Thursday, September 15, 2011

Quick Update

It has been quite an interesting year so far. Last year at this time I was in seminary at Southwestern. During the course of last fall they decided to drop the licensing part of their masters degree in counseling. In addition to this, several of the key professors of the counseling department left and were being replaced with professors who did not promote being licensed. I wasn't getting the education I was paying for, and I decided it was best for me to leave.
Focusing on new things, I felt it was time to pull out of graduate school all together. I got to the point in my life where, to be honest, I just got tired of being in school. It was time for me to start a career and begin my life, so to speak.
I began praying about where God was leading me next. As I have expressed to many people, I have a life long dream of opening a children's home one day. I have always had a heart for kids, and had a desire to work with kids. As I began to think and pray on this for a few months, I really felt like education was a perfect fit. Working with children in education, interacting with parents and other teachers day in and day out, seemed to coincide with my future goals of opening a children's home and would give me invaluable experience.
As the spring 2011 semester began, I enrolled in an alternative teacher certification program. I have completed the program and passed my certification test for the 4th-8th grade generalist. This means the I am certified to teach the 4th-8th grade here in Texas. I have not secured a teaching position yet, and may not for the fall semester. But I am continually applying and seeking a teaching position.
This past week I put in an application to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am really excited, and looking forward to getting involved with this organization. It is an incredible thing to be able to make an impact on the life of a child.
April and I are continuing to look for a church home. The task of finding a church home in the metroplex can be a daunting task. I have been told by many people that you can literally visit a new church every week for years, and still not have visited all of them. As this search continues, I believe that we are making good progress and have possibly found a good fit for us.
I would ask for every one's prayers for finding a teaching position, as that has been a big thing on my mind over the past few months. Also, please be in prayer about the children's home. I have tried to reach out to a few friends lately who have opened children's home in other countries over the years. Seeking guidance about doing the same thing here in the states.
God is good. I know that He has big plans ahead. Until next time. God bless.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Future

So it's been a really long time since I have blogged about anything, and quite a bit has happened in the past year. I've moved all over the place, crossed state lines, I got married, and many other things. Some really great news is that my wife and I are planning on moving back down to Fort Worth, Texas at the end of May/beginning of June. We are really looking forward to getting back down there, especially me, so that I can pick back up with seminary and finish what I started.
Right now I am taking two online classes with Southwestern Seminary, and they are keeping me pretty busy. Whoever said that online classes are easier than regular classes is crazy!
We are hoping that everything will transition in a smooth manner. We are trying to line up a job for April at one of the hospitals there, then we will be looking at finding a house to buy. We have already been looking at quite a few houses, but there is still a slight possibility we could end up renting. So, lots of big kid decisions to be made.
Be praying for the both of us as we try to plan everything out of the next several months. There are a lot of things that go in to moving, planning for work, housing, ect.

Thanks for reading! Until next time! Which will NOT be another year from now.. promise!! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tough Times

I feel as though I have been bringing a lot of bad news lately, and part of me doesn't want to write anything at all because I want to keep up a front that says.. "Hey! Everything is fine, nothing is wrong. I'm not experiencing trials, because God is good." But the truth is, the Bible tells us just the opposite of that. We will experience trials and tribulations. We will experience hard times. But the important thing is what you DO during those hard and difficult times.

