good.... the second of these two, evangelism, is something i have definitely been slacking on. I used to do it a lot at the spectrum or the block or the movies with some friends but in the past 4-5 months I havent gone at all. I dont know if evangelism is a gift but when i'm talking to a stranger about Jesus, the Spirit gives me things to say that i've never even thought of before so maybe? But anyways, I need to start hittin the streets once again.

Through this whirlwind i've been able to have peace because Jesus has been kept in view and the big picture always in focus. Yes, there were periods of dread while doing 5 hour blocks of homework, and moments of anxiety and stress, but those brief moments seemed to be easily whiped away when I took a step back and kept my eyes on Jesus and His love for me. I know that sounds really basic and almost cliche but hey, it's all about Gods love :) psalm 23 became my anthem. Through the busyness, sickness and stress i found myself still joyful during class, and during football, and having meaningful conversations and I just smile inside because that's ALL the HolySpirit..... so now I have spring break and i'm just super stoked to get down and dirty in the Word and go hiking and go surfing and play basketball and get SLEEEEEEP and play raquetball and run and lift and READ LOTS AND LOTS OF BLOGS :) so yeah I've been M.I.A, but things have been going splendid. see you all tonight :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

ask, know, grow.

God's been watering me and it feels really good to feel growth and breakthrough. It's really kinda out of nowhere and through various, random ways He's been shedding light and truth in my life. Whether it be great church services, Circles discussions, Here and Now, the Word of Life, or just encouraging conversations; I've been seeing more of Him lately and gaining wisdom. Which is so sick cause i've been totally asking for wisdom. so there's two main things that i would say God has been revealing to me through the wisdom He has given: prayer & perserverance/endurance.

My prayer life has increased dastically and as a result, so has the peace (that's weird kind of exactly like Phillipians 4:6-7...hmm). Here and Now got me thinking about prayer. he wrote about how prayer keeps our eternal sight clear and when our eternal sight or our vision of Christ gets blurry, prayer makes it clear again. i've been applying this and have been experiencing what it's like to continually be in the mindset of prayer all day. I have invited God into my thought life and have been listening for Him more. It's really helped. Like a ton. I'm able to recognize spiritual attacks more easily, and sift lies from truth, and find joy in all things. most important of all i've been super content. prayer is a beautiful thing.

The second thing, perserverance/endurance comes from 2 Peter 1:1-11:

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

this passage is so boss!!!!!!

it spoke directly to me. His power has made it possible for us to be sanctified, in order that we would ESCAPE the corruption of this world. Then i love the snowball type deal he does in verses 5,6, and 7. Right now i'm right in the middle of the self-control/perserverance stage. i'm learning how to recognize desires of the flesh, ones that will give birth to sin, and appealing to the Spirit in me rather than dabbling with the desire. and then how to perservere with the mindset on a daily basis. it was really encouraging talking to my uncle (probably the most Christ-like person i know) about perserverence. He was telling me how now that spiritual battle will be going on the rest of my life, and how every single day he faces it. The enemy will do whatever he can to rob our joy. That's why its so important to "forget the past and press on towards the goal which Christ has called us to heaven for." It was awesome to see his daily perserverence and the results of it: lots and lots of fruit.

i think the key is one day at a time, one moment at a time, one battle at a time. and also, consistantly clinging to Jesus through prayer and the Word.

so that's whats up in my life right neow. thanks for listening :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

waiting + lies.

This post was inspired by the truth spoken to me through Corinnes post, so first off, thank you Corinne. And Brandons comment.

I'm pretty insecure. Yes, post-Christ He has helped me discover my true identity, but sometimes I still struggle and have moments of vulnerability. I find that when the enemy sees me with my guard down, or any opportunity to dabble salt in my insecurites wound, then he takes the chance. It's tough because I don't recognize it's an attack until I feel like crap and find myself dwelling on the lies as if they were true. I think for me, my insecurities and my tendency to compare myself to others creates a perfect storm of self-pity. Self-pity is the worst because it creates all these emotions in me that are completely void of any real support, the only support i have for feeling down are the lies that I contemplate as truth. 

That being said, I got straight attacked last night at Circles. I was having one of those weird days where I just felt off. Partly because I was sick and couldn't think straight and i dont know the other part, i was just off. Wait, you guys need a little more background if this is going to make sense: I have no idea what I'm going to do with my life, absolutely no idea. I've had dreams of being everything from a firefighter to a full-time missionary to a biochemist to a doctor. But nothing has really stuck. On top of that, I don't really know what any of my passions are, what my calling is. So right now I'm just waiting on the Lord and I KNOW He has something planned, I just have no idea what, yet. So I rolled into Circles with this on the back of my mind and then the lies began!

