Friday, December 10, 2010

A Teaser

I just need the world to know that I have much thoughts overflowing in my head. Furthermore, I graduate on December 18, 2010 from seminary. If you put the two of those together, a blog explosion is soon to occur. Why am I posting this? This is the teaser. Stay tuned to the blog for the next few weeks. Many things are likely to happen, and many thoughts to be shared.

The series already in the works in my head:
Things I Learned At Seminary

Don't be scared...I don't mean academically. I could not subject you to lectures, nor could I subject myself to that so quickly after graduating. So you better stay tuned!

There's a day coming up (for which we celebrate a major holiday) that some 2000ish years ago completely and radically redefined the course of human history. I hope you're excited about it. I am. Merry Christmas! I've got much love for you...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In Your Arms

Here are some song lyrics that the Lord has provided to me, and I share with you:

In Your arms is where I want to be
When my world comes crashing down on me
So hold me close, keep me Yours always
Bid me, break me, be my rock
For now and all my days

Whom have I when my heart begins to fail
And sorrow fills the streets
And sounds of death prevail
Jesus is my hope, and I know He stills the wind
So take my very life away, as long as I get Him!

My soul longs for the day when I'll see You face
When sin and death will pass
And tears are wiped away
So let the sky fall down, and earth and cities quake
And I'll say of my God and King
Lord blessed be Your name.

Blessed be, blessed be Your name.
Blessed be Your holy name.

-In Your Arms
By: The Church at Brook Hills/Mandi Mapes

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Hiding Place

It never ceases to blow my mind how the Lord beats the Truth of His Word and who He is into my life. Here's the passage that has really been a reality in my life:

(Jesus speaking) "I have told you [my teachings to you], so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

There are 2 noteworthy things from this verse that I've been focusing on:
1. Trouble is coming. We will all face difficulties in life. Maybe you're in the middle of those difficulties right now. Maybe you're just coming out of difficulties. The reality of this moment, is that wherever you stand in relation to trouble, there will be more trouble coming. Trouble, the faith shattering events that in the moment seem too big to process or handle, is coming.
2. IN CHRIST we may have peace. Why? He overcame the world! He has been through earthly trouble, and he has overcome! What exciting news for us as believers!? In the midst of the most difficult times in our lives, we can find a treasure, a hiding place, and take refuge in Christ through our relationship with the One who has overcome: Jesus Christ.

So thankful...

I have been in the midst of a hurricane of thought lately. Not all of my thoughts necessarily revolve around negative things, but I feel like it is a hurricane nonetheless. Here are the abridged lyrics to a song that has been communicating the truth of John 16:33 to me:

"I will exalt You...You are my God!
Because You're with me...I will not fear!

My hiding place, my safe refuge, my treasure, Lord, You are!
My friend and King, anointed One, most holy!"

I am so desperately thankful that the Lord is my place to hide for the trouble of life. Jesus is my safe refuge to escape the discouragement of the enemy. Jesus reminds me that He is my treasure in this life and for my eternity. Now this doesn't mean my circumstances just automatically disappear or simply vanish. What does it mean? It means in Christ (my hiding place, my refuge, my treasure), I have peace. Peace in the storm. Contentment in trusting the Lord's plan. Faith that God is still bigger, still victorious and still in control. I have completely been hiding out in the Lord lately, and the peace He has provided has been so needed.

What about you? Have you been able to experience Jesus as your hiding place? He wants to be your safe refuge. I pray that you will or have experienced Him in this way.

I got much love for you...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Put Your Clothes On or Dress For Work!

I must confess that at the idea of this post, the first thought that popped into my mind was when one my best friends, Allen Tate, busted my brother making his then daily nude streak from the bathroom to his bedroom to get dressed for the day. Andrew's response in the moment, was to pause for a moment in the run and simply say, "AH!", and then proceeded into his room. This has absolutely nothing to do with this post, other than Andrew should have put his clothes on! (freebie)

My journey with the Lord this semester has been an exciting one to say the least. I completely and totally feel like I have been in a whirlwind of thought processes, some good circumstances and some bad. The cool part about being in this hurricane of life is that the Lord got me ready for it just before it happened. Here's the quick story:

I got back down to seminary to begin this semester and begin to really press into the Lord about where He was leading me upon my graduation in December. I felt like I was getting no answer. No specifics. No leanings. Nothing. This was mildly frustrating because I wanted to be preparing. I wanted to start making plans. I wanted to be in control. (Take notice of how me-centric those sentences are!) I decided I would begin reading through Jeremiah. It was in the first chapter that the Lord communicated what He wanted from me for this stage of my life.