As I may have mentioned last time, I have been having trouble with getting money for school and for books. It is now nearly a week into the semester and at present.. things aren't looking very good. The other day I was told about a possible one thousand dollar scholarship, but I have no idea whether I can get it or not, and when I would get it even if I was accepted for it.
I do have some good news, and that is.. On Monday I got a job with FedEx! The down side is that I won't be able to start for another week, maybe two. The reason is just because of their training schedule.
The other small piece of good news is that my professor for one of my classes is allowing me to borrow the textbook for that class. As far as my other two classes, it looks as though I am on my own.
To paint a complete picture as to where I currently stand.. I have no money, for a lot of things. First of which is tuition, second is books. I'm pretty sure I can cover my rent for this month. But that doesn't include other expenses such as utilities, cell phone, insurance, and one other bill I have. I have no idea when I will begin to be taken out of my classes for non-payment. The official rule is that if there is not a full payment made by Aug. 15th, then the whole amount is due immediately. Somehow I've been allowed to remain in my classes.
So that's all the really negative stuff, that is really pulling me down. I do my best to try and see the silver lining. It's as if a battle is taking place within me where one side is telling me that I should just pack it up and go home. It is apparent that things are beginning to fall apart, and maybe this wasn't what I was supposed to do. But wait! There's the other side that is still holding on and bringing back that constant reminder of what took place for me to get down here. How God provided a new roommate to take my place in Bolivar, how, after two years I was able to sell all my lawn equipment, how I sold all my furniture within a week and a half, how God provided a place for me to live in what usually takes at least a MONTH, I was able to get a place in less than 24 hours! Then after being in Texas for LESS than a week, God provided not just one, not just two, but THREE different jobs for me.
God has done nothing but continually provide, over and over again. He also brought me to a school that has probably the best counseling program out of all the seminaries. Also, a school that has a very very large emphasis on missions. Both of those two things have my name written all over them. God has brought me here for a reason. I'm not here by accident. Even though it seems as if the walls are crashing down on me, and that there doesn't seem to be any hope.
If someone were to ask me how I feel, right now.. I would say this, "I'm a little scared, I don't know what's going to happen next, and I don't know where the money is going to come from. But what I do know is this. I serve a really, really big God. Who has taken care of me, and provided in ways that I could've never imagined in the past. Am I going to be here next week? Right now, I don't have an answer to that question. All I can say, is that God is good, and don't stop praying. Because God is always listening."

You know, the other day I had a dream about a boy who used to live on my street when I was in high school. This boy was abused, neglected, unloved by his parents, and eventually sent away. I had forgotten about this boy for many years, until I had this dream. The next day, I thought about what this boy had been through and what he has been going through over the years. Moved around from home to home, from one foster family to another. The hurt and the pain that he must be going through. As I was thinking about him, my heart broke for this boy. I fell on my face before the Lord, and I wept. And I asked myself, I wonder where he is now? I wonder how he's doing? Does he know, how much God loves him? Even though he's been hurt and rejected all of his life, does he know that that isn't the way its supposed to be? Has anyone shared the love of Christ, and that Jesus came down to earth and died on the cross so that we could have fellowship with God? I asked myself all of these questions and many more.. I was able to call one of my old neighbors and ask what his last name was so that I could try and find him. See how he is doing and if I would be able to make contact with him.

There are children, every day, all over the world.. that experience abuse, neglect, have feelings of being unloved, unwanted, question who they are, have no sense of identity, or what this life is all about. The Lord has placed a calling on my life to open a children's home. When I hear about kids like this, my heart goes out to them. One day I want to provide a place, a safe place, where kids can come and have a place to live, a place to learn about God, a place to grow. Most importantly, a place where they can feel loved, and loved by God.

This is where my heart is, and this is what God is calling me to. There are so many things to be praying for. I would encourage anyone who is reading this to pick one or two things and pray about them every day. God is good. Don't stop praying.

Friday, August 22, 2008


The semester has officially started, as of yesterday. The only down side, is that I'm having trouble paying for school. Since Southwestern doesn't accept any federal funding, I was forced to try and take out a private student loan. Unfortunately, I was declined because my credit isn't that good. So the only way I will be accepted for the loan is if i have a credit-worthy co-signer. I don't really know anyone with good credit.
Please be praying for me about this. I haven't been able to pay for school yet, and I also haven't been able to buy books. I know that God provides, and I know that He has brought me here for a purpose. Keep praying that God would provide a way. He always does..

