Prepare the Way of the Lord

As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out in the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about who it is written:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you”

_Matthew 11: 7-10

It is important to expect the unexpected. You need to stay faithful to God no matter what. You need to prepare for him even if you have a hard time believing in him. Obstacles will be put in your way. In order to strengthen faith, remember that God never change. As you prepare more and more for the Lord in your life, things will be challenging, but so worth it. Even when you already believe in the Lord, you still prepare for him. You can have a strong spirit and still develop your relationship with him even more. As long as you put your faith and trust in him, life would not feel as complicated even in reality it is.

God is an important part of life and he gives you God given gifts. I was given this strong spirit and it is something I can strongly feel at my school’s student-led worship service. While singing to all of the contemporary Christian songs at that service, I feel like I am being filled up with the Holy Spirit. We always need to prepare for the Lord because without him, life just wouldn’t be the same. He helps guide us in the right direction and teaches us that love is so much stronger than hate.

 

 

Controlling the Darkness

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them

-Maya Angelou

There is so much truth written into this quote. Some things will happen in our lives that are out of our control. We can either choose to be reduced by them or we can use it for our advantage. Sometimes we have to become broken in order to become full. The dark times of life are where we learn our biggest lessons and they allow use to become strong. There is hope in the midst of darkness. It sometimes can be hard to see the light when we feel broken. In those times, God will guide you and use it to your advantage. He likes to test us at times in order to develop our faith.

Below is a link to another post I wrote using Maya Angelou.

Value of Humanity

Have Faith In Your Talents

Have faith that your talents will take you as far as you can imagine

-Unknown

Everyone has special talents. Some were God-given and some were developed over time. Your talents will lead you in the right direction. They will somehow lead you to your dream job. There are times where you may not know what your gifts are. When you have faith in your talents, they will get stronger and improve. Sometimes I don’t know what some of my gifts are. I am such a deep thinker, which is one of my biggest gifts and I can see all things in the light. I even am such a good writer as well due to my gigantic imagination that I had since I was a child.

Now as a college student, I am discovering more of who I am. I was able to discover my calling in high school. But once I reached college, I finally was able to know how to use it. In high school, I realized that the vast majority of the population was living in poverty and that was when I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of those living in poverty. I realized in college that I was meant to do more then just volunteering. I realized that I was being called to open a Nonprofit. I learned that I wanted to open a theatre Nonprofit where those living in poverty and homelessness will become actors on that stage. We will audition people in that community for musicals and plays. That is what I hope to do with my life. I know how much benefit theatre has done for me just by being in the audience alone. I want this Nonprofit to help them get off the streets and hopefully they will be able to find meaning in their lives.

Another incredible gift of mine is my strong spirit. That spirit is what what allows me to thrive even when times become dark. I use that to my advantage because it allows me to always have a positive attitude. That spirit just keeps on getting stronger and stronger. It guides me.

So, trust in your talents. Your talents will make you accomplish things you never thought you could accomplish. Don’t let society control who you are. You are unique and special just the way you are. Never try to be someone else. Instead, just be yourself.

Importance of Sharing the Gospel

Yesterday, I attended my school’s student-led worship service. I learned the importance of sharing the Gospel through the sermon. Think about it: when was the last time you taught the Gospel? This is strongly important. There are several broken-hearted people out there who have not heard the story of the Gospel. People spend too much time focusing on themselves so they forget to spread the Gospel. We have an endless cycle of screwing up and repenting and never once do we spread the Gospel. The broken-hearted people who are good, but never heard the Gospel, will die, but never go to heaven. We need to stop making excuses for why we failed to do this. Some people live with a half-faith and live it just by going to church.

But the question is, how do we spread the Gospel? That is very challenging. We were called to spread the Gospel. We need to use our calling to help make a difference in other people’s lives. I know that my calling will help make a difference of those living in poverty and homelessness. I am hoping that the power of live theatre will transform them and help them find meaning in their life. I also am hoping it will help them get off the street. This calling will work out because I have faith that it will. I know this calling will not happen for several years from now.

Fall Break Mission Trip to Charleston, SC

This morning, I attended a session of Dimensions, a program where you are required to go for four semesters, and it is usually kind of boring. But today’s program was something different. Students talked about their experiences on one of the Gardner Webb mission trips. That reminded me of my Fall Break Mission Trip to Charleston, SC. I went in Fall of 2015 and it was one of the best parts of my college experience so far. Throughout the trip, the group kept a close bond with each other, which helped add meaning to the volunteering that we were going to do. In all there were two guys, nine girls, and one male chaperone. We volunteered with an organization called Metanoia.

On the very first day, we helped paint a couple of rooms, which is for the youth. At first, I had to clean the stairs with a magic eraser. Even though that was not that enjoyable, I still know I was making a difference. I eventually was able to help paint the rooms and that was more enjoyable. They wanted skilled painters to paint the foundation to paint over the pre-existing wall color and the boys had much better skills when it comes to a painting task like that. To leave our mark, we painted an attic-like door, which was taken down to paint. We painted our hands and placed them on that door. That means our mark will always be at the community center that we helped paint.

The very next project we did was some yard work. It was a lot of clearing away and a lot of vines to cut away. That took a lot of work, but was so worth it. Some of it was easy to pull out without the help of a vine cutter or anything like that. Many of those were vines with sharpness on them. That took an entire afternoon to clear away not one, but two yards.

