Well there is much to catch up in my writings. Due to a pretty packed schedule it has been a few since i have been able to reflect. So for those of you who read this along with myself, may be worth your time to skim. Most of those who love me know that i tend to tell the "whole" story, so being lengthy can at times make my writings burdensome.
As i begin to look back on the past few, itunes is playing an old song from the days of SUP C - Is
This a Dream. A hip hop rock melody, that is well worth the repeat button in my player. Which takes me quickly to my days in that world. Its Saturday Night and i left a show a few minutes ago running into my old acquaintances Stacy, Tron, and Otto from the Factors days. Ah, its still good to breathe the fumes of rockin a mic, and having dreams of effecting the lives of young adults through 16bars and a track i created in my head long before it hit the wax. And then i progress...
Thursday, seems like light years ago. Busyness will do that to you. I had the good fortune of spending some key moments with my buddy Carlos. The Lord is really continuing to prepare
him for a life of service to the Kingdom. During SLOWBURNNASHVILLE.COM that evening, i got a chance to pray with him. It was an interesting prayer because it was more about release, and battling fear of man, than it was an personal issue he might have been facing. I also prayed with one of the guys who is formally in Narrowgate. He is close to Carlos, and if i thought long enough his name would come to me, we have met several times. This young man has heard the call of Jesus, and is even in a place where answering is an option. However, there is still a certain lack of acceptance of that call that hinders him. Almost like because he cannot believe totally what God already believes about him, it causes an inability to be broken/molded fully into what God has him to be. I spoke with him afterwards, and his pursuit continues. I pray for his breakthrough even now. Yes Lord.
Thursday night, we had the gift of having 2 guest worship band members. They are pastors at a church in Springhill about a mile from Clint. Mark seems to be a bout 30 ish, and plays a mean bass. His dad Andy also joined us, as a tenor sax player, which truly was an experience. Mark's family is from the Philly area, just across the river in NJ. Actually not far from a church that i have spoken to before called GCCCpray.org, Mr. Gary Clark. These good men have brought my buddy Jeff Deyo up for worship before. What a interesting conversation to hear Mark talk about his heart for this area outside Nashville, and for my discussion about how the Northeast is often on my family's heart. I would be surprised if that is the last time my family's path crosses with Mark and their family.
Last discussion that i will mention from that night is my reacquaintance with Jeane, from Grace Chapel and Narrowgate. Although i am still learning all of Jeane's story. Here are the details worth grabbing. Aprox. 7 years ago, Jeane was diagnosed with lymphoma. And at some point in her decision to battle the disease, her husband and she were called into retirement from their business to go into full time ministry. When i ran into her again at SB that night, it was surrounded by a number of young ladies, so i will assume for now that most of her ministry is discipleship and raising up of young women and men who are called for His purposes. Again, I suspect Jeane and her family will come up again at some point.
Friday, i was given the gift of working for my buddy Damon Davis (www.playtimesportsgames.com) pretty much all day monitoring inflatable game teams. So my morning started off around 7am at Ruby Major Elem. For the next 7 hours, i led a team that oversaw 3 inflatables. This team consisted of staff and parents from the school and about 30 Middle Schoolers from Donelson Middle. Admittedly, this was less like work for me, and more like deep breath. Ruby Major is a very diverse school. White kids, black kids, iranian kids, hispanic, asian, mixed kids, kids with head coverings on. 500+ Kind - 4th graders, from every part of Nashville. I admit that as i watched the organized chaos and breathed in, i listened to the students breathing in as well. Here are a few comments that caught my attention: 2 second graders who don't know i am listening "I have never had so much fun in my whole life.... Yeah, this is by far the best day of school". One of the teachers said this "I have seen 4 or 5 kids smile today, that i don't think i have seen smile most of the year." What i could not wrap my head around that morning was this thought, "Lord what part of heaven am i seeing right now? And what is it you want me to do with this gift?" Admittedly, i am not sure yet. But will share a dream i had Wednesday into Thursday night, that may begin to shed a little light to my soul.
