Monday, May 30, 2011

Inside Washington

Alas, the bags are unpacked and the summer interns and EPIC (Executive Pentagon International Diplomats Congress) interns are settling in to their new homes for the summer at George Washington University. Pictured above are my fellow EPIC interns Kyle (K-Liebes), Dave (D-Dawg), Me, and Kim (Kimmie).

When I first got to Washington DC, I was a little apprehensive; I had no clue what my job description entailed, didn't know any of the people in charge, had only briefly met the team leaders in Colorado Springs, and had a lot of question. However, the kickoff dinner with the staff team dispelled a lot of the worries and gray areas. The team leaders all have strong relationships with the Lord and it's evident with the way they speak and live. I could spend hours soaking in their wisdom of the Scriptures, and hearing their stories about ministry on Capitol Hill. Such a neat group!

Once the student interns started arriving to DC, we took them to West Virginia for a bonding adventure that included a bonfire, team building activities, a low ropes course, good food, and paintball. For my first time paintballing, I was proud of one particular hit I had. Our team was on the bottom of a hill and I was "sniping" the other team's defensive area during Capture the Flag. I aimed carefully and popped off a shot and a yellow ball of paint hit an opponent squarely in the back. Unfortunately, Graham (nicknamed "Gent" for his Southern Genteel personage) had already been hit and was supposed to be off limits as a target. He said in his southern drawl, "I'm already out guys, stop shooting me!" bad. :)

Our focus this summer is Identity in Christ. We will be living together, eating together, studying Ephesians together, and really zeroing in on that fact that apart from Jesus, we have no other identity. I'm looking forward to getting to know all the interns better and dig into the Word with them. I'm expectant that the Lord is going to use 13 interns from all over the nation, 4 team leaders, and the rest of the EPIC staff to really be a light for Christ in the most powerful city in the nation.

I was reading Psalm 58 this morning and it seemed like a reminder of the world we're stepping into. "Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge uprightly among men? No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth...Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears, that will not heed the tune of the charmer, however skillful the enchanter may be." Yup, sounds about like Capitol Hill. I pray that the Lord strengthen and protect our team, allowing everyone to be skilled and hard-working despite opposition they may face.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spiritual Generations

From left to right: Stephanie, Me, Casey, Korryn.

Korryn was my discipler and I am currently in discipleship with Casey and Stephanie. It is cool to see a picture of spiritual generations in the making!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Whoa. Just Whoa.

"They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city." -Acts 14:19

I often say God is great, but my understanding has just begun to scratch the surface. I am constantly amazed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not so Fast!

For the beginning of my walk with the Lord, I had misunderstood fasting as a simple, "Oh, I can't eat this or that laa-dee-dah" type thing. It was always a struggle because my motives were always unclear and I couldn't see how my relationship with God could possibly be impacted by me eating or not eating certain foods for a week (or however length of time I set aside to be "extra holy.") I always go back to Isaiah 58, but this time while meditating on the true meaning, I felt a wave of peace wash over me. It's the HEART behind the fast that God cares about. He wants our HEARTS to be genuine, without a double-motive, unselfish, repentant, etc.

The song from the musical Damn Yankees just popped into my head: "But ya gotta have heart! Miles and miles and miles of heart!"

Seriously though.

We seek answers from the Lord, yet we don't sacrifice.
Isaiah 58:2, "For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God."
Meanwhile, we continue to live in sin.
Isaiah 58:3-4, "Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists."
When we do sacrifice, we'll eat a few vegetables and fruits rather than a Taco Bell crunch wrap supreme and then cry out "Where are you Lord?" But it doesn't work like that.
Isaiah 58: 4, "You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high."

In my times with God, I have been boldly asking for many things both for me personally and for the students in the Mizzou Navigators ministry. I ask God to reveal himself to certain students, for Him to change hearts, break chains of bondage to sin, grow and mature young believers, etc. For me personally I've been asking for deeper revelation of the Word, prophetic dreams, a divine ability to take my evil thoughts captive. However, oftentimes my prayers are mere asks, and if I couple prayer with fasting I tend to revert back to the ways of zero heart change.

Daniel 10 has an amazing account of how the Lord responds to a true fast. While Daniel prayed and fasted for three weeks, at the end of that time, "A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up, trembling." The Lord answered Daniel's prayer in a huge way and had in fact, been working the whole time Daniel was fasting. You should read all of Daniel 10 and see how God sent the angel as soon as Daniel started fasting, but the angel got caught up by the Prince of Persia and was delayed 3 weeks, the exact amount of time Daniel fasted.