I think what had the biggest impact was on Sunday. We visited the church where that Charleston shooting took place. That made me quite nervous because something tragic happened and was kind of fearful of visiting a place like that. However, I learned to love it especially the members. Despite all of the tragedy they faced, they were still strong and kept their incredible faith in God. It seems that each time tragedy strikes, there always seems to be a glimmer of hope. That stays true to scripture in a way because scripture says “those who have walked in darkness have seen a great light”.

We spent the rest of the trip spending time together and getting to know each other better. We explored Charleston together and were split up. Later that same day, we visited the beach and got dinner at a place nearby.

Flying Leap of Faith

“Those who survived the exile and in the great province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire”. When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the Lord…I was cupbearer to the King.

-Nehemiah 1: Nehemiah’s Prayer

What does it mean to take a flying leap of faith? A lot of times in life, we let our fears get in the way and control our life and due to that, some of our dreams become broken and suffer because of it. Never get caught off guard by the fears, stressed, and worries of your life. Everyone is one this Earth for a reason and when we discover it, pursue it and allow it to happen.

Everyone feels like they are unqualified for their calling. That is true, but put your faith in God and allow him to equip you with the tools and skills you need to accomplish your calling. Just never think you are unqualified for your vision despite feeling that way. Sometimes I feel like I am unqualified to start a Nonprofit due to the risk involved and due to the fact that I don’t feel like a leader, but a follower instead. But I trust in God and will allow Him to give me the tools necessary to reach my dream job.

But what exactly is your calling? How do you know what that is? This can be seen by asking yourself “what problem can you see that needs to be solved?”. My calling is to give back to those living in poverty and homelessness. I was shocked to discover that that population took up the vast majority of those living in the world. People see those who are homeless as a problem and as a result, it makes the homeless feel useless and makes them feel like they don’t belong. I want to be able to give them equal opportunities in life and help find some kind of meaning. I understand the power of live theatre and I feel like they will really benefit from that. I hope that when they perform on that stage in either a play or a musical, I hope that they will able to get off the streets and find meaning for once in their life. My nonprofit will allow them to perform and will also maybe allow them to experience live theatre through an audience perspective.

The next question to think about is “what is it that your’e passionate about?” We all have passions. I am equally passionate about musicals and service. I may not show my love for volunteering much, but it is a passion and a calling. Musicals are just a passion of mine and nothing more. I may talk about them a lot, but my path was never leading towards musical theatre in the first place. It was leading me towards giving back to the less fortunate. I started to understand where my path was leading me when I first developed my passion for service back in high school. At the time, I wasn’t even passionate about musicals, but instead just a fan. It wasn’t until college that my appreciation for musicals turned into a passion all because of “Les Mis”, a musical I am still obsessed with.

Another question to think about is “what makes you sad, mad, and glad?” I never would have thought things that way. It is sad to think that so many people are living on the streets. People don’t seem to see the fact that they are humans too and deserve to have meaning in their life and a place to stay for the night. Volunteering and musicals make me happy and it is sad to think how society tends to label and treat the homeless and those living in poverty.

Never dismiss your vision. It will happen as long as you keep a faith in God. We need to step up and not let the devil control us. He will keep on putting fear and distress in our life, which will continue to make us more and more miserable. The devil puts false images in our mind, which are not true. Never let the devil win and allow God to enter your life. If you put your faith and commitment to God, then we will help us in our spiritual journeys. Having a flying leap of faith means take that step that will eventually lead you towards what you were called to do.

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness , knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess in equal measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins

-2 Peter 1:5-9

What does it mean to put the cart before the horse? At yesterday’s Gathering, the sermon was about that. It basically means you cannot do anything in the wrong order. If you put the cart before the horse, then nothing will happen. That is because the horse has to come before the cart because the horse is the action that drives the cart. The same concept applies to spirituality as well. Instead of the horse guiding the cart, it is faith guiding our spirituality.

Everyone all has this deep desire to have an effective and growing relationship with Christ. That deep desire is the Holy Spirit calling you. That cannot happen if you don’t have faith and faith is the key to starting that relationship. No matter how small that faith is, put that faith in you and us it to your advantage. Yes, at the end, everyone desires mutual affection and love, but you will not get there right away. Before getting to the end, you need to do everything else this scripture says. Once you have the faith, the first thing to do is practice goodness. Everything in life takes determination. We struggle do to the design that the Lord has set before us, but that is the way it is supposed to be.

Some of these steps seem harder then others. It seems easy to get to the knowledge part. But everything else seems quite difficult to get to. Sometimes you end up having perseverance before self-control, but that is in the wrong order.That seems misleading because I fee like you can easily have determination why before you can have self-control. I wonder if it counts if you little self-control and then head to perseverance and end up having a larger amount of perseverance then self-control.

In order to truly love, you most have all of the other qualities that the Lord has given you. You just need to find it deep down in yourself and that is where the Holy Spirit lives and that is where you develop your spirituality the most. Struggling is part of what it means to be human. We need determination to get through dark and challenging times in your lives.  We need determination to get through our education and eventually accomplish our dream job. Everyday, we will always be struggling with something and that is just what life is. So just never put the cart before the horse.

If we don’t have any of these characteristics, then we have forgotten everything that Christ did for. Christ did say that faith is the size of a mustard seed. If you have that, that is better then nothing. Yes, we might even struggle with our relationship with Christ, but as long as we have the faith in him and faith in ourselves, then we will never forget what Christ has done for us.