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Mission Field

Not a whole lot of things have happened since my last post as far as jobs go. Yesterday I went to apply at FedEx, but I soon found out that they have a nice little screening process, in the form of a tour.. In order to scare those not so serious applicants. My scary tour will be tomorrow night, only then can I fill out an application and get an interview, on Monday. I still have not heard back from my other attempts at employment. I remain optimistic.. and by optimistic I mean that I am trusting God to provide. At last with my bank account finally in the green, by the grace of God.. I now wait to see God's next miracle, paying my second largest bill of the month.
Earlier this week and even last week I found myself slipping so quickly into a state of depression over finances. If there is one thing that I struggle with and have the most trouble trusting God over, it's finances. How am I going to pay for this? How am I going to pay for that? Hello! God, where are you? Then God graciously taps me on the shoulder and says, I'm right here.. what's wrong? Oh.. right. Thank you. If I allow it, finances can keep being that trial that God continually tests me on while He is up there going.. When is this kid going to learn?

I'm going to finish my thought on finances here in a minute, but first I have to tell you all about my day today.
This morning I awoke with a re-occurring thought.. and I think , no, I know, that I have now answered. Because I used to, and now am in this mindset. The thought was, why are these weird seminary friends of mine, when I ask them what they did for the day reply with.. I have been listening to a sermon on.. such and such.. or I've been listening to a sermon on this.. I mean, they go to class after class that puts them in the middle of the Bible all the time, they go to church like 5 times a week and they do ministry, ect. ect.
Then I came to the conclusion this morning as I found myself looking for a good preacher and a good sermon.. and the conclusion was that by the definition of the rest of the world, yeah, they're weird.. but for me to be saying that they are weird, is in itself, weird. Any way.. the point that I have been trying to.. point out.. haha... uhhumm.. is that they aren't weird at all, because when I found myself searching for just those things, it's because I have this hunger inside of me.. and not the physical hunger that says, I really want a nice big bacon double cheeseburger right now.. It's the hunger inside of me that says, I want to learn.. about God... I want to know.. more about God.. I want to be closer.. to God. There's a deep hunger, an inner groaning that is crying out to know more about the character of God, to just know more about who God is and what He is doing in the lives of others.
So I got online and started looking up sermons.. So I thought.. where in the world do I begin? Where do I start? Who do I listen to? So a few great speakers came to mind.. John Piper, Louie Giglio, and Voddie Baucham. But the one that I zeroed in on was Voddie Baucham. Wow, what an incredible speaker! After listening to that guy today, my mind has been broadened and expanded to new thoughts and new ideas about who God is and new truths of His Word that I wouldn't have ordinarily known.
Today it was as if God spoke through Voddie and was speaking directly to me.. imagine that. And it was right up my alley. It was all about the family, kids, the roles of the man in the household and everything that goes along with that. How children are such a huge blessing and that as a man, I am to be not only the head of my household one day but the one who disciples my kids, my wife. I mean, I already knew all of these things and they were in the back of my mind.. but you know how, when you have someone who knows how to articulate a certain idea and make you think about it in a way that you never had before or you turn on this light in the corner of your mind and you have one of those.. Oh yeah! , kind of moments? It was one of those.. and I began to think of the children's home that I want to start one day and how all of this plays into that.
I really haven't even begun to share the tip of the iceberg.. but we'll have to save all of that for a later date.
After listening to Voddie's sermon as I did my laundry at the local laundromat, I was driving back up to my apartment, and right as I opened my car door.. this little sixth grade boy that I had played baseball with the other day, pulled up on his bike right next to me and asks if me, him, and his cousins can go to the seminary and go swimming. I looked at him with a big smile and said, you bet.. Lets go. So we take off and walk down the road.. me and four kids, to go swimming. Before we left to go swimming I told the youngest one, the sixth grader, that I wanted to first go and speak to his folks. So we went across the street to his house.. the house that had been told to me by other neighbors was a bit of a party house.. and I soon noticed that as I approached the front door, by all of the beer bottle caps laying all over the front yard. I came to the door and was greeted by his older sister. We chatted briefly about this and that.. and so me and the boys went to the pool. The oldest one is going to be a sophomore this year and he's trying out for the baseball team.. first baseman.
I have to say that all of this was the highlight of my day. To get to be a part of these boy's life's. The opportunity to have an impact on their lives.. It's no mistake that my favorite sport is baseball and it just so happens that I'm across the street from a group of boys that love to play baseball and are trying out to be on their schools baseball team. I told them to make sure and get me a schedule because I would love to come to some of the games. It's been great just getting to know these boys and building that relationship with them and starting to build a relationship with their family. It's like I can see the potential of what God can do here, and it just excites me that I can be a part of that.

