This a continual battle for me, to guard my heart. How does one truly guard his or her heart? Different versions of Proverbs describe guarding a few ways, “keep” , “watch over”, “with all watchfulness”.
This leads me to the thought of knowing where my thoughts, emotions, affections and time is invested, where it goes. If i can guide these parts of me, setting boundaries, I think I will be guarding my heart. The heart is vital, life flows from the heart. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be (Matt 6:21).
Lord, help me to guide my time, my affections, my heart. I want to honor the Lord, my friends, and my future by guarding my heart. I want to be a man full of life, not death. I want my heart to be full of life, not disappointment and hurt. I desire for my heart to belong to God, all of it.
I’m sitting on Archer Road, at Panera Bread. I am in Gainesville FL. It is hard to see everyone I want to see in the short time I am here, but I have been blessed to visit with many people. I like the atmosphere of Gainesville. I like the college atmosphere and the community that can be found in Gville.
I am currently reading Radical by David Platt. This book measures Modern day christianity with what David would argue is biblical christianity. If you want to be challenged towards a more radical life, this book will make you think. The argument that modern christianity stops at us, our personal salvation, and biblical christianity includes us, in the spreading of God’s glory to the end of the earth, destroys the selfish gospel of me and promotes caring about all man knowing and receiving the truth.
Anyways, a lot to think through, good stuff, challenging stuff. Back to Gville notes. Went to Yamotos with a lot of people. Thanks Drew Allen for hooking that up. Went to my home church, it was good to see P Mike and the gang. I forgot how college heavy the church. Steve and Jillian threw down with Worship.
My last thoughts for this post are these:
I Miss PA, the friends I have made there
It is really muggy in FL!
And i like plane fights.
If you read my stuff, thanks! Feel free to comment. Also I am making an effort to write more often….starting now.
It has been too long since my last post. I have lost touch with my writing. This is something I want to pick up as a discipline for my life. Also, I like to write, so hopefully i continue to enjoy it. I’m gonna break this post up into a couple sections. 1. Quick update on Crob and life. 2. Thoughts I’m thinking. Hope you enjoy.
Since last October/November, I still live in PA! I know shocking. I had good holidays, spending the time with Bryce Taylor and friends. My mother came up for Christmas. I shuttled her all over Lancaster, showed her some Amish stuff and we had some good meals. I am soon moving out of my current apartment and into a small cottage. It is a one room studio cottage. I am forming plans for a fire pit and will hopefully become an expert grill master (i.e. Im buying a grill and am gonna cook outside a lot). I have enjoyed making new friends and am on a journey of forming a community around me. I was told it takes a good two years to really integrate into a new place, I’m hoping it’s sooner for me. I miss everyone back home, but I am enjoying the job and the area. I enjoyed my first snow trip to Vermont last month. Went sledding and ate some snow, got a van stuck and had a lot fun with friends! Some pics are on my facebook. My brother was in a pretty bad accident last week, but he is ok. I’m thankful for that.
Lately I have been recognizing how merciful and gracious God has been to me. Something happens when you sit back and just look at your life. What I have recognized are the people in it, I’m lucky! My encouragement is one that I shared with the Young Adult group last Tuesday. Recognize God’s movement and work in your life, and be encouraged, strengthened, inspired by God’s faithfulness to you. I promise you, He is faithful. Let His track record instill a confidence and a trust that He will take care of you, that He is for you.
That is what I have right now. More to come.
Summer is Gone and winter is not to long from now. Its already cold, kind of a weird feeling. Here is a quick update to whats up with me. My journey from Florida to PA is still just that a journey. I feel that I am still adjusting in some ways. I think its getting close to being finished…maybe. For me, its all about community. I I feel that I am in a place where I am accepted, where I belong, where I can put down roots with people – then I feel way more “at home” than if none of that existed. I recently finished a book by Thomas Merton, “No Man is An Island”, and its true for me!