In 04/05 i led a small band of rebels into Antioch to start a church plant call The Rock. Our logo
was 5 smooth stones stacked upon one another, with a small pool of water underneath. Each stone stood for a particular discipline of the faith that was core to our values. I often yearn for the days of the Rock, because of the people. For those who don't know Antioch, the local high, middle, and elementary's have 28 primary languages spoken, where english is the 2nd language. And more diversity of color, background, and make up than just about anywhere else i know of in Nashville. While much of the American Culture Christianity focuses on silliness like english only, and "defending the faith", i believe the Body of Jesus yearns to reach the world, and could do so in an instant if they spent more than 20 minutes in Antioch, so i continue to be drawn. So back to my dream. God began to redefine the rocks. Instead of the rocks sitting on one another, His big strong hand was grabbing them one by one and slinging them at giants in Nashville. I remember each rock having a very distinct definition, but right now i cannot place what each one was, only that they were no longer dormint, but active, very active. I will ask the Lord to make them evident to me again, what the purpose of all of it is, only God knows in His timing. But i will ask, knock, and seek.
Friday evening i made my way to the 2nd gig. It was for a ministry that i am tied to called BGM. They were having their latest fund raiser at Two Rivers Baptist, and i needed to oversee 3 games for the kiddo's. However, Kelly on the BGM team asked me a day or two before to be interview about the guys from BGM (Brent, Mike, Aaron), this was real honor to me. As i arrived at the gig, i noticed that all the Terra Nova volunteers that i served with in late Dec last year where there again serving the ministry. So we set up, and made my way to catch up with the BGM crew. I ran into another brother in arms; Paul Teller. Paul often MC's BGM events, he is the Jr High Youth Pastor at Clearview Baptist in Franklin. He is a good man, who is super busy being faithful to the ministry. So i don't get to see him much, but i am a huge fan, so when we get time i sure enjoy it. Paul was going to conduct my interview that night, and we worked out the details before hand. Jess and the boys got to join me for this event, which i am super glad because Jess wants to go to Haiti some day to serve in missions, and BGM has an arm of ministry that will have 8 trips to Haiti in the year coming, so i hope she will get involved.
Justus continues to help me see God each day in his life. Knowing that we had church the night before i gave him the option to stay in with the little ones in the inflatables all night, or go to children's church. There was not even a hesitation, he was going to be with the "big boys" and go to church again. Smiling to myself i thought, that's more mature of a choice than i would have made. As the night ended, Jess and i picked up a piece of artwork from Haiti that matches some of the work we have on the walls from Uganda, so we will add that to our home soon. Also as the night ended, my buddy Paul allowed me to share our recent miracle about Justus tooth and mouth. It led me to tell him, i would be praying for a need in his family that one of his boys needs healing. Paul loved the story, and said let's pray now. So we did. And i continue to pray that God will touch little Brody's life in his need. I am believing for his complete healing and hope you will join me too.
My buddy Jeremy from CC, was also at the event to share about Terra Nova Student Conferences. Jeremy and I have walked in ministry of some sort for over 11 years, and God is getting ready to release him into some very interesting new seasons in his life, so it was cool to catch up with him, momentarily as well.
Saturday was another rain out, unbelievable. However by noon the skies were clear and Justus, Nate, and I spent about 4+ hours outside playing in the mud. Our home is kind of the local playground, so kids come over all the time to play with whatever is in our garage, which is cool with us. We love having them around. Jess ended up with some sort of food poisening from her lunch on friday at the mall, so the boys and I spent the rest of the evening out with Stephen and Ben hodge, enjoying dinner (thanks to dick and steph) and then off to the concert.
One last thought as i close. Jess and I have been reminded lately how kind the Lord has been to me. In the midst of tough funding moments with FP, and a yearning to serve a student ministry more faithfully possibly in our future. God has continued to use both of us to serve the Kingdom through the local church, and in our community. As most men, some of my self worth comes from knowing i have value in this world. As a pastor i am constantly teaching and sharing with others how their value comes from God's love for them alone. However, i too must learn this lesson daily, and live in the grace that He provides by throwing me a bone every now and again.