Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What is your legacy?

What legacy are you leaving behind?

As 2009 closes in, introspection is reigning in many people thoughts. For me this year has been a year of shaking, a control shaking by God nevertheless. The shaking in my life began in the Fall of 2008 and continues until today. Most of 2008 I lived in uncertainty, but through this whole time it has been a time of learning.

My lessons learned for 2008 and still learning

  • Trust more in God and rely on Him fully

  • Completely immense myself in my Relationship with God

  • Humility in every aspect of my life

One thing that kept me going throughout the year were my friends from Texas State. My old university. Every chance I would get I would visit with them because it reminded me of the sacrifices I made throughout those years and the legacy that was left behind. University was four years of uncertainty of not knowing if the work that I did with Every Nation Campus Ministry would take root and have a lasting effect. Now I go back and I see a thriving campus ministry that is student driven under the leadership of a great campus minister, Peter Dusan. Those reminders continue to drive me closer to my passion of be a full-time minister on the ground in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Galveston Island Post Hurricane Ike

After having lunch with my dad today, I decided to driving into Galveston Island, this is the Island they closed and would not let people back on it for a over a week after the storm. I hadn't been to the island after Hurricane Ike made landfall back in Sept. I really didn't know what to expect.

As I neared the Causeway, the frequency of blue tarp roofs grow until sides of whole homes where gone. I crossed over the Causeway and what I saw was in some ways better than I expected but then a lot worse. I sometimes forget that just three months ago hurricane Ike unleashed it fury on southeast Texas because the recovery effort is mostly done in Houston. However, the coastal area is another story.

Crossing over the Causeway, the first thing I set my eyes on was a marine that was completely destroyed. I exited the freeway and made my way down 61st. I looked to my right and boats were sitting on land, leaning against homes and businesses. I immediately looked to my right across the small lake to see if my uncle and aunt's old home was still there. Many memories of spending the nights playing hide n' seek in the dark and bead wars with my cousins took place in that home. I was able to spot it but a large portion of the wall was missing. You could literally see through many of the neighboring homes because the tidal surge ripped apart the walls.

I came to the Seawall and turned right to make my way to my uncle and aunt's pier. However, as I made my turn, I noticed the 61st Street Pier was gone. Nothing was left of it, but then I say my uncle and aunt's pier, Galveston Fishing Pier. They had sold it earlier this year to retire. Their had weather many other hurricanes, including those that were more powerful than Ike, but the pier didn't fair well during the storm. The pictures I posted are of what is left of the Pier.

Years of perfecting the art of building sand castles and playing on the beach where my next thought and I quickly got back in my car to go to our childhood beach hangout. I drove toward the West End, the only part of the Island that isn't protected by the Seawall. The closer I got the worse the destruction was and most of everything was unrecognizable. I was trying to remember where to turn but street signs were gone and the homes that I remembered where no longer there. After bypasses my turn and coming back to the beach my cousins and I spent almost every summer at during our childhood, I couldn't believe it. The area was mostly gone. There used to be 8 rows of beach homes but only 3 rows stood. Those that survived the storm only a handful were livable and the row closest to the beach and most of the second row stood in the water... and it was low tide. I couldn't believe it. 50 yards of beach, another 50 yards of dunes, and 5 rows of homes were gone! Hurricane Ike had removed them and reformed the beach.

The destructive ability of Ike was amazing. Frightening, I have not seen the worst hit places yet. Towns just 30 miles east of Galveston no longer exist. They were literally reduced to piles of rumble. My heart and prays goes out to the people affect by Ike.

If you would like do something to help with the recover effort in Southeast Texas, I encourage you to look at this organization, They are an amazing faith based relief organization that was on seen within 12 hours of Ike making landfall and are still assisting the residents.

Snow in Houston!!!