In Jeremiah 1, we find Jeremiah trying to discern his call from God. God reveals to J that His desire is that J become a prophet. J's response? "Ah!" He begins the reasons why that can't be his call: he can't speak, he's a youth...blah blah blah. J wasn't sure that God had dialed up the right man in that moment. In Jeremiah's discovery of his call, the Lord said this to him as Jeremiah waited for things to begin to happen:

"But you, DRESS YOURSELF FOR WORK. Arise, and say to them everything I command you. Don't be dismayed." The Lord goes on to let Jeremiah know that He's in control and concludes with, "They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you." (Jeremiah 1:17-19)

How cool is that moment? The Lord let's J know that everything is going to be alright because the Lord's got J's back. Did you catch the thing the Lord asked Jeremiah to do? Put your clothes on J! Dress for work! God asked Jeremiah to get ready because through Him, Jeremiah was going to DO WORK for God's glory! So what does this mean for me and you? It means that whether you're in 'go mode', or you're waiting for the Lord's clarity, dress yourself for work! Be ready! Be in the Word. Be in prayer. The Lord's going to do work through His people, and if you're ready, you're usable! Put your work clothes on!

Now that I'm in the middle of the "hurricane" and "chaos" of a million things running through my brain, I realize why I had moments where I was struggling to find where God wanted me. He wanted me to continue preparing myself for the time when my work was to come. What about you? Are you dressed for work? Or are you experiencing frustration or confusion about what is next? Follow the Lord's advice to Jeremiah and myself: Put your clothes on! Dress yourself for work! ...cause it is coming!

I got much love for you...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What I Learned at Camp #3: I'm a Sinner

For the final installment of the "What I Learned at Camp" Series (keep in mind, this is certainly NOT everything I learned at camp, just the Big 3), I would like to focus on my reminder of how ugly my heart really is.

After my team's 2nd week of camp, we had an opportunity to do a little staff worship on the weekend, which I would say that staff worship was something the majority of the people on the team LOVED having the opportunity to do. Well this particular staff worship our staff was focusing on how far the Lord had to reach to redeem us and adopt us into His family because of the separation all of our individual sin had caused. I shared, during the beginning part of worship, Psalm 51. This is David's Psalm of lament/repentance after the whole Bathsheba fiasco. From that point forward, my prayer for myself was that God would create and continue to develop a "pure heart and...a steadfast spirit within me." I no longer wanted to have a complacent attitude toward sin, including the "small, not-that-big-of-a-deal sins". So I begged the Lord to take me to that place by His grace.

Well the Lord surely began to work in my life and bring to the forefront of my being the reality that I very much am a sinner. I very much engaged in the very things God calls me not to, whether deliberately or without recognition, and I engaged in a plethora of these things regularly...much to my chagrin. There was one incident in particular that really shook me up though, and this was a lesson that a church group leader helped teach me. I'm fairly certain her intent was not to teach me this lesson, instead just to complain about any and everything that came her way this particular week of camp. But she taught me nonetheless.

She went right after the heart of that camp pastor. How could anyone want to criticize someone who looks like that when he is preaching the Word? (shout out to my teammate Collin Spindle for taking such a horrific shot of me) But she criticized the very core of my heartbeat behind proclaiming the Gospel. What was my reaction? Well of course it was to love and forgive her and forget about it! Except...that's not at all what happened. I began to look inside my heart and realized how filthy it was. The Lord brought the fullness of how sinful my heart was to my mind in that moment. And I was rocked to the core. I was a pastor for crying out loud*! I'm not supposed to be sinful! (*NOTE: EXTREME SARCASM)

Here's what I learned: the Lord reached a long way into the pit of sin and selfishness to rescue me from the wrath that was due Tyler Crosson because of the sin in my life. Why does that matter? Well it was the full recognition that I MUST live my life in way that A)reflects the fact that the Lord has reached that far in my life for my rescue and B) reflects the fact that if the Lord is willing to reach that far for this kid, He's willing to do it for anybody else that desires to make Him the boss of their life, in light of what Jesus did on the cross. What about you? Have you allowed the Lord to rescue you? Have you recognized the depth of how far He stooped to pull YOU and ME out of the pit?

