Mentors

overflowing cup

As I have gone through my life I have never been a person, who thought they “needed” a mentor. My life has been one of scattered of pride, bitterness, and self-centeredness. All things that could have been helped if I had charged someone with the idea that they could call me out, they could hand me a good piece of humble pie, which is what inevitably God has done (Not to say I am cured of all those things, they will be a life long journey of change). The more and more I look back on my life I realized I have had several mentors of different kinds but not one specific person, who I could unpack the things of life with, transition, pain, large decisions. I have put little things out there to people, but not put my full trust in any person. Now you can look at it, as people will always let you down, which is probably truer than some people would like to admit, but true mentorship aligned with Christ’s message and goal is the only way I think we can truly live the fulfilled life, we were created to live.

 

The mission of Christ was to pour into people, so they could be filled up, and go out and pour into others bringing glory to His Kingdom. Another more recent discovery about my self is that one of the ways I feel most alive is in teaching, and in guiding people through the lessons Christ has taught me over my twenty-four years of life, which further more made me realize the need for me to get a mentor of my own. Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another man.” We were made to be in community, and we were made to come along side one another, and equip them to come along side other people. I recently attended a leader ship conference in which one of the speakers gave us two questions to ask our selves everyday “who did I add value to today?”, and “how did I add value to them?”  What would our work places, friend groups, volunteer groups, Churches, and teams look like, if everyone asked him or herself these two questions everyday and acted upon them?

 

But if we are not equipped to come along side others, we can never expect to have a life of adding value to others, which takes us back to my initial point, find a mentor, find a person who can do life with you, and look at your life from an outside perspective.  Then when you are ready and then be that person for someone else. I pray that we have a world full of mentors, and people who are truly seeking to learn from them, so that one day they too can equip the next generation.

2012 Recap

2012 has been a crazy year, filled with busyness, joy, sorrow, and of coarse lots of music. The Generation had the chance to lead worship for a few retreats early in the year, Running Five even played a couple gigs, but the bulk of my time and music has gone into getting married and my  Ministry with LifeBridge.

In August I was hired on full time as the Student Impact Worship Pastor at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont Colorado, Later that month I tied the knot with the Love of my life the women formerly known as Katie Riley (which was the best decision I have made). Things kind of got crazy from there; not long into our marriage we experienced a loss of my wife’s cousin and very dear friend. Staff Sargent Christopher Birdwell was killed in action on August 27th fighting for our country in Afganistan. This was a loss that hit all of us very hard, and continues to provide struggle and hurt.

In the midst of this hard time coming so soon after one of the happiest days of our lives It has been a struggle, but as we have learned to turn to Him more it is amazing to see how God has used this experience to draw us closer to each other, and to us closer to Him. As humans we tend to take life for granted until on we lose someone close to us, but even then we can tend to fall back into life as normal.

Jeremiah 29: 11-13

11For I know the plans I have for you, declares theLord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

This verse has been rolling around in my head for the last few months, if we truly embrace that fact that God has a plan for us.  We tend to go about our days doing the things that we believe are right for us, we pray “God help me______” fill in the blank. instead of trusting God and his plan. Now Before I continue, I have to say I firmly believe it is never God’s plan for us to have deep hurt, or loss, but it’s how we respond to those situations. What would our lives look like if our prayer was “God let your will be done in every aspect of my life, use me for you plan and purpose”

A few days after Chris’s funeral I remember sitting in the kitchen with Katie, talking about what it would be like to have the faith of those in the early church, and what our lives would look like if in times of victory and times of struggle our prayer was “God Let Your Will Be Done”; and not only  prayed that but truly trusted that God would take care of us and our needs (let me just remind you we are taking about needs not wants) I will admit this is still one of the hardest prayers to pray, because God’s plan is not our plan and very well can take us places and put us in situations that make us uncomfortable, and frustrated, but if we trust that God has a plan for us, and that our understanding will never even be close to his, hardship can turn into opportunity.

Every year at LifeBridge we have what is called the Blue Christmas Service, it’s a Service focused towards people who have had loss, hardship, any reason that Christmas maybe not the happy season we all make it out to be. This year we have several video spots of people sharing their stories, and sharing how the truth and hope of Christ’s birth is how we can get through those experiences . Katie had an opportunity to share her story of the summers events, and closed with a statement that proved God’s hand working in heart through the pain.

“The Way we will get through Christmas, is knowing there is hope, and Chris is fine, and Happy, and has more understanding than we do. He’s not in hurting, He’s not in pain, and he knows Jesus, and is with Jesus”

God takes every part of our lives and uses it to teach us, uses it to shape who we are as Kingdom workers. So in times of Joy, times of struggle if we could be true in praying “God let your will be done, show me what you have in store for me” then day by day we could begin to have bits and pieces of the understanding Chris has, and that we will have in being untied with Christ.

2013 will be a year with its own adventures and own heart aches, but most importantly it will be a year of seeking God’s will, and learning to better walk beside him discovering his plan for my life.

