Fighting To Become Last…

There are many different things that people do at the beginning of a new year. They will make resolutions, start a new savings account, begin a journal, etc. I’ve done many of these over the years, some have gone quite well and others have gone not so well. As the year 2014 came to a close I wasn’t sure what it was that I wanted to do or how I wanted to try and summarize what I wanted out of the year 2015. Did I want to go with one of the very cliche things such as working out more or spending more time with my family? (not that either of those are bad) or maybe something else?

Well, its officially 20 days into the new year and I think I have it. I decided to choose a word for my Year 2015. I don’t know if this is a new fad or what and I may be going with the flow but I like this one and I thought in depth about it. The word I’m going to choose?…Fight. Now, don’t go having all sorts of violent ideas floating around in your brain. I’m not taking about a physical battle (at least I don’t think I am). The fight I’m talking about is a spiritual fight, an emotional fight. This year I’m going to fight for Jesus. I’m going to fight for my relationship with Him.  I’m going to fight to become last. I’m going to fight because I’ve been in a rut, not a bad rut but a rut none the less. I am surrounded by mission minded people doing mission minded things and I loved it but it consumed me. I worked hard in 2014 to make sure that students and youth pastors, church members, and pastors had amazing, over-the-top mission experiences. I did my best to make sure their talents were not wasted and that they were given the opportunities that allowed God to use them in incredible ways. One thing I missed was my relationship with God. I got so caught up in the work of God that I forgot the person-hood of God. I forgot how He longs to not only have me work alongside Him but He longs for just me. Just me. He doesn’t want what I can do or say or what I can organize and plan out. He wants me. God could care less how much I do for His kingdom. He could do things without me. He wants me for Himself first and foremost.

Recently, in my devotions, I came across some verses that really struck me and kind of hit home with what I was beginning to realize. The first comes from Romans 11: 17-18 where Paul is talking to the Gentiles about their relationship with God.

It reads:

                     If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.


The next, from 1 Corinthians 3:11,

        For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that is already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 


I have been so focused on what I should be doing. How I could keep the mission trips entrusted to me from burning to the ground that I forgot the One on whom those very mission trips were built. I was trying to the be the root, the foundation. 2015 is the start of a new year. It’s a new book that has 365 pages or a new movie with 365 scenes (if you happen to not like imagining reading a book that big), and I declare that it’s going to be a good one. Revival is going to happen. People will be changed; they will be remade and made anew.God is going to do some big things and He will be glorified above all else because I am going to fight to make myself last.

10 Weeks in the Blink of an Eye.

Where did the summer go? How am I back home already? Who should I talk to first? What should I start with?

10 Weeks.
17 Teams.
171 Participants.
1 God.

I honestly don’t know where to start. Should I start with how I saw people’s lives changed forever? Should I start with how I saw people healed from their pain right before my eyes? Should I start with how I was changed? I don’t know.

God did some amazing things this summer. Things that you sometimes can’t put into words. I met some of the most beautiful souls that I will probably ever meet in my entire life. Some that don’t even speak the same language as me but that didn’t matter because we both love Jesus and that’s what matters. God healed people and gave them new life. He used teenagers to show people how much He loved them and many times these teens put adults to shame. (1 Timothy 4:12 people!)

I can’t sum everything up in one blog post and honestly I wouldn’t want to. It would be too long, would take weeks to write and hours to read so I offer you this once again: For the next couple weeks (or however long it takes me) I will send out “Snapshots from the Jungle” which highlight specific things from my journeys this summer. I invite you to sign up on my email list so you know when they come out. The first one will be out later this week.

My “Job” is too cool not to share so sit back, relax, and let’s enjoy God’s goodness together.