Wednesday, August 26, 2009

If only...

Its that time of year again. Yes, that's right. Time to stock up on pencils and notebooks. Time to start a new group of folders on Microsoft Word. Time to show off your new wardrobe that you/your parents bought. Time to get back in the routine of waking up early but not really go to bed any earlier. Time for school!

I have attended school for the last 16 years of my life. (K-Jr in college) That's a long time! I have gone through the routine over and over again. For 16 years of my life, the summer has always ended...the school year has always started...and I listed by occupation as student on most surveys that I filled out. Until now...

For those of you who don't know, I have been attending Nebraska Christian College for the past 3 years. I love NCC very much and some of my closest friends are people that I met there. I love the professors and the love they have (and show) for the students. I love the students. I love living in the dorms. I love late night Taco Bell runs to satisfy my never ending hunger. I love college!

Sometimes though, I think that I loved some things a little too much, and some things I didn't love enough. Long story short...I am on Academic Suspension right now...due to poor time management skills and extreme laziness. I found out that I was not able to return to NCC for a semester towards the end of last year. This crushed meant more than JUST have to be away from NCC. It meant not being able to be a part of the NCC Camp Team with some of my best friends. It meant being dismissed from my current major. It meant having to spend a long period of time away from the majority of my friends. It meant losing my job. It meant losing a lot of money. It meant leaving Omaha. It meant leaving the church that I had been leading worship at. It meant disappointing my parents/closest friends/professors.

I walked away from school angry at myself. Furious that I had screwed everything up that bad. Not wanting to look at myself in the mirror because I was so disappointed in myself. But one thing that I found, in the midst of all that was going wrong in my life, was that God seems to work in mysterious and rather weird ways sometimes. When all I could think about was how much I screwed up...God was whispering to me that I wasn't a failure. When I didn't think there was any way to salvage my future ministry...God provided.

God with a loving family to support me even though they were somewhat disappointed with the way things panned out.
God with friends that keep in touch even though I'm multiple hours and hundreds of miles away.
God provided...professors that still see potential even though I haven't lived up to it yet.
God provided...with an internship opportunity that is preparing me for ministry better than I could have ever imagined.
God provided...a great body of believers in Norton, KS that have welcomed me into their community with open arms.
God provided...a youth group that could help me to see what my true calling is and the passion that God has placed in my life to reach out to students.
God with a mentor and growing friend.
God provided...Godly examples to show me how He intended for people to live.
God provided...grace and healing.
God provided...a second/third/fourth/etc...chance.
God provided...hope.
God provided...just like He promised.

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment." ~1 Timothy 6:17~

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~Deuteronomy 31:8~

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Life According To...

Ok, so I did this a while back on Facebook...and thoroughly enjoyed it. (Sometimes little quizzes and questionnaires can be fun) I also noticed that one of my friends did one and placed it on their blog. I thought it was great and decided to share mine with everyone that wants to read it in the blogging world as here it is. Take a journey into...MY LIFE ACCORDING TO EMERY!

Pick your Artist:

Are you a male or female:
What Makes a Man a Man

Describe yourself:
In a Win Win Situation

How do you feel:
It Always Depends

Describe where you currently live:
In Between 4th And 2nd Street

If you could go anywhere, where would you go:
In Shallow Seas We Sail

Your favorite form of transportation:
The Ponytail Parade

Your best friend is:
Anne Marie

You and your best friends are:
Playing With Fire

What's the weather like:
So Cold I Could See My Breath

Favorite time of day:
Curbside Goodbye

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called:
By All Accounts Today Was A Disaster

What is life to you:
From Crib To Coffin

Your relationship:

Your fear:

What is the best advice you have to give:
You Think Youre Nickel Slick But I Got Your Penny Change

Thought for the Day:
The Last Christmas

How I would like to die:
In A Lose Lose Situation

My soul's present condition:
While Broken Hearts Prevail

My motto:
To Whom It May Concern

This was fun, but I also learned something from it too. Music is a huge part of my life! The thing about music is that it relates to everyone...there is some form of music out there that you LOVE listening to because it is YOU! When I was filling this out with random and funny song titles, I realized that some of these songs have spoken to me in some way. I then thought about all the songs that have spoken to me in some way or another...and all the times that I was feeling down and out, but some lyrics gave me hope. Music has the power to change lives! God has a way of using the little things in life to speak volumes to a person. Listen to what God is trying to say to you through the little things. Pay attention to the music...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My First Communion Meditation...

One of the elders was gone from church last Sunday and asked me if I would cover the communion meditation for him. The way that I look at my internship here at the church, I am here to learn as much as possible and gain as much experience as possible. So I told him yes, another thing to learn while I am here. So here it is...