So on that note, know that I am loving the people that I meet up here. I like the area, except the smell of poop that seems to linger from the farms and horses. Lastly that I am being challenged to love God deeper and with as much authenticity, to love people.
Winter is coming, so I am sure I will have some horrific snow stories to share!
The next destination is a city called Ephrata. This was a very low publicized destruction area. My first reaction to walking this area was disbelief. Entire homes, not just first levels or carpet, but homes were destroyed. People were without electricity and homes. Here we gave out food, water and helped clean out homes.
Here I met Donna. She lived in her home for 22 plus years and in a day we threw away most of her stuff. Everything in the basement was ruined and we pulled out carpet and loaded ruined furniture on the street. This area was possibly the worst I have seen personally. There were some homes where the basement wall collapsed in and you could see right through the house to the ground underneath. One house the foundation is gone and the first floor is in the earth, in where the basement was. Crazy!
Below are some images, I felt uncomfortable taking a lot of pictures, so they are from afar off.
Ephrata after Flood Image
Ephrata after Flood Image
Ephrata after Flood Image
Volunteers Cleaning Out House
There was a lot of help, a lot of hands. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and helped to get people where they were needed! My reflection is shallow and deep. Stuff rots – we don’t take stuff with us, and seeing all that we threw out, makes me not want a lot of stuff. Also, instead of going to church Sunday morning we were the church on the streets of Ephrata. This was good, when two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, He is there. Also there is a difference in volunteering because its the good thing to do and having Life to offer as well as man power. Serving in the name of Jesus, is different than “paying it forward”.
Ok, if you read this, know that where you are, there are people that are in need, that are in distress and that need to know that God is faithful and Jesus truly saves the day.
After Flood Photo
A lot of rain causes trouble…in the case of PA and a lot of the east coast, floods. With floods come heartache, destruction, and loss of many levels. Saturday morning Beth and I headed down to Manheim to help feed rescue workers, first responders.
Cooking for first responders
We joined a team of other volunteers who cooked breakfast lunch and dinner for those who were out working search and rescue, the fire department, and basically anyone who didn’t have food at the time.
During a low time we walked around to see the city and the effects of the water. The first picture shows how high the water was at some areas, the rest are city shots.
Showing the water level at some spots.
After flood city image
After flood city image
We were able to talk to a lady named Jackie about her situation. She was pumping streams of water when we met. She shared her description of what happened when the flood came.
She was in her house watching tv at 11:30 at night. The rain was intense so she went down to check her basement. When she returned to her couch she heard a bang and felt a tremble. She went back to her basement to see as she would describe, Niagra falls filling her basement. 9 feet of water submerged her basement and water started pouring into her first floor. She escaped to the second floor for the night.
I couldn’t believe my ears, but she walked us through the house…everything was ruined. It was hard to comprehend what it would feel like to loose it all. Beth was able to pray with Jackie and we were able to contact someone to get a truck near so they could clean out the house.
I apologize for the length, my next post will be day two of the weekend.
A year ago a friend and co worker, JoNate Scales, passed away. What I was left with, what I would consider his legacy to be, is his love for God and for people. JoNate was a lover of God and people in a unique way that is hard to describe, there was a supernaturalness about his concern, care and thoughts. I still look to his life for direction and as an example for what I would like my life to look like when it comes to loving and caring for people.
New International Version (NIV)
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Having vision for where people can be was a gift of JoNates’
Without vision people perish?….I’m gonna lean more inward with this verse. I want to see the heavenly potential in people, the eternal potential that is waiting to be awakened by God’s love through me!
“Lord increase my vision for people that are perishing!!! Increase my vision to see others salvation readiness, completeness in You, restoration and healing and use me, shine your light.”
It seems that if we seek first the kingdom of God, and also seek to love and see people how God did – everything else will fall into place. Thinking about legacy, if at the end people could say that I kept and lived by the greatest commandment…yeah I would be happy, I would take that!