Hello all, who may have missed me, or may have NOT missed me. :) My blog has been rather inactive since my last post in January 2013. It has been a CRAZY few months, including lots of medical issues and surgeries (for me! ugh!) as well as some great experiences, opportunities and plenty of God-sightings!
As you may, or may not, know, I am a youth pastor, and SUMMER can be summarized in one word easily--CHAOS! Students have kept me busy since graduation and all through our awesome mission trip, summer camp and Monday Nights. It has been a BLAST. I am just coming up for air after some much needed days off. Days OFF are after all designed by God. He designed us for REST, and well, with SUMMER just over, I am low on "rest" days. After a few days of decompressed, I feel almost "me" again. And it feels great. So I thought I'd take a moment to update you all.
ONE: In January, I shared about my new ELDER track status. I appeared before DCOM in June, and I was APPROVED to appear before the "big board" (aka BOOM for my UM friends). I submit all of my "stuff" by September 1st, and hope to hear that they will accept my paperwork and invite me to appear before them in January. Yes! Thankful to God always for His patience and steadfast love, even when I feel like giving up.
TWO: I mention "giving up" in the last point because it has been one tough few months. After two major surgeries, in February and April, I have been quite physically impaired. And those who know me, they know that I can "muscle" through just about anything; unless the "muscle" part breaks down. Well, it happened. And I totally had to learn to depend upon God for strength and courage to keep moving...I am still learning this by the way.
THREE: In the midst of all of this, I am SUPERBLY blessed to be a YOUTH PASTOR at Indian River City UMC. These students totally have my hearts, and I pray that they know it (and thus be gentle with it). I adore students and college students as well, and I find that they teach me so much about life, grace and adaptability. Over the years, this student ministry has been through some tougher moments, and these students have handled it with grace, love and mercy. They teach me a lot. This past year and few months has been transformative for me in so many ways. Thanks to the students who remind me why I do what I do--I can't imagine doing anything else with my life--sharing the hope and love of God in Jesus Christ. We had an AMAZING SUMMER and and awesome YOUTH WEEK 2013 #youthweek2013. I love you guys. Mean it.
What have I learned? Well, to start with--TRUST. I have had to learn to flex the faith muscle called TRUST more than I ever have before. This I think is growth. GRACE--I have learned GRACE both given and received truly transforms the internal spiritual growth that God calls each of us to. It's a whole new level of love and care. Only God could teach this. And finally, HOPE. Hope never dies because of my faith in Christ. He is a resurrected Lord, who is in Heaven, at this very moment, and who is FOR ME. As I seek to follow after Jesus, he teaches me and guides me along the way--picks me back up when I fall, and welcomes me home after a hard day. He never gives up on me. You know what that means then? I can never ever give up on any other human being on this planet. I am called to love people. Period. Loving people does not mean accepting or excusing their mistakes; it simply means loving them right where they are. That's what Jesus did, and that's I best do.