Contrary to what my parents and teachers might think, I would like to believe that I have learned some things throughout my life so far. One thing that has become evident to me throughout the years, is that there are really only two times a year that my whole family can get together under one roof. With my younger sister heading off to college, me already at college, and my two older sisters married and raising children of their own, it gets harder and harder to meet together as a family. So when we finally have the opportunity to get everyone together, usually around Thanksgiving or Christmas time, it ends up being a big deal. The days usually consist of my niece and nephew's being the center of attention playing with everyone around the house. But some of my fondest memories have come when we gather together around the table and share a meal together. Growing up (I'm sure that my mom would confirm this too) I was always a fan of eating. I loved to eat anything and everything that my mom could cook up for me. And holiday meals were my favorite, not only because I was able to get my fill food-wise, but because I was able to get my fill fellowship-wise too. The holidays have become a time that I look forward to every year. I long for that fellowship. I need that fellowship to function. And I think the same thing applies in our Christian walk woo. When we gather together to celebrate communion, it is a special time. A time when we are all focused on the same goal. A time when we are filled up again. A time that we should look forward to. A time that we should long for. A time that we need. So as we gather together today, think about how much this meal means to you...about how much Jesus' sacrifice means to you.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Here are my top 5 favorite Youtube videos of all time!!! Let me know what you think.

#5-Derek Fisher lays out Houston's Luis Scola

I love this...mainly because I love Derek Fisher and the Lakers. But also because its a 6'1" point guard taking out a 6'9" power forward! Mark one up for the little guy!

#4-Chick-fil-a performed by Tim Hawkins

This is awesome for obvious reasons...I can so relate to him. I have tried to go to Chick-fil-a restaurants multiple times on Sunday only to be disappointed and have to settle for something else.

#3-Youth miniStarZ

This is just hilarious! I think that it a a very solid description of some of the work that a Youth Minister does. THIS JOB IS BOMB!!!

#2-Singing Worms

This is one of my fondest memories of college so far. Sitting in my dorm room with one of my suitemates watching this video over and over and over and over...HILARIOUS!

#1-NCC is the Place for You

This was the promo video for NCC's camp team this summer. I was lucky enough to help in the making, playing Arnold and rewriting/singing/recording the theme song. It was great fun and I miss all my NCC friends very much!

Let me know what you think of my favorites. What are your favorite Youtube videos?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Outreach Article...

Just like the other pastors thought it would be good for me to write the article for the local newspaper, they also told me that I would be writing another article for the outreach calendar that the church sends out every month. So here is the article that I wrote for that. I thought that some people might want me to post some of the work that I am doing at my internship so that they could kinda see the things that I am doing down here in Kansas.

Last week, as you probably already know, the high school youth group went on a mission trip to work with the Salvation Army in the Denver area and attend a conference called Nationwide Youth Roundup. The trip was a great experience for the youth as well as myself and I think that our eyes were all opened up to the idea of serving people and more importantly, serving Christ. One of the highlights of the trip for the students was serving at the Salvation Army, where they ran a day camp for some elementary school students. Our students spent a good majority of their days playing games and loving on a group of kids that they had never met before in their lives. They would play games like soccer, four square, and baseball with the children and had a great time. It was such a blessing to me to see the smiling faces of the children everyday when we would pull up in our vans. The way that their faces lit up when they saw our students and when they were playing the various games was an awesome sight.

At one of the evening sessions at NYR, we were challenged by the speaker to never miss an opportunity to grow in your spiritual life. He said that God gives you multiple opportunities on a daily basis to reach out to people around you that you may or may not know. He encouraged our students not to miss those opportunities that God has given them to be a witness to those around them. I was reflecting back to that today and I realized something. It was really easy to take advantage of every opportunity to reach out to people like the children and employees of the Salvation Army, because we were on a trip where that was our primary goal. The hard part is reaching out to the people that we come in contact with in our daily lives and never missing an opportunity to reach out to the people that we come in contact with in the Norton County area.

So many times, we go about our lives without even realizing that God is placing people in our lives that need a touch from Him. How are you doing at never missing an opportunity to reach out to the people of your community? Are you making a point to seek out people that need a touch from God? Are you allowing God to grow you by serving Him and the people in your community?

Hopefully these words can encourage you as much as they have encouraged me. Thank you to everyone who has supported this ministry, whether it was with your prayers or with your financial support. You have really invested in the lives of your students, and for that, I am grateful. God Bless! Philippians 2:12-13

Telegram Devotion...

Last month, I was informed that every once in a while one of our pastors at the church in Norton, KS is asked to write a short devotion to be printed in the local paper here. It was apparently our turn, so the other pastors decided that it was my turn. So here is the article that I wrote.

