53 days. That's how long until I graduate with my bachelor's degree. It's been a long time coming, but I'm smack dab in the will of God-- it feels great. I'm about to step out of my college comfort zone and into this world. Just me, my beautiful wife, and...
Just a few minutes ago, I noticed a book on my self that was conspicuously perfect. It's cover was untouched, like it had never left the bookstore. As any avid reader would know, this is a book begging to be broken in, bent, folded, and devoured word-by-word. That book was "The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer". I decided to do a few blog posts as a sort of way to keep a public notebook of my journey through this text. I'm only through chapter 1, and it already necessitates a post. Hopefully, my personal notes and commentary will be an encouragement to you. Moreover, I hope that you are spurred to personal study. So far, it's a phenomenal book that articulates the need and power of prayer in a way I've yet to see in print. Enjoy!
The Necessity of Prayer: Chapter 1: Prayer and Faith
“Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
I’ve heard this scripture a thousand times. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love it. I’ve just never understood the whole thing. Of the four ways Mark encourages us to love the Lord, the “with all of your soul” part has confused me the most. How can I love God with all of my soul? My heart, I can understand. My soul? I don’t really think about my soul a lot. So, I did some reading and found some things that may help you develop a little more insight like it did for me.
So sorry that I haven't been able to update in a while. The video explains why a little bit. Kind. Not really. But! New posts are on the way. If you haven't already, please subscribe to me on Youtube! Hope you guys have a wonderful day!
This past Saturday and Sunday some friends (@NoelliaMarie@Auds_93 & @EricaSEvans) and myself journeyed to New Orleans, Louisiana to lead worship at Saints Community Church (@scc_nola). I seldom get to be a part of a church plant, so this was an exceptionally great time. Pastor Wayne Northup (@WayneNorthup) is passionate, high energy, and determined to reach the lost and hurting of New Orleans...
Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The Lord's right hand has done mighty things! The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things." I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:15-17)
I remember sitting outside in the courtyard this afternoon reading this scripture. The highlights and pen markings told me that I had read this before, but this bit of scripture seemed to jump off of the page in a new way. I really like it when that happens. I closed my bible and started to walk back to my room. It was then that Holy Spirit asked me the question that spurred me to share with you.
It seems so strange that I am starting my second year at SAGU. On this day last year, I made the three hour drive from Shreveport, Louisiana to Waxahachie, TX with a full trunk, all my clothes, and even more hopes and expectations for this next season in my life. Looking back, there are a few things that I would have told myself that I'd like to communicate to you. What I'm about to tell you isn't groundbreaking, but nuggets of truth that I wish someone would have told me.
[Editor’s Note: When I heard Haleigh’s story of what God had done in her life I had to help her share it. What you’re about to read is more than a testimony about healing of diabetes. It’s about healing and deliverance and life change. No matter where this finds you today, know that Jesus is ready and able to intervene in your situation. As someone with parents who suffer from health related problems, Haleigh’s story encourages me to continue to believe God for big things. I hope you’ll do the same. Sincerely, Joseph.]
TIME: Friday, July 6, 9:30PMSETTING: Days Inn pool, storm coming in, lightning in the skyBACKGROUND: I had a let-down of a day; not my brightest moment
So, I was laying on a chair by the pool praying when this guy walks out. I notice that he had a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and a towel under his arm. I don’t think they’re particularly healthy or necessary (minus the towel—that can be necessary at times), but none of the these were a huge bother to me. I was mainly annoyed by the fact that there was another human around when I was trying to have super-spiritual alone time with God...
[CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO READ MORE of "Obedience is Better than Drugs" featuring music from Brian & Katie Torwalt]
More and more, I feel like we fit-- whatever that means. For some odd reason, this seemingly randomly assembled group of 19/20-somethings and myself have decided to live life together for a little while on the road. And with it come all of the annoyances, and inside jokes, and late nights, and memories, and treasures that you'd never expect to find. Jesus has, and will continue to do, good things in us.
Yesterday was great! I'm not a huge fireworks fan, but they're fun to watch. It was a war zone yesterday. If you weren't lighting fireworks, they were being thrown at you. Reflexes are key. I grabbed some footage, take a look below!
In the midst of the chaos... [Click the link below to read more!]
I want to be up front with you. I most definitely had to look up how to spell "Tennessee". 2 n's. 2 s's. 2 e's. And by "look up" I mean that I typed it in to Google and see if it spell checked it. Oh! And sorry about taking a few days to post about this past week. Sleep was too good to pass up!
Tennessee youth camp was amazing! Without a doubt, it was one of the highlights of the summer...
Nashville is too great of a city to stay couped up in all day! I learned that sometimes going out on a whim and doing spontaneous is the best way to discover something great. We were in our van driving through downtown Nashville when Josh (@hoshjoffman), another worship leader in "The Call and one of my good friends, sees this candy store while we're stopped at a red light. One thing leads to another, and we end up piling out of the van as quickly as possible. The following is evidence that a sugar high is never, ever bad idea!
This isn't the official post for our week at Tennesse youth camp, but I felt the need to give a quick update about what's already going on. God is good! The first day of camp hasn't even started and the Lord is already moving and working in our lives and in the lives of the staff here.
It's always refreshing when you can come in to a place where the expectation for God to move is high. Tonight, we spent some time in prayer with the staff-- amazing. There's nothing like get spritually ready to tackle what the week is going to throw as us. I could go on and on. I won't. Just know that our bodies are tired, but our hearts are ready. I, honestly, can not wait to see what the Lord is going to do!
We've had an awesome two weeks leading worship at the New Mexico youth camp! Time has flown by, but I met some great people, had fun, and God did incredible things! All in all... [CLICK TITLE TO READ MORE]
It's funny how these things happen. What started as a conversation about what apartments, phones cases, and Austin, TX quickly turned to a topic with which all of us can identify. My friend's question was simple, yet profound, "Why doesn't my present situation look like the dream that God has given me?"