We live in a world of sin and imperfection. I am a child of God striving each day to live out my calling. Welcome to my blog where you get the inside scoop of this Youth Pastor's world!"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." - 1 Timothy 4:12
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
My Dearest Family and Friends,
If only I could show you what it looks like on this side of the Pearly Gates. Everything the Bible says is true, and so much more.
Before I let go of my Earthly home I was scared of the unknown. All those doubts that sneak in, in our weakest moments were fighting for my attention. As I lay there in that hospital bed listening to those I loved most laugh and talk about our life together, I wanted to hold on so much more and stay with that laughter. Then that laughter would quickly turn to tears as you all struggled to say goodbye and return to the lives you have been called to live. I knew my time was near because I hated holding you there.
God has called each of you to such great and mighty things, and who am I to stand in your way and hold you back? You must continue the journey of life even though mine is through. I may not be able to hold your hand or answer your call, but I will always live with you through the laughter and the tears.
If I could give you anything today as you struggle to move forward, it would be the relief from this grief that holds you tight. It would be reassurance for the lonely days of fear, when you're reminded of all your failures. You are beautiful my dear one. You have much more in you than you'll ever know. This life you are living is not all there is. The life you are given with your last breath is worth every tear, heart ache, stress, and fear. Don't give up on your journey just because mine is through. Your life really is worth living. You have a job to do, hold your memories of me dear, but don't let them hold you back. Cry your tears of grief and pain as you go and make a difference in the world. Live a life that will keep on growing far after you rejoin me.
I love you my dear one, and though I can't hold you through this pain, God, our beloved Father has you wrapped up in His arms. If only you could see this place you wouldn't be sad for me. You would rejoice and be glad. This place we call Heaven is the home I have always longed for. It really is peace that passes all understanding and a place with no more tears or sadness. Hold on my dear one until it is your time to let go.
Forever in Your Heart!
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
So on a day in the midst of a time that feels like pure chaos, I find myself almost jealous of the me in that picture. Because that person is enjoying a moment of bliss, chaos free, stress free.
Today I find myself wanting a drama free day. Which could only really happen if I managed to sleep all day, because the Lord made me a thinker and I can't turn my brain off.
So today I'm going to be thankful for pictures that remind me just how much life goes on. They remind me of the peaceful and blissful moments, and help me find those moments when things seem to be swirling around.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Grace, a word I have always understood as God's Riches At Christ's Expense. I am starting to understand this word on a deeper level.
Somewhere I decided that my life was ministry, not just my job. Which means that everything I do becomes a part of my ministry. I decided this way back when I started this blog and that is why it is titled Agape Dreams. My earthly dream is to live in such a way that people seek God and His unfailing perfect love.
Well recently I have had the opportunity to learn about Grace in a new way. I don't think we will ever fully understand the gift of grace while living on earth but when you are presented with the opportunity to try to give grace and show grace to someone who won't accept it, it starts to make more sense.
On the cross, Christ offered us a gift. This gift is unlike any other. The youth group and I have discussed this as the most beautifully wrapped present you can imagine, sitting there with your name on it. You didn't have to shop for it, you didn't have to pay for it, it is just there for you. We all have the choice whether or not to open it. And even after we have opened it we have the choice whether or not to let this gift become part of our lives. This gift was paid for on the cross. This is the gift of grace. We have the choice to do with it as we please.
So what happens when we choose to use this beautiful present as a football, and kick it around, rather than what it was intended for? Is there a line? Does God ever draw a line in the sand and say this is it, you have chosen not to accept my gift, therefore I take it back, and you can spend eternity without it?
I believe the answer is yes. In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells us that there will be a separation of the sheep from the goats. Sheep know their master's voice and follow where He leads. Goats are stubborn and do things their own way. The Bible also talks about an unforgivable sin, which is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. And to truly do that your soul has to deny the Holy Spirit. There is a line, thankfully I'm not God, and I don't have to draw this line.
But there are times on Earth when we are presented with opportunities to share Grace with other people, and sometimes we have to continually watch them take that Grace and throw it back in our face. And sometimes we are presented with the decision of drawing a line in the sand and saying this is it. There is the line you can't come back from.
This was a line I had to draw a week ago with someone I love more than I understand. And putting my foot down and drawing that line was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It is very obvious that I am grieving right now, and even a week later I can't get this off my mind. I find myself doubting my decision to draw the line and walk away.
But the truth is, that I love this person enough to let them make this choice on their own. And my line in the sand is not eternal, it is more of the Prodigal Son story and I have to let them go, and pray that hopefully they will see the light someday and come back.
My question for awhile was, "Is there a line between grace and stupidity?" Is there a point when what I'm considering grace is not helpful for anyone involved. Is there a point when I just have to walk away and let them do with my gift of grace what they will? The answer is yes. There is a line, and for each person that line may be different.
The thing I have to remind myself is that even though God draws the line, it doesn't change how much He loves us. His love never changes and is always there waiting for us, but true love has to be a choice, and not one made for you. Which means when I made the choice to walk away last week, it didn't change my love for this individual. I still love them, and always will and maybe one day they will see it, but if not they taught me a whole lot about grace, and this amazing gift that God has given us, and how we don't have choose it. And as heartbreaking as this situation was for me, I can't imagine how heartbreaking it is for God. His line is eternal, when people cross it they're really gone forever, and I'm sure that breaks His heart, quite possibly more than watching His son create this amazing gift on the cross.
Grace, how will you use this gift that has been given to you? And how will you show it others? What does Grace mean to you?