Or how about this: I do all the talking on this blog. Why don't YOU tell me something the Lord has been teaching YOU of late. You know I've got much love for you...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I Learned at Camp #2: My Role/My Gifts

One thing I recognized very quickly at camp this summer is that I had been called to pastor/shepherd a team that was further along spiritually than I was. Therefore, I felt insanely overwhelmed to the task to which I had been called. As if that wasn't bad enough, I realized very quickly in the summer that the Lord had pretty fantastic plans to do work this summer, and I had been called to be a part of the proclamation of His truth during that process. My feelings of being overwhelmed grew rapidly. The reality set in that I was most assuredly a part of something that was so much bigger than myself. Now let me clarify that I never assumed this summer would be about me, that it would be easy, that it would be something that my team could just "make happen", but I did not fully recognize the task to which we had been called to walk worthy of. (never end a sentence with a preposition) I felt like a big turkey in a sea of people who were living their lives on purpose for the sake of something that was bigger than any of us could really grasp.

I was on my face before the Lord trying to fathom why I had been called to this task. Furthermore, I was trying to figure out what I had to even contribute to such a phenomenal team and overwhelming mission. The Lord showed Himself, and I recognized my humble role. And it scares me. What was my conclusion? Well honestly I'm still processing through that, but here's my start:

What if I am gifted to preach and teach? Oh my. The thought terrifies me. Seriously. But what if I really do have that gift? What if the Lord has gifted and wired me with the ability to communicate His Truth to His people? Oh boy. I thought from my first summer of being camp pastor (last summer) that everybody told the camp pastor that he was gifted at what he did in order to encourage and uplift him because those comments are very much encouraging and uplifting. This summer I had 4 weeks of adults that I had gotten the opportunity to work with before, as well as the 3 weeks of the ones I hadn't worked with before, that were still telling me the same thing. But this time they were telling me about the marked improvement displayed in my life/preaching, as well as the evidence of my being gifted with this "skill".

My role in the grand scheme of things, in the midst of something so much bigger than myself is to "be uniquely me". This summer that meant to preach with passion the very things I had spent time with the Lord wrestling over. Moreover, this could very well impact the rest of my life, as I continue to exercise this gift. Preaching/Teaching? The thought literally terrifies me. Here's what I know for certain:

I want to be a part of something so much bigger than myself that it can only be described and explained by God. I also know that requires sacrifice and walking worthy. So this summer (and still in process) I will make an effort to be uniquely me in my life, and do what He calls me to do, which could very well involve regular preaching and regular teaching. And I will trust the Lord to do the rest because you all know me...this could get scary! I'm thankful to be called a servant of the Most High God, and to bask in the love of Father, as He has poured it out on us. And I got much love for you...

Monday, August 23, 2010

What I Learned at Camp #1: Unity

I just finished up the most phenomenal summer of my life to date. I worked with a fantastic team, and the Lord surely rocked my world both through my team and through my dealings with the Lord. I intend to get through these next few blogs by trying to encompass with my words what I learned from the Lord. So this first post is about my team, and the unity we experienced.

We were a team united around Christ, His ministry and His people. This team was comprised of a phenomenal group of people that collectively loved the Lord more than any other group I've been a part of or known. So what did I learn from the Lord? Well I really do believe this was a picture of what the church was intended to look like. We, as the church, are called to love, serve and communicate the Gospel with all that we have. Now while we were paid to do a job this summer, I truly believe that this opportunity was more than a job for this team. This job was our calling from the Lord, and I believe that we walked worthy of our calling this summer. I'm thankful that I've seen what intentional ministry is designed to look like, and that these people loved the Lord enough to execute His purpose. It is my prayer that I will continue to live intentionally like my team demonstrated. I am completely thankful for the opportunity I was given to try to pastor this team. I look forward to seeing what each of them goes on to do in the ministry of the Lord.

