“Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord. I will say it again. Be joyful! Let everyone know how gentle you are. The Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything. No matter what happens, tell God about everything. Ask and pray, and give thanks to him.Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds. He will do this because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood.”
Hello there, dear readers, I decided to take a break off and on during the summer. I love writing, but with seminary, I write a lot of papers, and some days need to rest my brain. I am so excited because August kicks off my favorite part of the year. The heat starts to fade (thankfully being in North Carolina after two years away, I can put on jackets), and a season of fun begins. My dear Danielle’s birthday, the fall season, our anniversary, my birthday, and then of course the holidays!
This season reminds me of the joy in my life, the blessings that God has given us, even in the moments where life gets difficult, I am reminded to have joy. If you know me, you know I love having fun. I struggle with anxiety and not feeling worthy, but when I choose to remind myself of who has created and called me, I find joy. This comes directly out of Philippians 4, Paul reminds the church in Philippi to be joyful because they belong to the Lord. He then says that because of this, we can have joy and not let our worries consume us; when we choose to have joy, we are a light to everyone around us.
Every so often I like to re-read the book of Habakkuk. I read it because often I find myself in the same place as Habakkuk, he was a prophet and watching the world around him fall into chaos. Habakkuk is watching an army invade the land of his people, and he starts to lose hope in what God is doing. He starts to lose faith in God.
I love this book because it is such a raw emotional place, and in that state, Habakkuk cries out to God in hopes of finding his faith in the midst of uncertainty. In my own life, I find that there are seasons of unknowns and growth, and in those moments, it becomes increasingly difficult to have faith that there is a plan in all of this. What I love about this scripture, is that Habakkuk turns to God in his struggle.
Feelings are okay. Talking to God about your feelings is okay. Being vulnerable with God, is the point of a relationship with God.
Being back in school has been a bit of a weird thing. I’m fully online, getting my Masters in Divinity, which has been exciting as ministry (in whatever form it may take) is what I want to pursue. In these online classes there are discussion boards, which means you have to write a post and then reply to other students. It’s the most encouraging platform, because every reply you make and made on your posts agrees with you and says, “this was a really great post!” You feel like a million bucks on every discussion board.
Hello again, my lovely readers! I decided to take a week off, because everything seems to be happening all at once. The end of my first half of my masters and moving into a new apartment, dear Danielle and my life has been surrounded by boxes and planning. Luckily, I am now writing from our office space here, and though surrounded by boxes of our lives, I am grateful for this continued journey. Whenever I move I tend to get introspective, and I was thinking about the road of life. New places and faces, and the unknown ahead of you, all while never turning out the way we might think. If I’m honest, these are hard moments for me; I would love my life to play out exactly the way I want, to have a house with space to host people and to write all day with dear Danielle, but life doesn’t move like that. It moves on how God chooses to direct us.
That’s what I have to remind myself and it’s what gives me hope in all that I don’t know yet, that everything begins on a foundational relationship.
Hello again there! How has your year been so far? Keeping up with the goals and words to focus on? I know for me; the year has already begun to throw challenges our way. From the job searching that feels like I’m hitting walls, to our apartment complex that won’t contact us about our deposit (Yikes!), and my second semester of my Master’s Degree kicked off. There is a lot going on, it feels like my head is constantly spinning and thinking. In these moments, I find it difficult to focus on what I can control when so much of what I can’t control is all around me.
The thing is, I know God has me, I just have to trust him.
This past year has been one of the busiest and chaotic years to date. As you might know, my monthly posting schedule has been completely thrown out during December. Working a theme park is fun, but working during the holidays and as a new ride opens, it started to become more like hell for a few weeks. Kind of a fitting way to end a chaotic year with a bit more chaos on top. I’ve learned to adapt very quick over this year. It began with me not having my main youth pastor job, and my dearest Danielle and I searching for what was next. With an open door and a need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we made the move down to Orlando for Danielle’s Disney College Program. While job searching, I found myself processing a lot of hurts, my pastoring position wasn’t just a job; I had invested in the lives of a ton of students, so when I was let go, I didn’t really know what to do.
I didn’t belong, and I felt like I was letting those students down or abandoning them.
It felt like my purpose was pulled away, I had gotten wrapped up in a place and lost sight that no matter where God had me, I had purpose.
Here we go. It’s time to light those fall scented candles and watch Beetlejuice; it’s officially autumn. One of my favorite things to do during this time, is write about horror movies and Jesus. Yes, strange combo I know, but it’s been an October tradition for me since forever. As you can see from my blog name, I am quite the fan of b-movies. The term comes from the old nickelodeons that would have an “a” movie, that was the big one people came to see, and the “b” movie, the second flick that had a little more of a low budget. Now, why am I talking about it, I think we can learn from anything, and movies teach me so much.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”
This past week I went to Asheville with a close friend of mine. It was a small excursion for a couple of days, a much-needed time away to recharge and get away for just a moment. We walked around downtown searching for a taco shop (I mean, it was taco Tuesday), poked around some comic shops and other art stores. It was awesome, I have a hard time simply relaxing and not working on something. I am always working, if not at my jobs, it’s my writing or some other project. The idea of rest is something difficult for me because I have always had to work in order to get where I need to be. It was a blast to have no agenda, to look at books, and find some Fantastic Four back issues I’ve been searching for (issues 347-349, yo!). We then decided to take a small drive on the Blue Ridge and see some mountains.
I’ll never forget the first time I read a comic book. My dad and I were at my grandparents’ house, where he found an old box of comics that he had as a kid. The first one I read was The Amazing Spider-Man #132, “The Molten Man Strikes Again!” Pretty exciting stuff. I remember reading that and loving it, Spider-Man was a hero who stood up for people even when he faced terrifying villains (even though we’ll probably never see Molten Man in a movie). From this moment I knew I wanted to stand up for people, wanted to reach others for the kingdom of God. My parents always showed my sister and I the power of God in their lives, which in turn we were able to see the power of God in our own lives. In my life I have learned to view the world through this lens, a lens that says I can be a hero and that I can make a difference. That’s not normal, that’s weird.
There’s really nothing better than a good hero story. Well, maybe it’s not your favorite, you may like a good thriller or romance story, but for me, hero stories are the ones that speak to me on a deeper level. In all stories with a hero, there is a person who finds themselves with a calling over their life. They have a past which has prepared their heart for what is to come, and because of that past, they feel a need for something higher. Then there is a catalyst, the moment when our individual gains new power. The radioactive spider bites the hand, the farm boy gains the lightsaber, and the slave girl volunteers to enter the death games. For whatever reason, our heroes are chosen to live for something greater, they are chosen to stand for the world they live in. The same is true in our lives. The world we live in is filled with sin, we are a fallen people. There are things that are happening each day that aren’t right, we use our words to tear each other down and we belittle others if they are not up to the same imaginary standard that we try to achieve. We become so focused on self-image rather than looking at those who are hurting around us, but we have a choice. There is always a choice. We have all been chosen. We have been called to do something higher, we have a purpose and that purpose can change the world.