 

Updates on music stuff for 2013

2013 is a year to get things going again Musically i have set goals to be constantly writing and recording new songs, as well as plan to have a solo album out by July or August. This album will be a compilation of Some older Running Five tunes, solo songs i have been writing for a while, and a will end with a shot worship EP. I am looking forward to the project and all the folks who will be collaborating on it. other than that, keep and eye out on the Tour page for shows from Running Five and The Generation, as well and worship events, and services im leading. Happy New Year.

 

Jesus Paid It All

Hey Folks I just wanted to share this great video we have been working on, featuring our TriTowns Worship Leader Luc Dimarzio. This is an orignal poem by him hope you enjoy.

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRbj3rnXDyg&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

The Others Around Us

 

 

As people of Faith we try our best to serve the people around us, for some maybe even to much putting them before yourself to an unhealthy level, But i think we forget that we too are the same people we are “trying to help”. For myself asking for help is a hard thing, I try and deal with my own issues on my own so that people don’t have to be apart of my problems. This is an underlying fear A lot of people have I think. we have it so engrained in our heads that we should be the ones helping, that we con’t let people help us; we can;t let people serve us. when the truth is for the majority of us, we need just as much help as anyone else. All of this to say, I am making a commitment, to pray, and to make strives to overcome, the fear of being served by others and i would encourage each one of us to examine our selves and find the areas in our lives that we need help in.

 

“Serving is an ongoing challenge we experience daily in Christian ministry. But, given enough time, we might come face to face with one of our biggest fears and discover a great truth. It will only be when we have finally learned to graciously submit to helplessness and dependency on others our long battle with sinful pride will be finally won.”-Tom Lawson  www.adorate.org

VBS

Vacation Bible School has always been a fun week in a church workers life and this week was no different Treasure Island Came to LifeBridge in a big way. Through all the Kaos i was amazed at how much these kids pick up. Kids no taller than my knees telling me the gospel story. there is nothing more refreshing than se kids make a change that will lead them on this amazing journey of being a Christ Follower.

 

Would You Leave It All

So many times I find my self fighting what I know the path God has for me. I think as people we have have this great want for Christ in our lives, but we are only willing to give Christ so much of us. We make excuses “well God doesn’t really want me to pray for that”, “Oh thats not my calling”, or even the more honost phrase of “im just not ready to give that up yet”. The funny thing about all this is that we go on doing all these things what ever they happen to be, and then when the consequences hit we start praying really hard. “God Give me one more chance I promise if you help me out ill change”, and once we are through it we are right back to our same old ways.
I was recently Skimming through a book called stuff Christians like and it talked about the concept and habitual problem that we christian have, that is saying “i’ll pray for You”; and then never really following through on it. This got me thinking, its bad enough that we do this with people, but really we do it to God everyday. “oh God, ill follow you this time” time and time again we let God down. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, but that doesn’t mean we should try to sin and fall short of the glory of God. You see God knows our hearts, he knows who we are, what we do, what are intentions are, yet even knowing all of our brokeness and junk, He still was wiling to send His Son, to Die on a cross for each one of us. All he asks in return is that w do our very best, to follow him; to live lives that he set an example of by his son. If christ were to walk through the doors of your church, and say “Hey everyone follow me” would we? would we leave your family without say goodbye? would we walk out on our Job? would we walk out on everything we think is important? to gain a gift we can’t grasp, to gain a gift that we don’t deserve? There are days when i would say no, but when it comes down to it, putting our trust, hope, and life, in Christ is doing just that. So…..Would You Leave It All?

Update, Life, Love, And The Pursuit Of Happiness

Well Folks I havent really given an update on everything that is going on so here it is.

People News
IM GETTING MARRIED!!!!

Yes After a little over a year and a half, Katie and I are getting hitched In August.

Music News

For Those that didn’t know I am working as the Student Worship Pastor at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont CO, and I am loving every minute of it. I have been starting the long hard process of writing some worship tunes (which is actually something I have never done before) as those tunes as well as a whole bunch of other ones are going to be put on my first solo album, that I should be starting tracking this winter. I am super pumped about this project, it is going to feature as many of my talented friends as are whiling to play on it and I hope to put out a behind the scenes DVD as well with the album. “The Generation” is still around we are looking to set up some worship nights in the near future so keep your eye for one of those we hope to see you out. Running Five played it’s first show in a little over a year (Big Thanks to LBCC Student Impact in Johnstown, and Johnstown BBQ days for having us out) The band is always changing and evolving but will always be around to have a little fun we have recently added a good friend Ben Hibberd as our new drummer. so as of now that is it would love to connect with anyone out there is the blogosphere so feel free to shoot me and email. make sure to be on the look out for Running Five, The Generation, as well as my Solo project playing on the TOUR page.

Its not about what you get out of it.

The age old saying of its not what ____ can do for you but what you can do for ____. In Worship we tend to think to ourselves I hope its good today, I hope the musicians play well, subconsciously we are really saying I hope they do what I want them to do. when it come down to it Worship Should really be a call to action. This Post I found speaks on that, and on the topic of really questioning worship.

http://www.adorate.org/2012/05/questioning-worship.html