The posts that follow all deal with the highs and lows of Ministry and ministry related topics. They follow my PRIME Experience in Minford Ohio and will hopefully continue afterwards.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Free Anguish

noun excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain:
When was the last time you heard that word used?

It's a word that has been on my mind the past few days. Not that I am experiencing it at the current moment. It's been more like what if anything makes my heart, my soul hurt. I have to tell you it's not an easy thing to figure out. Although it would make future employment easier to figure out.

The Bible's most common comparison is that of childbirth and while I will never experience it. It still sounds horrible. Now imagine that kind of weight on your soul. What is it that makes your soul hurt? What is God putting your heart?

I think another way to look at it would be to take the words of my mentor and ask the question, "What would you do for free?"

Would you be at your current position? Would you do something else?

Allow this to sink in. Then ask God what He would have you do. It may turn out that this is where He wants you. Or There may be a different anguish that He wants you to address.

How will God use you today?

Isaiah 53:11 (ESV)

11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Be Thou My Vision Cause.... I'm Blind

Now those of you who know me don't get alarmed by the title, my vision is still going strong for now and if it is God's will I would keep the vision that I currently have. For those of you who don't know let me fill you in on a little secret.


Here's the scoop.

In first grade I go to the nurse for a mandatory eye check. I fail that test and surprise, I get my first visit to the family eye doctor. At that time he thought it was lazy eye, gave me glasses, and said to come back in a year. I do and my eye sight is a little worse and I get a new prescription and am told to come back in a year.

It is at this meeting that he takes a look at my retinas, or the back part of the eye that transmit the picture to the brain. After doing so, he tells my parents that my retina is splitting, but wants to get a specialist to look at it. That specialist sends me to Kellogg Eye Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan to get an official diagnosis.

My parents schedule the date with Kellogg and I get a day off of school. They do a whole bunch of tests that tested colors, side vision, and then hooked me up to what I can best call a strobe light in which I wasn't allowed to blink. The doctors confirmed what the other two thought and finally gave it a name.

Juvenile X-linked Retinoschesis, such a high tech word that even spell check says it's wrong. In every day language let me explain meaning and what it does. Juvenile: diagnosed when young, X-linked: carried on the x chromosome making women carriers and men the receivers, Retinoschesis: Retina splitting. The way it works imagine a layered cake with out the frosting, then imagine inserting several syringes  filled with frosting and squeezing. There you have it except the cake is the retina and the frosting is blood causing what looks like a wagon wheel on the back of your eye. This is causing the layers of tissue in the retina to separate form the outside going in.

Oh, and did I mention that it will continue to do so until either a cure is found, or I go legally blind, which means that what a person with 20/20 vision can see at 200 feet, I won't be able to see until I am 20 feet away from it. which puts driving out of the question. My brother, who has the same thing has reached the point where he can't pass the vision portion of the test to get the permit.

At this point in time God has graced me with good enough vision that I able to drive once I learn how. However, here in Minford, I don't think I would feel safe even riding a bike due to the curves and the hills.

Now to relate it to what i am doing down here. There is a term in getting others to help you in any situation you first have to have a vision of what you want something to look like. Then others can see what you are doing and "catch" the vision and make it their own. I feel that I have trouble conveying my vision to others or at least they catch it for a little while then lose it or nullify it. I hope over the next few months I can work on this a little more and over time get to a point that I can cast a vision that is long lasting.

This is where that old hymn "Be Thou My Vision" comes into play. Whenever I hear that song there is something that I grab to. Not only do I need Him to be the ultimate vision caster for my life, but there will come a day when I may lose my physical vision as well.

There are days when I feel that my family and I are the only ones out there who are dealing with this. I don't want to admit that I am going blind. In fact most of the time I can blend in with the rest of the world and hide the impairment. There have been times when I can't see the whiteboard at college and have to ask the professor to use a different marker or change the Powerpoint colors or font and thankfully my classmates have understood and at times made puns when it has to happen when I'm not there.