After our swim I went home and cooked up some dinner. Afterwards I grabbed my little ipod and decided to go for a walk and listen to a podcast that I had downloaded earlier on in the day.. The podcast was of Louie Giglio and the Passion conferences. As I walked around the local neighborhood and listening to Louie talk about a global movement that is happening, and my mind began thinking about missions.. and I began to think about something that I had previously thought about when I first arrived in Fort Worth. I made a joke to someone that I had indeed moved to a foreign country, and also that the neighborhood that I had moved into was really the most northern border of Mexico.
Now, I say all of that jokingly.. But I began to think, that this is a mission field. Of course, everywhere we go is a mission field. But this really feels like MORE of a mission field because of several things. Within at least a 5 to 10 mile radius of the seminary campus, there is a massive population of Hispanic people. If you drive around, there are more billboards and store signs in Spanish than there are in English! I walk around my neighborhood here and quickly see, that I'm the minority. Just a few blocks away at a local school, there isn't your usual football field.. There's a large soccer field. Everywhere I turn, there are Hispanic people. I live in a one bedroom apartment, right next to railroad tracks.. and my house shakes every time a train goes by, along with the loud horn that blows every time it passes.. throughout the day, and even all hours of the night.. and I'm here for the next three years. It's like I signed up for the journeyman program without even realizing it.

As I was going over all of this on my walk, I began to think of how this is my mission field. I am on the mission field right now. I'm doing missions right now and its already started with my neighbors and those kids across the street.
And this is where I want to finish my thought about finances from earlier. In trying to think and be a missionary where I am right now, lately I've been convicted about something.. and as I thought about it, it was also a root for depression. This thought of me. I can get so caught up in me, and everything about my own life, that I forget about other people. I forget about the needs of other people. I got two different text messages the other day from friends who were requesting prayer because they had family members that are battling cancer. After the second message in the same day.. I just stopped and said to myself.. I think God is trying to tell me that I need to pray. I have to stop focusing on me so much. Everything keeps being about me and my life, and I'm missing the boat. I'm missing all the things that are happening around me. I'm so caught up in what I can get and what I might be able to buy once I get here, or once I do this or that.. that I forget that someone's 5 year old son is battling cancer right now. I forget, that there are 5 kids.. that have been dropped in my lap, by God.. That need Jesus. I forget that there is a conference going on right now in Indonesia where some college student brought his Hindu friend to hear about Jesus, and how that guy needs prayer. That his eyes would be opened to the gospel.
You have to stop looking for a mission field, and open your eyes.. Because your on it.
And the question that is probably being asked at this point is, so what does that have to do with finances? I'm glad you asked. All of this for me, has to do with finances because finances is my weak area and I keep getting caught up in it. I began thinking about how I had mentioned to someone just a week ago how I would like to buy one of those new iphones in a couple of months, or I think about how I would like to have this or that.. But this realization came over me.. and I am not saying that its wrong to have nice things.. don't you go lying on me now. ;) I'm just at this point right now in my life where, I don't want any of those nice flashy things. For the moment, I want to live like a poor man. Which, believe me.. I am doing it.
The reason I am saying all of this is because, I don't want money to be my pursuit. For the last year I worked for a bank, and when a person works at a bank they naturally think about money. It's a part of the job. But during that time, my focus began to be all about what I could make. I applied for a position as a commercial lender, and if I were to have attained that position.. Having a six figure income within the next several years would not have been out of the question. But by the grace of God, I didn't get that position.
As I said before, not that having nice things and improving ones quality of life is bad, because its not.. I am merely stating that, I want to completely take that focus and any greed that I may have in my life, and get rid of it. Money has, and can be a source of great turmoil. I'm just trying to get to that point where I am completely satisfied with what I have, and anything that God decides to give me, just count it as a blessing. I want to keep my focus on Him, and not on the almighty dollar.

