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