Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Facing Your Giants

This past Sunday I woke up feeling no motivation to go to church what so ever (don't worry, this doesn't happen too often). So instead I slept in (I needed that), made breakfast and set about cleaning up my room. While cleaning I listened to a couple of sermons by Max Lucado. Love him. One was titled "Facing Your Giants." He gave that sermon in 2005 and since I used to attend his lovely church in San Antonio, I'm pretty sure I heard it. Heard it but never actually listened to it.

On surface level it is the story about David and Goliath from 1 Samuel. Blah Blah Blah. Puny David, big smelly strong dude named Goliath. David has Jesus so David kills the big smelly strong dude and everybody is happy!
Ok so that is no exactly how I have viewed the story but that is how mundane it can become in my head.

But this time was different. I guess I never bothered to pay attention to the details. That Max Lucado, he is so good about pulling out the details and piercing your heart with them.

There is a part in the story of David and Goliath when Saul is telling David he only a boy and a sheep herder and he can't possibly go and fight a giant man with lots of big weapons. David tells him "The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." This is about the time I actually started paying attention. Because all of the sudden it clicked. God has delivered me from a lot of bears and lions in my life why can't he deliver me from this Philistine in my life right now. That Philistine being the death of my 16 year old brother almost a year ago.

As easy as it sounded coming out of my mouth, it is hard to really accept. But there is so much truth to it.

And the story goes on....

Fast forward to when David goes out to meet Goliath with only 5 small stones and his trusty sling shot. AND as Goliath thunders toward him not only does he get ready to fire his little stones, he runs TOWARD Goliath. Not only did he run toward him he apparently ran quickly toward Goliath. If it had been me, I would have found a nice spot to sit and sniper off Goliath as he was looking for me. But no, David stands up tall in the face of adversity and runs to meet the Giant with Jesus and his sling shot. And what do you know?? He kills him!

Then Max proceeds to focus in on the stones. He proceeds to give the stones labels which aren't really found in the Bible but which I found very interesting. He uses a hand and 5 fingers as a reference point so hang with me.

1) Thumb- PAST
-look to the 'bears' and 'lions' in your past that God has brought you through
2) Pointer-PRAYER
-pray like crazy.
3) Middle finger- PRIORITY
-what is taking priority? is it Jesus?
4) Ring finger- PASSIONATE
-be passionate about life. Sad, happy, angry. Whatever. use it to attack the giants
-keep pursuing God. Keep standing up, even when it seems impossible to go on. Jesus will be right there

One last thing: He threw out this word 'Paraclete.' It is a greek word translated to "called to one's side." Basically like the Holy Spirit. It was used in the original translation of this passage. I liked it.

This all being said, I realized that I was tired of running and hiding from my giant(s), even the little things. I want to be able to stand up and run towards them knowing that I am not alone. Even when I fall (which WILL happen) and get bumped and scraped along the way, I know that I will be delivered through them. Even if it isn't always the ways through which I want to go.

Tonight as I was preparing a mini-Bible study lesson for some High School girls tomorrow, I came across the notes I'd taken on this sermon. Too good to pass up and exactly what I needed this week.

"The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and
the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
-1 Samuel 17: 37

Time to run towards those giants....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mountains or the Beach??

Growing up anytime someone would ask me "mountains or beach?" I would immediately answer, "mountains, duh." Mostly because I was (okay maybe still am) a Colorado junkie. Or maybe because Texas beaches certainly aren't anything to write home about. Also anytime I went to the beach growing up I always had to have something to eat or drink because I hated salt water and sand annoyed the crap out of me. I mean, all that sand, especially getting places you don't want it to be causing many tears.

All this changed this past January of 2010 when my family and I went on a cruise to the Caribbean. I mean just look at this and tell me you don't want to go there right now.

The Dominican Republic, US & Virgin Islands, as well as a private island in the Bahamas. It was literally love at first sight. I decided right then and there that I could become a beach person. The water was unbelievable. All of the sudden the saltiness wasn't so salty and the sand didn't bother me quite as much. I felt right at home.
I literally wanted to drop out of school and move to the British Virgin Islands immediately. Anywhere where the water was sapphire blue and the the wind was warm. Mmmm I feel so warm just thinking about it.

I WILL go back someday. And it will be awesome. There is no doubt in my mind

Monday, October 18, 2010

Glass Shines Brighter When it's Broken

"The more I think about the meaning of living and what acting in the name of Jesus, the more I realize that what I have to offer others is not my intelligence, skill, power, influence, or connections, but my own human brokenness through which the love of God can manifest itself. The celebrant in Leonard Berstein's Mass says: "Glass shines brighter when it's broken....I never noticed that." This to me is what ministry and mission are all about. Ministry is entering with out human brokenness into communion with others and speaking a word of hope. This hope is not based on any power to solve the problems of those with whom we live, but on the love of God, which becomes visible when we let go of our fears of being out of control and enter into His presence in shared confession of weakness."

