let go and let God

Let’s just say that I am worn out.  Completely drained from this past weekend.

You see, I led my 1st youth retreat for my church, 24/7, and it went really well.  But I am drained.  And it’s been 2 days since it stopped.

I am drained because not only was I in charge of keeping all the youth from doing something stupid but I sincerely felt the weight of what was going on.  I felt God’s presence coursing through my veins and it is mind-boggling to think about it.  But I was holding on too much.  I was trying to hold onto God and dictate to Him what He should do.

And then God just completely broke me of it by allowing me to get too much sun at the water park and then I simply had no energy to try to control.  And I felt that He moved more.

You see, I have this tendency, and I know that some of you do as well, to try and tell God how to do things.  I tend to not allow as much space for Him to work as He needs.  In fact, I usually just need to show up and He will move despite my actions.

It’s amazing how He works and I am so fortunate to be a part of a group of people who are forcing me to learn to let go and to let God.  Its cliche, I know.  But it is a truth that I can’t keep to myself anymore.  God needs very little from us to move.  And most times, we simply get bogged down by plans we have for Him and then miss what He has for us.  This should not be.  We should simply allow Him to dictate what He wants to do and then go do it.

Perry Noble said that leadership is really only listening to God and doing what He says.  That’s it.  I love that because it is so different from how I live most of the time.  But I am convicted that it is exactly how God wants me to go forward.

So where do you need to let go and let God take over the control?  After all, He is sovereign and you’re just enjoying the ride.

Set List 6.26.11

I was leading a youth retreat so I was not able to post the songs that we sing at 24/7 from this past week but here they are:

No other Name – Jason Bunch (Old school 24/7 song)

For who You are – Hillsong
Joyous Light – Chris Tomlin
Came to my rescue – Hillsong
Take all of me – Hillsong United

We fall down – Chris Tomlin

We were very Hillsong and Chris Tomlin heavy this week but those songs truly captured where we were trying to go to start our new series on the Old Testament.

mowing the lawn = spiritual growth

The past few weeks that I have mowed the lawn, God has used it to strengthen me and encourage me.

I read a post this week by my friend, Evan, and I agree with him that mowing the lawn should become an essential element of people’s lives.  There are simply so many things you can learn.

It is essential because it gives you:

  • time alone
  • a moment to focus on what is going on in your life
  • reflective period
  • time to just sweat out the stress
  • an experience to look back on & see that you accomplished something
  • exercise
  • and so much more

(Just so you know, I am not really a good list person because I got bored halfway through that and there’s like 7 things on the list.)

I have found that mowing the lawn is becoming more and more strategic in my walk with Christ.  The other day I was praying that God would bring my wife another kid to watch at her in-home-daycare and then like a half hour later, another confirms and they are going to start a lot sooner than expected.  (I’m not saying mowing the lawn answered the prayer but just that it gave me time to focus during my busy life).

So let me ask you:  What things do you do to get away and reflect?  If nothing comes to mind, read the Gospels and check out how many times Jesus gets away from the crowds to spend time in reflection with His Father?

this moment (my Ebenezer)

I have struggled with depression over the years but not in the sense that I have taken medication and been driven out of my mind with this struggle.  There are simply some days where I didn’t really want to get up in the morning.

Not so the past few years.  I have a beautiful wife.  An amazing son.  A great dog.  And a great church family.  And I’m growing every single day (not as fast as I would like but still making strides towards more and more of His grace and mercy).

As we were praying this evening as a family (which we do every night and is the highlight of my day), I was just struck with how far God has brought me.  He has truly given me life and joy.

Life and joy don’t always go together but at this point in my life, I have more joy than ever before and God is really bringing me to a place of the abundant life.  It is such a privilege to see God working and I am continuing to be astonished by all that He is doing in our midst.

But the strange thing is that my wife and I are going through a tough time at the moment.  There is no sin taking over our lives but we are at a point of transition and it is scary.  Terrifying to think that we won’t make it through this when in actuality, God is just forcing us to rely on Him more and more each day.

Its the place of fear that leads us to trust.  And I was so excited to see my Ebenezer rock (the place where God has brought me from) this evening and remember that I can trust God’s faithfulness in the future because He’s proven Himself so strong and worthy of our trust in the past.

What are you going through at this moment and how can I pray for and encourage you?

Father’s Day

I am a big fan of yesterday.  Not every yesterday.  But yesterday, because it was Father’s Day.  Its probably because I am a new father of an almost 10-month-old-son.  Also, because my wife did a fantastic job of showering me with presents.  Her parents helped out a lot too.  I got a new watch (haven’t had one since like 2000), a new grill (never had one), new shoes (much needed because my previous ones had no laces, soles, or anything else that resembled comfort).  I also had a great lunch with some really close friends who are becoming even more close and was able to relax at home and take a Sunday afternoon nap and read some and watch a movie.  I even got to play some cards with my niece.  By the way, she destroyed me at both War and Go Fish.

Just so you know, I am not writing this to show you how great I am or how great my life is (but I am blessed).  But I just want to say that it is great to have a day where you are encouraged and shown love specifically for who you are and not really what you do.  We all need moments like this.

Moments where we are shown love not for what we do but for who we are.
Moments where your wife/family/husband/etc.. say let’s do what you want today.
Moments where you are not expected to do anything but just chill.
Moments where we are simply appreciated.

So thanks to my family for such a wonderful day and life.  But also thanks to a wonderful dad who has shown me so much grace and lov and laughter while growing up.

Also, please check out this post by Michael Hyatt about everything you ever wanted to know about Father’s Day.  Great read and very interesting.

Set List 6.19.11 (Father’s Day)

Father’s Day is such a special time for me.  Especially with this being my first, it was very monumental.

Our church did a great job of honoring fathers and we had a great service this week.

Here was our set list:

Spirit Fall – Chris Tomlin

Glory to God Forever – Fee
Our God – Chris Tomlin
The earth is yours – Gungor
Manifesto – The City Harmonic

Before the Throne – Shane and Shane

Set List 6.12.11

We had a great service this past week and I am a little late with posting our set list.  I am in crunch mode (or get down and get busy) for the youth retreat next weekend.  But here are the songs:

Our God is love – Newspring

Everyday – Hillsong
Blessed be your name – Matt Redman
Mighty to save – Hillsong
It is well – Shane and Shane

Manifesto – The City Harmonic