I'm once again asking the Lord for something huge. I'm praying specifically for the hearts of the two girls I am in discipleship with. I'm asking for a transformation of mind and heart. I'm asking for hearts of obedience to His perfect precepts.

I have two months left on campus and I'm starting to see that is not enough time. Please pray with me that the time is spent well.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


As the snow flakes were pounding against the house for hours, I looked at the ground and shook my head with the knowledge that it would be a while yet before I could again leave my parent's house in Peculiar, Missouri to make it back to Columbia. I had no idea how right I would be. They ended up closing I-70, the major highway connecting the two cities. My brother Dalton and I have been out shoveling for hours at a time and last night, as we fervently worked to shovel out a path that my car could drive out in, we took a break to make snow angels and play tag. Running in the snow seemed impossible because it was so deep, and let me tell you, it is a fantastic workout! My face was bright red when I came back inside and I was reminded that I hate snow, but when you're playing in it and having fun, one can a briefly forget. :-)

I actually had a job interview scheduled for yesterday as a live-in counselor for troubled teens. I have been excitedly researching the job for over a year and a half now, and am praying that I will be able to work and serve there. I have enjoyed college ministry this year and will continue to enjoy it the rest of the year, but I really miss working with teens. That sounds CRAZY to most people, but I like kids and I miss them. At the Intersection, my favorite age group to work with were the 12-15 year old girls. Perhaps I'll be back at it by next August. We'll see what God does.

Most recent exciting news: I am going to be a team leader for the summer training program called INSIDE WASHINGTON! So I'll be in DC for the summer. Hurray! More details to come hopefully. I haven't been very good about keeping up with this blog thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brand New Day

Colorado Springs to Washington to Kansas City to St. Louis to Columbia.

It's been a busy month full of family, travels, friends and excitement. Christmas was spent for the first time (in my memory) with extended family. My brother Bruce and I spent Christmas Eve with the Sanidads and then Christmas day with the Du Valls. It was a blessing to catch up with everybody and to celebrate with those we don't get to see very often.

This weekend I'll be traveling to Asheville, North Carolina with the Navigators and am looking forward to some great lessons and fellowship. More traveling means more adventures! But to be honest, I'm ready to get back to Columbia and get back to the daily grind.

Crazy awesome praise report- I had a major gift come into my account from an anonymous donor. All I have to say is God is good! I was super encouraged when I saw it as support raising has been tough from the beginning and has continued to be difficult. But God is the ultimate provider and he has been using others to show me that it's not about me and my trails or discomfort, but ultimately about Him and His glory!

I'll amen that. Heck to the yes I will.

It's snowing and has been for what seems like forever (well...three days). I would make a snowman or something but eh, it's too cold. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Season

As the Mizzou school semester comes to a close, it's impossible to ignore the fact that friends and students are still in a phase of transition. Old friends that I've known for years are graduating and moving away, new friends that I've grown closer to are preparing for their last set of finals, and some Navigator students are finishing their degrees in the next two weeks. It's been so comforting to me to know that while the world is ever-changing, the God we serve remains the same.

Our Navigator Christmas party is this Thursday! AWWW YEAH!!! We'll be spending some good time eating homemade desserts (NOM NOM), fellowshipping with one another, continuing to eat desserts, having sweet time in worship, and playing games. Oh, and it's going to be held at THE PLEX, so my roommates and I are hosting. I'm excited to see everybody before break. Also, THE PLEX now has an official mascot named Leonard! He is a gray kitten that was actually born at The Plex while we were babysitting his cat Mom. Rachel T. tied a ribbon with a little bell around his neck so we can always here him bounding down the hall, curiously exploring his giant surroundings. I'm equally curious to know how he will fair with all of the Navigators over for the party.

After that, I'm heading to Colorado Springs for our second EDGE Corps summit training. It will be great catching up with everybody and spending some restful time in Colorado. There are some amazing powerhouse Christian leaders there, and I always desire to soak up the wisdom they have to pass along. The day after I return from EDGE summit, I head to Seattle to spend Christmas with family. My brother BJ and I are going, and it should be an adventure.

With love, a knitted hat, and the joy of Christ!