Today as I drove around Houston, going from meeting to meeting, I continuously heard reports of snow. I couldn't believe it and frankly didn't. We, in Houston, rarely get snow and most of the time when people say its snowing here, it really is sleet or frozen rain. Finally around 3, I say the first signs of sleet and within 30 minutes is was real snow. I couldn't believe it. Real snow! In Houston!

It hasn't snowed in 4 years in Houston... The unfortunate part is the ground is still too warm for it to stick on the ground, but everything else is covered in it. What an amazing day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nothing to Fear but American TV News

I have always had a distaste for American TV News because 90% of what is being broadcast is negative (the other 10% is the traffic and the weather), but lately it has become fear mongering about the economy. I don't want to just stick my head in the sand and ignore what is going on, but at the same time I want to dwell on the good that is occurring. People are still being cured of life threatening disease, people are living longer, and the poorest people in America today have a great advantage over the poorest Americans in the 1930s. So I'm just wondering is it really that bad?

In response to this fear mongering, I have decided to stop watching the American News Networks, including the local news.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Burning Ones 2008

This past weekend, I attended a short 2 day conference in Austin, TX called Burning Ones. It was a gathering of youth and young adults that desperately longed for everything that God has in store for them and to see the power of God become real in their lives.

It was an exciting weekend of passionate worship, practical teaching, and going out into the community and doing what we learned. The best part was going out and doing it. So on Saturday, our conference was split into 8 teams and sent to various shopping centers for a treasure hunt. We knew that if we made our self available to God, He would show up and that was exactly our plan.

On the drive over to the shopping center, our team prayed and simply asked God who He wanted us to pray for today. As we listened, we made a list of the things that came to our mind. We had everything from a target, a blue cast, a star, snow boats, a baby, and blond hair lady. With the list, we split up into groups of 3 to 4 people and went into an Academy (a sporting goods store) looking for the people on our list. It always surprises me that we always find these people on the list (this wasn’t the first time I’ve done this).

Here are a few of the stories:

From our group at Academy:

1) One of the leaders keep getting really bad chest pain but keep thinking it was from the anxiety of doing this. But as they made their way through Academy they spotted a woman and for some reason knew they needed to talk to her. As they approached her and made conversation with her, the leader’s chest pain was getting worse. So the leader just asked if she had any heart conditions or pain in her chest and this lead the woman into talking about the recent loss of her son and how her chest hurts from the loss. The woman refused pray from the group, but God cared enough about this woman and the loss of her son to send a group of strangers to encourage her.

2) As we were about to leave, I noticed a blond hair lady that was one our list. So one of the youths and I approached her and made conversation with her. We simple told her that she was on our list that God gave us (yep… I don’t lie and figure that it’s already awkward that we are approaching her so why not tell the truth). We asked her if she had any back pain because that was on the list for her. She said no but her husband did. So we simply prayed for her husband’s healing and encouraged her as she was the pillar of faith in her home.

From other groups

1) A guy approached one of the groups saying that he was having car problems. As the group walked over to his car, he confessed that his car was fine and just needed someone to pray for him. So the group prayed for him, lead him to salvation, and experienced the love of God for the first time in his life. How easy is that?! I'm thinking we just need to make ourselves more available.

There are a lot more stories but for time sack I'll share them another time. So that was this weekend. Just a lot of fun while seeing God move in some amazing ways.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

My First Post

So for the past few months now I've been telling myself I need to start a blog. I keep thinking it would be a great way to stay in contact with everyone during my adventures and also let people see a more realistic side of me (I.E. the name of the blog). I've been told I'm quite fun and hilarious at times so I thought this could be a great outlet for everyone to see that side of me because frankly my newsletters don't allow me to do that. They are suppose to update you on the ministry and encourage you in that respect.... I think my life is encouraging too. I just don't feel the liberty to be frank about my life and make jokes about what I'm going through.

Therefore, in the next few weeks look back on here for some quite strange and interesting post. Trust me, they will be interesting and quite possibly strange. When you travel as much as I do (especially in the South) I have some stories. So enjoy getting to know me even better and hopefully you will still be my friend. :)