I thank God that he has allowed me to have my vision for as long as I have had it. If by some strange reason you have stumbled upon this blog post and you have Retnioschesis, know that you are not alone in this world. Don't let it get in the way of your dreams. You can do everything you wanted to do before, you just have to find a different way to do it. If you have not found God yet, I pray that you do and that he will provide the vision for both of us.

1 Timothy 4:12
Don't let other's look down on you because you are young (or blind, or anything else). Set an example for the other believers in speech, in conduct, in love and in purity.

Be Thou My Vision" Lyrics 
by Ascend the Hill | from the album Take The World, But Give Me Jesus

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, put first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

Oh, God, be my everything, be my delight
Be, Jesus, my glory My soul's satisfied
Oh, God, be my everything, be my delight
Be, Jesus, my glory My soul's satisfied
My Jesus, you satisfy
My Jesus, you satisfy

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, bright Heaven's Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Oh, God, be my everything, be my delight
Be, Jesus, my glory My soul's satisfied

Thursday, October 4, 2012

He Waw Squirrel

I realize that it has been a very long time since I posted on here. A very brief update follows:

  • Grant research has been put on hold permanently. The church decided to put the process on hold until further notice
  • WOL has officially started and there have been some new faces showing up the past few weeks. We have also taken the group to an event called Cross the River. It was pretty much a youth rally and there were some really awesome comments made that hopefully got the students thinking.
  • I have had the pleasure of writing some policies for WOL that pertain to activity scholarships.
  • I have gotten to attend a conference in Cincinnati for the Ohio Renewal Project that brought pastors from all over Ohio to the Hilton. I still am trying to figure out what exactly it was about. Many of the presenters were Ohio Congressmen, but that is for a different day.
  • October will prove to be busy, as there are several events spread throughout the month. Including a Nerf War for the youth.
Psalms 119 is an awesome chapter, long, but awesome. Over the past week I have been looking at this  taking it one Hebrew letter at a time. Not literally. For those who are unfamiliar with Psalm 119, it is a large acrostic poem with verse sets consisting of 8 or so verses that begin with the same letter in the Hebrew language. Some of these verses follow


33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.[a]
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!
41 Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
your salvation according to your promise;
42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
for I trust in your word.
43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
for my hope is in your rules.
44 I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
45 and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.
46 I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
and shall not be put to shame,
47 for I find my delight in your commandments,
which I love.
48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

Now if you are observant you may have seen where the title of this post came from.

First take a look at verses 36-37. How easy it is to find ourselves looking on to worthless things, things of the world that we can not take with us when we die. Me personally, comes TV, (Once Upon a Time, The Amazing Race). Now it may be that these are dreams of mine that I can feed through these shows and I have a tendency to want to travel, and be taken to new places real or imaginary, but in the end I can't take them with me.

Second, take a look at Waw. How often do we look to God when someone is pestering us. Having three younger brothers can be bad enough wanting you to do things with them. Yet what about outside your own family. People within the church even that bug you about different aspects about how ministry should be done or how you are parenting your kids. It may seem that they are trying to pull you away from God, but that is when we need to lift our hands toward Him who saved us and gives us how we are to live out our lives. If we meditate on Him daily, we will have the words to say.

The pastor here just came back from a spiritual retreat where he tried to focus on God. He comes back and admitted that it was hard to remain focused on Him for the entirety of the retreat. go ahead try it. Take the next fifteen minutes and try to focus on God for all of it.

Did you find it hard?

It's not easy to do. Especially when you have a slightly scatterbrained mind (SQUIRREL!)

Please be praying for

  • Grace Baptist that we would remain unified in all we do.
  • WOL that we would continue to grow both in numbers and spiritually
  • My assignments that they would get done with time to spare
  • That I would keep my mind on Christ and what He has for me.