Well, it has been a good day. Obviously, I've been doing a lot of thinking today. Please continue to pray for me as I look for a job, and also as I try to find a way to pay for my schooling. Right now, I really don't know where the funding is going to come from and I came in a little too late to apply for any scholarships. But God always provides. There are a lot of things to be praying for, so keep praying! Until next time..

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Update on the.. situation..

I'm updating so soon after my last post! You all should be so proud! lol!

It's always a blessing to talk to someone, when things aren't going well, and they know just what to say and what advice to give for the current circumstance.
After my last post, I tried contacting the children's home that I had applied for.. Once again got a voicemail. Hopefully I'll hear something this next week. I also went to the HR office on-campus and applied for a secretary job in the IT department, 35 hours a week. That would be good too.. I won't hear anything on that one for another week or two though. Kind of a long time to wait, especially when things are as tight as they are. The good news is that I got to go work for the elderly gentlemen that I have only worked for one other time.. I got a little cash in my pocket. So that was nice.
Yesterday was a pretty good day.. I spent a good portion of the day reading through and studying the book of John. It was great! I got my pen and highlighter out and marked up all sorts of stuff! :) There was really a couple of verses that just.. really stood out to me. They were, John 4:23-24... They read, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers MUST worship in spirit and in truth." Amazing passage.. God is, seeking.. those who are the true worshipers, those that worship in spirit and in truth. Something to meditate on..
I think that this passage has even more significance than usual because I have been trying to make a decision about leading worship at two different churches. I was asked by one to lead worship for their youth group, and another church to be the lead guitarist and vocals in their sunday morning service.. Need lots of prayer on that decision.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. The trials are still there, but they don't seem near as bad as they did. I guess I was focusing more on the issues than I was on God.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers, keep it up!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Traveling through a storm, and looking for sunshine..

There have been a lot of things happening lately. But it seems as though the bad is currently out-weighing the good. The Tuesday before last I had a meeting with the owner of the company I worked for, and even though the problems that I have been having with the manager were not my fault and that I've found myself in a situation where I'm just trying to do my job.. I was let go. He told me that he didn't want to call it a termination, and that he felt awful about what was happening.. The best thing at the moment was to get me out of the managers way, and him out of mine. So I lost my main job.
However, still remaining optimistic.. and anticipating one last check from Commerce at the end of the week, and expecting it to be descent size.. I accelerated my plans of going to Missouri that weekend to leaving at midnight that Tuesday night. It was good to be home for a few days and visit the family. My bubble soon burst when I found that my last big paycheck was only for my last two days of work. No matter.. I was still getting my last paycheck for the landscaping job that had just ended.
On Friday I drove on down to Bolivar, where I packed up the rest of my things and was able to see a lot of friends. I was able to visit Wellspring Sunday morning, which was a joy.. It was indeed a great weekend. I finally left Bolivar and headed for Fort Worth at 9pm.. Didn't arrive in Fort Worth until 4:30am. Needless to say, it was a very long Monday!

This week has been a very trying week. I feel as though the rug has been pulled from under me, and now I'm laying on the floor.. Struggling to get up. It seems as though my financial troubles have compounded. Somehow there were a couple of unexpected and unrealized debts that have passed through my bank account.. and everyone knows, that even the slightest miscalculation of mis-hap can turn out to be a lot of trouble. In this instance, there have been two mis-haps that have caused a great deal of trouble for me.
I am without a main source of income for the moment, and now I have amassed a couple hundred dollars worth of fees. The only good news I have at the moment is that the owner of the lawn company I met with last week told me that he has some connections with a children's home that is nearby, and that he would use his connections there to help me get a job with them. I was able to speak with someone on Monday who directed me to the voicemail of the person that I would need to go through in order to get a position.. I haven't heard anything yet.

Sometimes things just don't look good. It's easy for me to just throw up my hands and say, Hey! where did you go God? But I know that everything happens for a reason. God didn't see all this unfold and think to Himself.. Uh oh.. I didn't see that one coming. God has a purpose and a plan. Sometimes it would really be nice to know what that is. But right now I'm just praying. Asking for God's provision. Asking God for help, for rescuing. I don't know what to do. I'm just trying to hold on to Him.

Please be praying for me about all of this. I really need it right now.