Hopefully I will bring you some more posts about my summer soon. I got much love for you...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Ladies and Gentleman. My favorite time of the year has arrived: the time for summer camp! I will once again have an opportunity to pastor a CentriKid camp staff and preach the Gospel to kids in grades 3-6! I'm rolling with CK7, and we're surely going to have an amazing time. I will be gone until August 8th, with very likely few posts in between, so YOU be sure to send me some snail mail while I'm working this summer. It is amazing the encouragement that is received from a piece of snail mail. Here are my addresses:

June 10-18:
CentriKid Staffer Tyler Crosson
60 West Fulbright Ave.
Walnut Ridge, AR 72476

June19-July 2:
CentriKid Staffer Tyler Crosson
900 N Grand Ave
Suite 6J
Sherman, TX 75090

July 3-9:
CentriKid Staffer Tyler Crosson
PO Box 886
Talladega, AL 35161

July 10-August 6:
CentriKid Staffer Tyler Crosson
9621 Frostown Rd
Middletown, MD 21769

These are my locations of service this summer. Looking forward to hear about how the Lord is working through you and in your life this summer. I got much love for you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starbucks Thoughts

I just finished Donald Miller's book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I enjoyed the book, but it took me until the end to truly appreciate it. The following are a couple excerpts from the book, that provided a reminder of great truth, about marriage and life, for my life:

(this is another author's response to the question "is there one true love for every person?" and then Donald Miller's commentary following)
"[the other author] essentially said no. And she said that with her husband sitting right there in the audience. She said she and her husband believed they were a cherished prize for each other, and they would probably drive any other people mad. But then she said something I thought was wise. She said she had married a guy, and he was just a guy. He wasn't going to make all her problems go away, because he was just a guy. And that freed her to really love him as a guy, not as an ultimate problem solver. And because her husband believed she was just a girl, he was free to really love her too. Neither needed the other to make everything okay. They were simply content to have good company through life's conflicts. I thought that was beautiful.....All of this may sound depressing to you, but I don't mean it to be. I've lived some good stories now, and those stories have improved the quality of my life. But I've also let go of the idea things will ever be made perfect, at least while I'm walking around on this planet. I've let go of the idea that this life has a climax....And the thing is, it works. When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. And when you stop expecting material possessions to complete you, you'd be surprised at how much pleasure you get in material possessions. And when you stop expecting God to end all your troubles, you'd be surprised how much you like spending time with God....Do I still think there will be a day when all wrongs are made right, when our souls find the completion they are looking for? I do. But when all things are made right, it won't be because of some preacher or snake-oil salesman or politician or writer making promises in his book. I think, instead, this will be done by Jesus. And it will be at a wedding. And there will be a feast."

(back to Tyler Crosson's thoughts) I'm not entirely sure why I'm posting this, other than the fact that I was in Starbucks today from about 3p-6:30p(ish) and I felt overwhelmingly struck by this truth. I hope that you allow yourself to marinate on all this. Maybe Miller's words are just hitting me where I am right now...but maybe you can see some truth through this as well.

I got much love for you...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm Proof

The week leading up to Easter has once again proven to be a great season of growth in my walk with the Lord. Obviously as this momentous day approaches, the day of celebration that my Savior is no longer dead and lifeless, the more I dwell on that fact and my complete unworthiness to call Him my Savior and "gain from His reward". But I digress. I have a great friend that sent me some love in mail today as a celebration of this day, and in the box, she included some Truth for my life. The Lord proceeded to master me from that point on. Here's the verse she sent me:

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners-of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life." 1 Timothy 1:15-16

What perfect timing for this verse being in the middle of Resurrection week? The Lord immediately reminded me of how much I do not deserve this eternal life. You can ask my friends...they can tell you how absurd I really am and the sin that too often dominates my life. Furthermore, ask the Lord. He can tell you how many times I've grieved His heart with my sin. I really am such a sinner, and so much in need of my Savior. I am utterly confident of that. There is good news to this story, and it is clearly demonstrated during Resurrection Week. Jesus hung on the cross to pay the very debt that I cannot. He died, but that wasn't Game Over. Because He rose! My soul is overjoyed at the thought.