"You're not like any of these people. you're different. they're all artsy and creative and you suck at art and couldn't create a thing. they all have deep passions that God gave them but God didn't give you any passions. They all are serving the Lord with their God given passions. What are your passions? Where are your passions? WHERE ARE YOUR PASSIONS?"

And i dwelled in this for the whole night! But it was cool because this morning I woke up and embraced the freshness of sunshine and the reality of a new day. The new sunshine evaporated the cloudiness of the lies and i was able to see clrealy they were lies and I was able to recognize the reality of Gods love. I prayed and told the Lord i trust Him. I know He has a plan for me. Give me clarity God. Peace in waiting. and then I read Corinnes blog with brandons comment and its just super encouraging when the issue being brought about on a blog is exactly the same thing you're going through. Being renewed is a great thing :)

Jeremiah 29:11 ""For I know the plans I have for you," Declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a mans' heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


so this week ive been really focusing on being present when i'm with people and caring, like really caring about everyone. i've been trying to be real with people and get to their hearts instead of just having meaningless bs conversations. and already ive had 17 different heart to hearts with all these different people ive never even met before!!!! just kidding. nothings been that different besides the fact that its refreshing truly caring about people. now, im not really good at it yet but i've been focusing on what distracts me from the present and just being more sensitive to the Spirits leading. it's a good thing and im gunna keep workin on it. so in reality, 2 conversations come to my mind. One with the janitor from my work which was half spaglish but we talked about his kids and this kid he kinda adopted cause the kids dad got deported. i feel like this was a big step in our relationship. and also, with my old homie from football, who is now on my team at saddleback, he really opened up to me about some pain in his life and how he's interested in God. I gave him the Love Letter and he said he would start reading it. This was especially special because if there was one person who i thought i was LEAST likely to have a meaningful conversation with, it was him. only God! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

the birds are composing

thursday was the first day that i started to get some joy back :) God is so good. so that night i went to crave and the message was all about sex. 'really?' i thought to myself. 'really God?' So i sat there and i tried to see what God was trying to say to me. I couldnt really find it. the message was about how detrimental casual sex is to our generation and the statistics to back it up. i felt embarrassed and bummed out to be there. but then one of the band members gave his testimony about how he had gone through something similar in the past and that was super encouraging! and then, during the post message worship, God revealed so much love to me and so much comfort it was unbelievable. one of the songs said, "i look out the window, the birds are composing..." i really liked  that. anyways, i had one of the most intimate prayer times in my life. i felt like it was just me and Jesus sitting down at a table talking and He was just there and i knew that He loves me and everything was okay..... i walked out of that super ironic message feeling so much joy. only God could work in that way...

so then early Friday morning i went surfing and it was just beautiful. The waves were epic (SO epic) and i was so stoked to be paddling out at sunrise, my favorite thing to do. the sky was all those different colors inbetween other colors, like pinkish orangeish yellow, purplish pink blue; you know, the kinds that only come from sunrise and sunset. so i catch my first wave, about a 5ft right. dropped in, lip comes over me and everything goes slow motion, ahhh amen. and then im paddling out and i look up and the birds are literally composing!!! like flying around in one of those bird spiral things, and then to my right there's a flying V of birds, and there were just birds everywhere! my buddy nolan who was at the service the previous night was in the water and i screamed at him. "DUDE! THE BIRDS ARE COMPOSING!!!" and all the local guys just gave me that look that said, "what a freaking kook." hahaha. Friday was a good day.

But today is saturday and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone in person! booyah

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

not what i had planned.

i remember writing on my circles application that i was going to be completely honest with anything i was going through, and that the thing i could contribute to circles was an open and real heart. well, God is definitely testing me to see if i will keep my word, so, here it goes:

I certainly did not expect to start off circles with getting run over by multiple semi-trucks driven by my old demons: Alcohol, weed, and sex. My fingers tremble as i write this and if i was talking my voice would be shaking because looking at those three words magnifies my shame. This all happened on Saturday night after a stressful situation with my parents at my cousins wedding. I fell to the temptation of "just one beer" and fell into a pit of sin from there.

I'm in so much pain right now you guys :/. The shame grinds in me like a blender every waking moment. I never imagined i would ever fall again after completely dedicating my life to the Lord almost 2 1/2 years ago. But i did. I've never understood God's mercy, and grace, and love, like i do right now. After all, He's literally the ONLY thing i have to hang on to. The only reason I can get through my day is because when i cry out to them i know He is listening and He cares.

