"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Am

This last week has been challenging, yet it has also been good and a blessing. I have been filled with doubt and uncertainty as I struggle to find work. Waiting on hearing back from employers is not the most fun thing to do, and usually I want results pronto. It was definitely an area that I was trusting God with. In my personal devotion time with the Lord, I have been reading through Genesis as I try to work my way through the Bible in a year. Recently, I have been going through the motions and not really getting much out of it, so with a little encouragement from someone far wiser than myself, I read the first chapter of Ephesians to mix it up, and try an exercise. From this passage, we get a list of things that Good has done for us, and also a list of who we are because of those great acts performed by God. So I made a list of "I Am" statements out of Ephesians 1. My list is as follows:
1. I am predestined
2. I am forgiven
3. I am redeemed
4. I am saved
5. I am sealed with a promise
6. I am blessed
I am all these things because of what God did before the world was ever created! And if He predestined us how does he not know what we need? Why did He do all these great things for us? Because as Paul writes in verses 10 and 11 that it was all according to His will and purpose. That purpose was "... to unite all things to him, things in heaven, and things on earth."(verse10). What a great encouragement! After reading this chapter, my confidence, not in myself, but in the Lord rose, and I was greatly encouraged by this reminder of the gospel. It totally changed my view on my situation and trust in the Lord. The Lord has a plan for us all, we just need to entrust ourselves to Him, in faith believing that we each have a purpose and role in this world, and live as children of the Lord who is the Great I AM.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Identity

I confess that the idea for this post was provided in part by my dear friend Sammy Rhodes. Today, I was listening to the first RUF podcast from this semester at Georgia Southern University. The theme of this talk was "Identity Crisis". The identity crisis dealt with here is the identity crisis experienced in college. So I am unabashedly borrowing this theme to share with you about my identity crisis and how it ties into the issue of manhood.
It is my observation that most high school teens are in a constant state of angst and drama. They worry about fitting in and being liked by their friends, while being bombarded from every form of media that they have to look a certain way, do certain things, and have a special personality type or they won't be "cool". Identity is something that teens spend their every waking moment being anxious about. I know personally, as an awkward kid in middle and high school, I was always worrying about others thought of me and tried to be one of the in-crowd.
Once senior year rolled around, my identity, was in my mind, cemented in a comfortable place. Only when I started college, did I realize that I was mistaken. My desire for approval came back, and this time, I understood that it was idolatry. My world changed. The idea that wanting others' approval was a form of idolatry was new to me.
College is an exciting time for anyone, but a time where you experience things that shape you for the rest of our life. Your identity shifts again as you grow and (hopefully) mature in an adult. They tell us that they are the most exciting times in our lives. In college, I never fully figured out who I was as a person, or what I wanted to do with my life. I felt directionless and frustrated, but was constantly being reminded that my identity was not in what I did for a living or if I was athletic or not. Once I was identified as a sinner justly deserving God's wrath and in desperate need of a Savior. Now that I have been saved by God's boundless grace, I have a new identity. My identity is in Jesus Christ. Because he is my identity, I don't have to worry what others think about me, or how cool I look simply for no other reason than Jesus views me as his son covered by his grace and free in him. I was reminded of these truths today while listening to "Identity Crisis". Thank you Sammy for the reminder!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Be Not Discouraged!

This week has already been interesting! On Monday, we had the annual slipn'slide extravaganza at Mark Ballard's home which was also the day that I sprained my foot. The slipn'slide was made from three large tarps that reached to about one hundred feet down a long hill in Mark's front lawn. Pretty epic! I made it down the slide three times without incident, but the fourth time, my foot got caught underneath me and somehow twisted as I made it to the halfway point. Turns out that I sprained my foot and sought medical attention soon thereafter.
Today, the pain is subsiding, but my foot still looks very black and blue, and swollen. As for the job situation, Bank of America turned me down, and it appears that I will be getting a job at Chick-fil -A. While this is not my ideal place to work, I am trying to trust that God knows what he is doing and be thankful that he has provided a source of income for me. Today also was a day of endless reflection on Statesboro and friends and family there who I miss fiercely.
Again, the Lord has provided me with a great community here who are encouraging and who are excited to walk with the Lord. In times like these, when discouragement gets me down, and threatens to weaken my faith in Jesus, I am reminded of Joshua 1:9 that says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." That is a rock solid promise!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On the Move...Again

Well, I am now officially moved into 667 Monticlair Drive here in Macon. I spent a restless night in my new home trying to fight off congestion, but I feel extremely blessed to be here with a believing family and to experience the community of believers in another area of the state. Tomorrow, orientation starts at First Presbyterian Church and then off for two days to an undisclosed location for our first retreat to kick off the Internship.
After a summer of living in Tennessee away from my church home, I feel better about moving off again and starting a new chapter in my life. My host family, the Bechtel's are extremely kind and generous. I already feel like a part of the family. Mr. Gary Bechtel is an avid reader and a history buff, so I feel that we will get along very well. The Bechtel's have a girl, Tarver in her Freshmen year at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, and a son, Sam 14 in highschool. Sam gave up his entertainment room downstairs for my room, which was very gracious.
Today, I tried to get familiar with the area and drove around Riverside. My favorite go-to place will probably be Barnes and Noble only 15 minutes from the house! I am excited to be here and eager to see what God does this year in my life!