Furthermore in this verse, it spells out why Jesus has anything to do with me. Deep, deep love. If He was willing to be the sacrifice for my rescue this kid from the punishment that I've earned, He's willing to do the same for you. Through my rescue, both Paul (who wrote this passage from first Timothy) and myself can claim the fact that Jesus is using us as an example of his unlimited patience.

I'm living proof that if Christ would do such a thing for me, He will do so for you. The reason He displays this unlimited patience is love. Deep, unexplainable, incomprehensible love. That's the bottom line. That's why the pain, the mocking, the beating, the torture, the death. Love. For me and for you. Doesn't make sense? I agree. I can't understand it. But I'm completely confident that it is truth in my life, and it could be truth in yours.

"He rose. Jesus, He rose.
My life's been forgiven. This world holds no power.
He rose. Jesus, He rose.
My life's been redeemed. This prisoner set free.
Death where's your sting? Cause He rose."
-He Rose by Jeff Johnson.

Speechless. Happy Easter because He is risen! I got much love for you...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You Are Here.


I am 25 years old. I have a BA in Psychology and am one semester away from an M.Div. in Christian Education (whatever that means). When I graduate I will be 26 years old. I have good credit. I have great and very encouraging friends and family. I have a passion for loving and connecting with people.
I have no debt. No wife/kids. Very little money. No strings attached.

What does this mean? It means that once I graduate in December, my life is WIDE OPEN. Intimidating? Slightly. Exciting? Completely. I will literally be in a position that the possibilities are seemingly endless for me to move on to whatever is next.

I haven't posted recently. A)I've been insanely busy traveling for preaching opps or pleasure. B)It was a busy month for school assignments. C)There is a girl that I'm completely fond of. D)I've been trying to wrap my head around what this next year is going to look like for me. While all of those keep me busy, trying to understand or figure out what an infinite God is planning and scheming for me to do, is trumping any other thoughts I may be having.

God, here's my future. Do what You do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Weight of Sin...or lack thereof

My journey with the Lord has landed me reading through the book of 1 Kings currently. From that passage, the Lord really rocked my world with a thought tonight...interesting how when one prays for the Holy Spirit to speak through His word, He will, huh? Anyway, in chapter 11, I noticed an all too often commonality in my life with the life of then King Solomon. Solomon decided to start taking wives from "foreign women" (ESV translation). Man, I do that all the time!


But seriously, his taking wives from "foreign women," meant that he was taking lightly the commands of God and engaging in sin. Solomon did not think these wives would do any harm. He did not continue to place the true weight of sin on the situation. You see, God specifically instructed the Israelites not to marry these people because He knew that their pagan ways would distract and lead the Israelites away from Him. Sure enough, that very thing happened to THE wise King Solomon. Solomon treated his sin lightly.

In that moment, Solomon did NOT understand the weight of his sin. Unfortunately too often in my own life, I do not truly see sin as what it is. Filthy, ugly, despicable, grotesque, complete disobedience, lack of respect, lack of trust, self-centered, etc. Sin separates me from God. What is the result of sin? DEATH. Period. The wages of sin is death. Does that mean I'm going to immediately die a physical death as a result of my sin? Unlikely. But, it is a complete disgrace to my God. For Solomon it resulted in God allowing adversaries to rise up against him and the nation of Israel and be successful...because of his sin.

God does not take sin lightly. Too often in my life, I do. That's terrible and I'm embarrassed. Moreover, I am very good at justifying my sin, especially the "no big deal" sins. How ridiculous can I be? The thing that I was confronted with today was that there are consequences for sin. No questions asked. No matter how big or small, my sin will be dealt with and it will lead to death. Thank the Lord for His grace and Christ's sacrifice on the cross for the punishment of my sin.

I suppose my challenge to myself and you is to see sin as sin. In its full disgustingness (take that word to the bank). We must recognize the severity of our sin, and not take it lightly, even the "no big deal" ones. Getting a firm grasp on our sin would most certainly make the Gospel that much more valuable to us! God reached down a long way to pull this sinner from the pits. I'm thankful for His continued display of grace in my life.