-Gracias! By Henri J.M. Nouwen

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Fall is full force here in Western North Carolina. I cannot believe that it is already Mid October. That seems literally impossible. But who am I kidding? I say that every year. Doesn't mean it is any less true.

I am a Junior in college this year. Unbelievable. Some days it feels like I just moved out here. But I didn't. It has been so fun to feel like I belong to a place again. A place in which I don't have connections just because my parents lived there (although that is nice too Mom and Dad). Having my own apartment has been amazing as well. In January it will be 1 year since I moved off campus. So worth it!!

School is going well. Taking Portuguese and Spanish at the same time was just about the worst class decision ever. I can't keep them straight but I am surviving. It is a great conversation topic with people. Everyone who is on Twitter and Facebook has heard my griping and complaining. Sorry guys..

Young Life is going well. Asheville High, the school I lead at, has gone through lots of transition Young Life wise. This year I literally have an entirely new team at Asheville High and some how I ended up leading the charge there. It has so far been a great learning experience in which everyday brings new challenges/excitement. I am so excited for what the rest of the year will hold. Here is a picture of our team this year:

L to R: Matt, Deanna, Meredith, Kyle, ME!, Taylor, and Christy

One of the many reasons I love living out here is the fact that I get to enjoy 4 seasons!!! Some of you might be asking "what's that like?" Well, I 'll tell you. It is glorious!! I can look outside in the summer and it looks completely different than that winter! For you Texans I know this might be hard to believe.

Each season is distinct and marks a transition. I don't think I could ever go back to 2 seasons. It makes the year seem so long...

So there is a little update on my life! Things are moving right along. Before I know it I'll be singing Christmas Carols, eating far too many candy canes, and watching White Christmas on repeat.

mmmm...gingerbread men.

Texas Our Texas

This is me majorly procrastinating.

This is also me writing a blog post about the great state of Texas. As you all are very well aware, from the moment I was birthed to the moment I graduated from Boerne High School (go Greyhounds) I resided in Boerne, TX. Growing up in a small Texas town was fantastic. As much as I hate on it I really did like it.

Moving from Texas has been quite the experience. You realize how big headed and obnoxious most Texans are when you leave. You learn a lot about how much people hate Texas and anything/anybody having to do with the state. But yet, there are so many Texas references in your everyday life. Trust me. Texas toast, Willie Nelson, The Cowboys, court cases, stupid people doing stupid things. The list could go on. If you start paying attention to it, it will drive you crazy. At least, that is what is happening to me.

Some days I do genuinely miss Texas. I miss the wide open space, the unbelievable sunsets, the people, the food, the blue bonnets, Texas Football, and yes even the heat. I don't care what people say, no matter how hard you try it is almost impossible to not feel some pride for your home state. I am no different. I am very prideful about certain things about Texas. That being said I am also embarrassed by a lot of things 'Texas.' Just to give you an idea I selected some of the most absurd bumper stickers I could find. It all become clear as to why people hate Texas so much:

Honestly, if I had never been/lived in Texas I would hate us too. Yep, I said us. As much as I am legally a North Carolina resident on paper, my heart will always belong in Texas. There is no way to fight it. That doesn't mean I can't ever love another place just as much, it just means every once in awhile I will stand up and defend that crazy place I called home for so long.

Texas is crazy. I will be first in line to stay that. But I love that about it. It is what makes it so... "special."

Fun Fact: The "Don't Mess With Texas" slogan was actually first used for Texas' big anti-litter campaign in the 80's. It literally meant "don't mess it up." Well, obviously some really cool people decided that they should use it in other ways. Hence why the world hates us.

Not that you care anyways! hahahaha. case in point

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Study Break!

Today has been devoted entirely to studying which is unusual. But I have 3 huge tests to study for so I figured I would get a head start. I am currently taking a 90 second study break. This is what I'm looking at: (click on it!)

It is a painting called 'Among the Sierra Nevada, California" by a guy named Albert Bierstadt. I have always loved this painting and a couple of years ago I actually got to see it in Washington DC by accident. It was just as amazing as I imagined it would be, if not more. He has a couple like this but this particular one is my favorite. The original covers an entire wall. A gigantic wall. You can't help but stand in front of it and not feel like you are there watching the deer come down to the mirror-like water while feeling the finger tips of the sunlight reaching over the mountains. Phenomenal work.


Back to studying....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Love Neighbors

I'm devoting this post to promoting some of my favorite people and their band...

My friends Drew and Ellie Holcomb are part of a band called Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors. Their music is awesome and they are doing a fundraising campaign that is phenomenal!

Click on the link below and help support their awesome cause! And while you are at it, check out their music at their website found here

Click on this video and read their description. It is incredible and you won't regret it!

Keep showing them the love!