Through this humbled state, to put some imagery to it i feel like im skinned and on my knees. But through this humbled state the Lord has shed a lot of light on why i was so weak and fell to this. A piece of me had been pretending. I cared more about what others thought about me, especially "more mature" Christians, than i did about what God thought. I was seeking approval from others and trying to please their expectations that only existed in my head. This created in me an "im all good" front which i never let down. In addition, i recognize that i was living outside of God's grace. I was trying to earn my joy through service and deeds rather than just resting in Christ's grace and responding out of a thankful heart. I believed in the lie that i could earn God's approval with abstinance from lust, evangelism, and reading my bible. Satan had derailed me a tiny bit and the further along i went the further away from the enitre point of our faith i was gettting: GRACE!!!! it's all about grace. i was trying to deserve the undeservable gift. and all this was flying right under my radar the entire time. this self-righteous effort caused me to grow weary, and at my weakest the perfect storm of tempation knocked me out of the boat and into the sea.

Now, im lying in the boat trying to catch my breath, resting in God's grace, but still in a lot of pain from the memories. I know that good is going to come from this, somehow. But right now the refining is a painful process. I feel like from now on my relationship with Christ is going to be more real than ever, and never again will i try to earn grace, or fall for those lies. But instead do everything out of thankfullness for his mercy and love and grace. No more caring about what everyone around me thinks, or how "mature" i think i am. Just grace. Just me, and God, and his love, flowing through me and being expressed to others PERIOD

i hope some of you can learn from my mistakes and if anyone is going through any of the things i was struggling with, i hope my example helps. so there it is. I can't get more honest than that. all there is to do now is stay on my knees, forever, and keep holding onto Gods hand as He gives me the strength to put one foot after the other. I can only hope that this will make my faith stronger than ever. i have a feeling it will. i just wish it didn't have to happen this way. it feels good to get it out into the open and off my chest, so that i can roll into my first meeting of circles with nothing to hide, only room to grow.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Live for the moment

I check surfline and the waves are good. Really good. Suddenly, the anxiety blender gets turned on inside my stomach and my expectations start to fire. My irratibility level soars because all I want to do is get in the water. I grab my board, my suit and a towel and put the pedal to the floor, feeling like a little child going to Disneyland for the first time. The red lights kill me. Just kill me. But finally I get to creek. I score a spot at the library so I don't have to pay for parking. I put on my suit and start jogging. I tell myself I'm jogging like a fool because it will help me to get warmed up so I can stretch and prevent injury, but deep down it's cause I'm all giddy inside and just purely stoked to see how good the waves are. The anxiety builds as I get closer and closer to the first sight of the waves..... And then I see them: lines. Line after line after line rolls in. The waves are pumping, and the winds are offshore.

My anxiety explodes into joy. If it was a cartoon I imagine my body would be glowing in alternating colors as bright stars shot out of me from every angle. In that one moment, I have completely forgotten everything about my past. All I can think to do is praise God and day dream my rides as I run down the hill.

It dawned on me that there will be a moment, where I will get the first sight of my Savior. Except I have no idea what this will be like except I know it will be infinitely more amazing than any feeling I've ever had on earth. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 2:9-

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him"

That feeling of seeing Jesus and being in His presence is going to be so epic!!!! I look at the phrase "Live for the moment" in an entirely new light. No, i'm not living for this moment right now, nor any moment while I'm here on earth. I'm living for THAT moment. The one where I see Jesus and I'm home, where I was created to be. That's the moment I'm living for.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

just another sinner saved by grace.

The title says it all, really! I'm just trying to grow closer to the Savior who gave me life, so that's why I'm in circles. I wanna say thanks to Darrin for this opportunity I think we are all going to have a lot of fun and see a lot of growth in our walks.

Ive been committed to Jesus for about 2 1/2 years now. My story is basically a raised Christian who strayed and after coming to the end of myself, through partying and the like, surrendered to the Lord.

Anyways, I go to Saddleback college where I play football. Not really sure what I'm going to major in. Right now I'm leaning towards the ambiguity of a business degree but who knows where the Spirit will lead! Not gunna trip about it. I love to surf but i definitely dont get out as much as i would like to. If there is one thing that causes me to praise and glorify and adore and cherish God the most, it's sitting in the water while the sun is rising. It's my favorite. Actually wait no it's my second favorite. My favorite is when people I love come to know Jesus. Back to the sunrise; It reminds me of how God is so faithful. Just as the sun rises each morning and brings a new day,  so God is constantly renewing and refreshing us. He is the ultimate breath mint for our souls.

I don't really know what else to say so I guess this blog is over? Ive never done this before. Peace