I read the other day about a Romanian teenager who torched his new car because he was angry after failing his driving test. Adrian Mocsani, 17, had been given the Volkswagen Polo by his family as a birthday present. But he was so disappointed at failing his test that he poured gasoline on the car and set it on fire in his front yard. He told police officials, “When I cam home I thought I saw the car laughing at me. So I put gas on it and lit it up. Who needs it anyways?”

My immediate thought was that this kid doesn’t seem like the sharpest tool in the shed- would you agree? I for one would love to get a new car for my birthday (are you reading this Mom and Dad?), and if I did, torching my car not be on my list of ‘things to do’. But before we judge this pyromaniac pubescent too harshly, we should consider for a moment whether or not there are parallels between his life and ours. In order to do that, let’s read a passage written by James, the brother of Jesus:

The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6 NIV)

James doesn’t mess around here. He is drawing a perfect analogy between the damage we do with our tongue and the destructive force of fire. Basically, he is warning us to keep a holy fire extinguisher very nearby, because at any moment hell itself might strike a match that wreaks serious harm on ourselves and others. You know who really wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed? The person who wrote that ridiculous ‘sticks and stones’ thing. Words can and do hurt, and our tongues can light up our lives faster then you can say ‘stop-drop-and roll’!

God has given us beautiful gifts called relationships. Yet like our Romanian friend, we oftentimes fail and feel like were being laughed at. So what do we do? Torch them! Not literally of course. But we burn down folks with little jabs of sarcasm, raised voices, gossip, insincere praise, and even silence. So what is that holy fire extinguisher? Well, it starts with self-control. Here is what Solomon said:

Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. (Proverbs 17:28 NIV)

It’s nothing more than the age old advice to think before you speak, especially when you are angry! It’s always a good idea to consider how your words will affect people. After self-control comes examination of your motives. Ask yourself, why am I about to share this information? Is it helpful or hurtful? What if God held me accountable for what I’m talking about? So next time you are about to turn into a flame thrower, think of our car burning compatriot, and when you do...ask yourself if there’s any possibility that you’re related.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Advertising Slogans...

This last week I took a trip into the Denver area for a mission trip with the youth group that I am interning at. We went to an event in the mountains outside of Denver, CO called Nationwide Youth Roundup. (insert sound bite of whip cracking...long story) We attended the morning session at NYR (whip crack) then ventured into Denver to serve along side of a local Salvation Army there. We helped out organizing office spaces and storage rooms and also played and loved on all of the kids that they had there attending a day camp. After our time at the Salvation Army, we headed back up the mountain and attended the evening session at the conference and camped out there.

On our drives back and forth from our campsite to Denver, I noticed some very awkward billboard advertising. One sign read..."Getting married and looking for a wedding singer? Call so-and-so at some number." Another sign read..."Meet the man who urinated over a liter every day!" Reading these weird slogans got me thinking about some other slogans that were once popular in our society. Here is a list of 10 of the top 25 slogans of all time as voted by Marketing Hackz. After each slogan...I am going to comment about what I think.

1. Just Do It- Nike--- What exactly is IT??? Might as well be JUST DO________!!!
2. Wotalotigot! - Smarties--- I don't even know where to start here. First off if you are going to put something on a billboard, you might want to make it so people can actually pronounce it. Second, you can't just make up words to promote your to promote my new sock design...Shabobitalot!!! Ya, you want one don't you!
3. All the news that’s fit to print. - The New York Times--- This should read..."All the news that's fit to print, and most of the news that isn't!"
4. Let Your Fingers Do The Walking. - Yellow Pages--- I don't think that my fingers can support my weight. And also, I'm pretty sure that I flip through the yellow pages and pretty much all other books with my thumbs.
5. It takes a licking and keeps on ticking. - Timex--- First, you might want to define exactly what a licking is. All I can picture is someone licking my watch...of course it will keep on ticking! I have never heard of anyone or anything that has molten lava or acid for spit and therefore my watch will probably withstand a "licking."
6. Where’s the beef? - Wendy’s--- Everyone who is anyone knows that beef is in Nebraska...more specifically Omaha...they named their indoor football the Omaha Beef! Sorry Wendy's...FAIL!!!
7. The Citi Never Sleeps - Citi Bank--- Who do they think they are??? Gotham City???
8. Hand built by robots. - Fiat Strada--- Does this one creep anyone else out?
9. When you care enough to send the very best. - Hallmark--- Since when is the very best a Hallmark card? I bet that if you ask any mom out there, they will say that they actually prefer their child's homemade cards...maybe Hallmark should come out with a line of cards like that...
10. It is. Are you? - The Independent--- I am. What exactly am I? There is a long list of things that I could be. I know that they are getting at people being independent...but this is really vague. What ever happened to the advertisements that actually made sense?