Father, help me to understand the weight of my sin. Help me to understand how horrific it is to you. Help me to not take lightly sin in my life. Help me to not stand for it, not support it, and not settle for it. Help me to see sin as You do. Father, save me from the punishment of my sin. Thank you for the grace that you have provided for me and for the sacrifice that Christ was on the cross. Forgive me for where I fall short, and help me to stand back up and pursue holiness!

What about you? I hope you have a better grasp of the weight of sin that I too often do in my life.

...'Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ, I stand.

I got much love for you...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

From Point A to B or The Space in Between

I turned in a paper this week that was very difficult for me to complete. It is not uncommon for me to struggle with some of my papers in seminary over the content or the emotion it elicits from me, but this is the first paper to give me trouble of its kind. The paper was not designed to force me to deal with and work through some of my weaknesses in ministry, but it surely did. I am so glad to finally have gotten that paper finished! This is what was confirmed to me about myself and my ministry:

Doing the Point A and doing the Point B are no problem for me, and I enjoy them. The space in between those points is not part of my strengths. What are those points? I'm glad you asked. Point A is the dreaming or visioning aspect of ministry. Every ministry needs a plan. We must be in tune to what and how God is moving among us and how He desires us to respond and be involved with Him. Dreaming and "casting" a vision is a way that He communicates, at least to me, what He is up to. I can see where He is leading and where He desires us (myself and those I'm with). I love doing that. I love seeing what the Lord is up to! This is Point A.

Point B is about doing, living and loving. Point B is what all the efforts of the dreaming and vision play out. I love getting to know people. I love interacting with them. I love hearing their stories. I love to engage them. I love to connect with them (in spite of my shy nature). Point B is a fantastic place for me to dwell because I love being a part of the process of walking life and being with people.

This paper was completely about the space in between points A and B. The planning, the paperwork, the administration, the organization and the preparation in order to connect these two points. I'm not a fan of it! In fact, I do not even remotely enjoy it. The project was to design and implement a church and community ministry. I loved the dreaming up aspect of the paper. I loved trying to figure out ways to meet people's needs. I loved thinking about the doing of the ministry. Meeting the needs. Walking life with those my "ministry" was going to reach. Unfortunately the paper was all the details in between. About 1-2 pages of the 15 page project was the part that I enjoy. The rest was the space in between.

So what did I learn? Well I do still dislike writing papers, which probably comes as no surprise to you. I also learned that I need to be diligent to surround myself with people who are strong in doing the space in between. Two people that come to mind for me: Jason Dorriety and Bud Harlan. I think the time I was able to serve with both of them was phenomenal because we complemented each other (me with Jason and me with Bud). I am not saying that either of them are weak in the Dreaming/Vision or Doing aspects, I'm just saying that are definitely good at the administrative stuff. I'm so desperately thankful for the Lord's allowing me to work with them in the capacities that I did, and I would LOVE to be able to be teamed with them again in some form or fashion.

So what are your weaknesses in ministry? Who are your compliments? I am definitely NOT saying that this is my only ministerial weakness! I'm sure you could name a few about me yourself, and I can absolutely guarantee that Jason and Bud could write a dissertation on it, with love of course. My point is this paper really made me realize that it is most assuredly important to surround ourselves in ministry with people that compliment us. People that can be strong where we are weak. Hopefully this was something to think about...maybe?

I got much love for you...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Saints Have Come Awake

Unless you've had your head in the sand, I'm going to assume that you have heard that the mighty New Orleans Saints have won the NFC Championship and a spot in the Super Bowl. The is the first time in the Saints' franchise history that they have gotten this far. Historically, the Saints have been terrible. Absolutely terrible. I have heard stories about people putting bags over their heads when they attended the games out of shame. I have also heard that people used to simply put their Saints tickets in between their windshield and windshield wipers offering people to take them so they didn't have to watch the embarrassment that WAS the Saints.

*I confess that this post is going to take a seminary boy turn from here on out...bail if you must, but you've been warned.* I've told you before that the Lord uses some bizarre things to communicate to me, and currently He is using the Saints and Matt Maher's music. One thing that strikes me as I pull for the Saints, is that, as Christians, we are all called to be representatives for Christ....through Christ, we are saints. Not perfect, by any means, but we have been sanctified through Christ, thus we are saints. So every time I watch or hear about the New Orleans Saints, the idea of me and you being saints is at least present in my brain.

The problem is, I believe that we as saints, are acting much like the New Orleans Saints of old. We almost seem to be asleep. Not much going on. BORING. This is where Matt Maher comes in. He has a song called "Christ is Risen" and there is a lyric that says, "Christ is risen from the grave, trampling over death by death. Come Awake! Come Awake!" That's a pretty dynamite lyric. (I recommend you check out the song.) Anyway, I took a look at my own life. Does my life exemplify a life that has "come awake" in response to Christ? I want people to look at my life and wholly recognize that I'm awake as a believer! Just like the New Orleans Saints have finally come awake in terms of actually fielding a team and playing football, I hope that my life is lived in a way that would be described as awake!

Psalm 57:7-11
"My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.

Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth."

Christ is alive! He has defeated death. So let's go! Let's live our lives as if that's the case. Come Awake! Come awake!

I hope this post made sense to you. I know I'm weird, there's no need to remind me.

I got much love for you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


One thing that I have been talking with the Lord and my friends much about lately is the idea of connecting with people. Why, you may ask? Good question. Connecting with people is an integral part of ministry. Connecting with people is a way for us as Christians to communicate to a person their worth, my love for them because they're a child of God, and ultimately God's love for them. Here's the catch...I question how well I'm able to do that. If you would have caught me about 2-3 weeks ago, I would have told you that I'm alright at connecting. I have digressed.

Here's what I feel is at the heart of connecting with someone: To connect requires me to give something of myself to a person. If I am truly going to connect with people, then when I leave that moment with that person, said person should walk away with something from me: Truth of scripture, love, money, time, resources, energy, etc. In my giving of myself in that manner, I have hopefully communicated to that person, "you're worth it to me". You're worth my money, my time, my whatever. In that moment of connection I have ideally communicated to that person their worth to me, my love for them, and like I said, ideally and ultimately Christ's love for them.

I have since realized that I have no idea how to do that. I believe that forming a connection can come from the giving of any number of things, thus causing connections to look vastly different at times. My question is, how do you connect? Let me go on to say that I believe that I do connect with people. I have seen it. I have experienced it. I'm just unsure of how it happened. I was a Bible study leader for a dynamite group of 7/8th grade guys a week ago. I believe I connected with all 5 guys in my group. I just don't know what happened. How am I supposed to continue connecting with people if I don't know how to do it? Irony. Furthermore, I have decided that it is because of these connections with people that causes me to have such a hard time leaving people after I've spent a D-Now weekend with them, for example. Our connection, and thus the love formed, has bonded us, and I think that's a good thing, albeit painful.

The enemy has me puzzled on this one, and I have battled some feelings of worthlessness over it. Here's what I do know: This has absolutely led me to the Lord with this prayer: God, I have no idea how to do what you're calling me to do, but here is what I'm confident of...I want You to do some ridiculous things through me for Your glory, so do what You do! I feel like I'm good at being clueless, and I'll gladly maintain that feeling as long as the Lord will work through me. So my prayer today is that the Lord will continue to give me opportunities to connect with and love on folks, so I can continue to beg Him to use me to communicate His truth to them.

How well are you connecting with people? I believe this connection, this formation and display of love, should be at the heart of us, as believers. So are we connecting? Do we truly care enough about people to try to connect? I'm probably not doing a great job.

I got much love for you...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Heart Breaks for Haiti

I'm having a very difficult time wrapping my head around the devastation that has happened in Haiti. I cannot fathom it. Utter devastation. My heart breaks. Looking at the pictures....the situation is so sad. I did the best I could by sending some money to Compassion International, but it feels like nothing when I see the pictures and such.

Many of the people there have no hope. Many of the people there no longer have family. No purpose. No reason to live. Then my fortune cookie at the Chinese restaurant I ate at tonight read: "Despair is criminal". That means Haiti is plagued with crime right now. As a Christian my prayer is that the Lord will send agents of mercy and grace to these people. These people need light. Hope. Jesus. Jesus for sure.

Pray for Haiti. This song makes me think about my heart's desire for Haiti. It's by the Robbie Seay Band, called "Shine Your Light On Us":

Oh, my God
Shine Your light on us
That we might live (repeat)

I've been holding on
I've been holding on
All that is inside me
Screams to come back home

If you feel lost
If you feel lost
Sing along
If you feel tired
If you feel tired
Sing along

If you feel lost and tired
This is your song

I've been broken down
I've been broken down
I ain't giving up
Love will come back around

Shine Your light
Shine it down
Let Your rescue come for us, we long to love

And if you feel lost, sing along
And if you feel tired, sing along

God, allow the Haitians to experience an agent of your mercy and grace. Allow that relief worker to shine Your light. Let Your rescue come to Haiti. Let the tired and lost of Haiti sing. Shine Your Light on Haiti, the bruised and broken, the lost, and me. Be glorified. In Jesus name!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

L/love never fails

You should listen to Brandon Heath's song Love Never Fails. Or read the lyrics and then go listen to it:

Love is not proud, Love does not boast
Love after all, Matters the most

Love does not run, Love does not hide
Love does not keep Locked inside

Love is the river that flows through
Love never fails you

Love will sustain, Love will provide
Love will not cease, At the end of time

Love will protect, Love always hopes
Love still believes, When you don’t

Love is the arms that are holding you
Love never fails you

When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

Love is right here, Love is alive
Love is the Way, The Truth the Life

Love is the river than flows through
Love is the arms that are holding you
Love is the place you will fly to
Love never fails you
-Love never fails by Brandon Heath

I'm not going to lie, I believe in love. I believe in the change that could happen if we (and by we I am mostly focusing on me) begin to truly live out what love is supposed to be. Unfortunately for myself, I am terrible at love, which is unfortunate because I believe in pursuing and "doing love" to everyone. I would [love] for people, when thinking about me, to think of love...but not my love, Christ's love. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in this cyclical pattern of being bad at but continually trying to love people. No worries though because I'm not giving up on love because Love (capital 'L' because God is love) did not give up on me.

L/love never fails. And I've got much love for you...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gray Winter Retreat '09

So here I am again. I realize it has been quite a while, and I have 2 reasons for that: 1) I went through a phase in which I literally had nothing to say and only wanted to reflect and 2) finals and then Christmas travels. But alas, I'm back!

I am still finding out the small details of what my calling in the Lord's story is. Two things that I am utterly confident about: 1) I love to preach and 2) I love getting to know/love on/invest in/laugh with people. I was able to see and do both of those this week. I was fortunate enough to be invited by one of my best friends, Jason W. Dorriety, to come with his youth group to a winter ski retreat in West Virginia. I had the opportunity to do both of the above over the course of the week (Dec. 27-31). I had an absolutely amazing time. The people in Gray, GA already hold a special place in my heart because I had the opportunity to do a brief stint of ministry there in the summer of 2005. There were a bunch of folks on this trip that I didn't know though, so that made it fun as well.

The point of this post is to reflect on something that occurred to me after I left everyone from Gray. I knew from the get-go that having the opportunity to come in and preach for people at D-Nows, retreats, camps, etc. would result in me having to intensely love people and then inevitably leave them quickly. For whatever reason, this trip was the most difficult I have ever experienced. I actually found myself in the airport on my way home having "a moment". I was very sad that I had to leave the point of having "a moment" ("a moment" is my manly way of admitting that I may or may not have shed a tear). It was very hard for me to leave this group.

I don't know what to make of it. I also don't know if that's something I will be able to handle if the Lord continues to afford me opportunities like it. Michael Reid reminded me that because of the quickness of the situation, it was that much more important for me to be focused on communicating Truth to these people. I only have a brief time with them. If they come away thinking about missing me, having not been pointed to Christ, then I will have wasted their time (as I'm sure you're aware, there's nothing that interesting about me!!).

The difficulty in leaving this group was hard for me. I'm having trouble processing it. I love those youth and adults. I'm curious to see what the Lord is going to do in their lives. The frustrating part is that the nature of my "job" in this instance is to not see fruit from my effort. My purpose was to love the mess out of them and hope that through my words, actions, and love they saw and fell in love with Christ and His Truth more.

It's tough. Shout out to the Gray folks. Shout out to the Lord for using this kid to do things for His kingdom. I can't fathom that either, but that's an entirely different post. Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me and you in 2010. I hope you will afford me the honor of walking life with you in this season. I got much love for you...