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The Power of Prayer February 26, 2009

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, The Journal.
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So there is this woman in my class who was previously diagnosed with cancer. The story as far as I know it is that she had had some kind of lung cancer and that it was removed. Well the other week she was supposed to go in for another scan to investigate what they may be another sign of cancer. So in my class she recieved a phone call (keep in mind I was not present during this class, I skipped and I was very upset that I did so) that she has to go to the doctors office, and that she should bring someone with her. So in class my professor got everybody to prayer over her and they did so, very emotional, tears everywhere. When I had heard the news I prayed for her as well. But I don’t think my faith was that strong, because really all I did was remember her in my prayers, that there would be healing and God would be glorified through what would happen. And boy was he glorified. Turns out, the doctor had the wrong scans, and Jessie, the woman, didn’t have any trace of cancer! She was completely fine! ISN’T THAT AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! God totally took all of us in a 180 turn and took our misery into sounds of great JOY!!!!!!!!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!! HOW CAN YOU NOT PRAISE HIS NAME FOR SOMETHING SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Learning to Teach February 16, 2009

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, The Journal.
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So today I gave my first official lesson at the Senior High youth group I help with, otherwise known as the Refinery. Well, technically it was my second time teaching, but this was the first “official” time where I knew¬† weeks ahead of time and had the ability to prepare. I felt like prepared well, and God certainly inspired me of ways to get my point. But, like everyone who teaches their first time in front of a crowd of people, I got jittery and started to sound like I was speaking in tongues because I was going so fast. The first half went by rather quickly, then I had a ten second pause trying to collect my thoughts (which was rather embarassing), but then as I continued on my second half, it went by rather well. I made the points God intended and I do think we’ll be implementing them in our youth group. (I spoke on Luke 10:25-37 by the way, good passage on who is it that we are to serve). As I’m reflecting on what I had taught this night, I’m beginning to realize that I really didn’t implement my own message. I mean, who is Jesse’s neighbor right now that he needs to serve? Who needs the loving? Maybe if I actually implemented my own message I’d be a better teacher. Makes sense right? Hmmm….

John is my Hero, Part 1 November 18, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, The Journal.
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I adore the story of John the Baptist. He is my hero. If there was one key figure in Scripture who fervently followed God and His calling as well as had the same harboring doubts as any Christian, it be John the Baptist. If we were to categorize his life in literature, we would call his tale a tragedy. Nothing really good happens to him, and in all his preaching and teaching and walking of the faith, he ends up with his head chopped off by the order of the king. Sounds like some life we should aspire to right? I mean who wouldn’t want a steady diet of wild honey and locusts? Or not take a bath for… an entire lifetime?

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John was a guy from even before day one, when he was still in his mother’s womb, started to joyfully serve God. Elizabeth, John’s mother, told Mary that when the “sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy!” (Luke 1:44 ESV). Even before he could speak John was enthusiastic about his ministry! If you sit down and think, when was the last time we leaped for joy because we were serving God?

I can tell you of plenty of times when youth group was the last thing on my mind or that the service project I was about to do was a tremendous inconvenience to me. (I really thank the grace of God to still work through me in these stages and that Christ was still preached even when my heart was coarse). Yet there are other times, the times when everything is wrong or broken, when life is crushing, taunting you, and mocking you, and the times where people just seem to have a morbid atmosphere about them. It is these times when all I want to do is seek God, love God, know God, and work for God!

I think John is the perfect model. His life is never complacent and it never takes a breather. He is constantly paving the way for God, for the Messiah to come! I’m not saying that he went and looked for a way to make his life a gauntlet of pressure, but at the same time I don’t think he ever complained about it. John is my hero because he didn’t complain about the pressure or about the struggle. Complacency didn’t exist in him. So to make it practical, why do we seek to be complacent? Why do we seek to have everything go smoothly? What are the things that we will accept as a constant struggle so that it will bring us closer to God with every battle?

Ugh… November 10, 2008

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I apologize for not being consistent in my blog. Most of you know that it has been a tiring couple of weeks for me and it will continue to be so. Yet I am not disciplining myself in ways to keep a healthy body, mind, and spiritual walk and I am sorry for that. Hopefully I’ll make that effort to change now (with the help of the grace of God) and then I’ll be able to keep up with this blog.

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Well, I ask that you guys who read to pray for me, that I will begin a set of spiritual disciplines that I felt I have lost in the past few weeks. It’s been a rough couple of weeks and probably unnecessarily rough because I made it worse than it had to be. I hope to get back to writing my thoughts and ideas and hopefully you guys will continue to read.

Oh Man, Four Days October 27, 2008

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So this might be the most stressful four days of my life. I have several projects to complete, the entire books of Job and Proverbs to read, as well as a 300 page book to read. All this due by at least Thursday night. This is going to be sweet… I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining (even though I am whimpering as I write this). I guess I more or less want the viewing public to know that the reason this blog has not been updated is because of this incredible stress I have been having. But hey, if God sees fit to pull me through then it’ll be awesome, and if not it’ll be awesome regardless.

Anyway at the end of these four days I’ll be heading for the National Youth Workers Convention out in Pittsburgh. I. Am. Stoked. It’ll be a weekend of relaxation and getting fed as a youth worker. I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friends in the ministry and even just getting alone time with God. I’ll be explaining more later, but for now I got work to do. LET”S DO THIS!!!

The results of Fall Break October 15, 2008

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Well, Fall Break has ended. I’m here starting up my classes again thinking, “Where has the time gone?” Already I’m falling into the trap of skipping out on work, taking those extra naps, and chowing down on cookies. Some turn around right? I thought I was going to get some work, but that didn’t happen. And I thought I could focus more on my prayer time, but that didn’t happen. Instead I fell into a deep, deep, deep pit of sin.

I thought earlier last week that I could implement some things to kind of do a pick me up or rather, focus on the upward. Didn’t do that. I guess one thing I did was I did begin exercising, I’m thinking this will help me with my energy and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, I ate like a pig. In all honesty, I am dramatizing these effects, but there is still some truth to them.There are simply things that I could have done to change, but I didn’t do them. What’s going on here?

How come I didn’t do things to change? I knew what they were and how to do it, but why didn’t I allow it? Since when did I become so pessimistic?

It’s a paradox really. I mean, I believe and am convinced with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is within me, that God has saved me because of His grace and for His glory. But there’s no change now, what happened to growth? And I’m not blaming God at all, I blame myself. I hear the Word but I do not listen. I read the Word but I do not understand it. I know what it says, but I just don’t apply it. I’ve put God in chains within my heart. A little poetic if you will, but still, you get the idea.

So what have I done wrong? Am I lazy? Are we lazy if you suffer from the same problem? What can I do?

One week away October 6, 2008

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Well I’m one week away from my fall break. That’s two days without my brain fuzzing out, two days without the unnecessary electric work that has me drawing blanks everytime I take a quiz. It’s been a wild ride thus far. God has provided me with new info, some reiterated information, and some things I already knew but it’s always good to see where you are at. A part of me almost feels disappointed though. I can’t really tell if I am actually learning as much information as I had in my previous year. Maybe I’m just used to the motions of college but at the same time maybe I am not appyling myself as diligently as I used to. I mean my grades are pretty good, yet I feel like I’m not taking extra steps to teach myself, i.e. books I read myself and keeping up on God’s Word in my life. Perhaps its my prayer life. I know that every time I finish my school work all I really want to do is go to bed. I feel like I’m not using my time for the things above, instead I’m focusing down here. I think I’m going to need to take some to process this, and it be great if you could help me out. What are specific things we can do to change out attitude? Our energy? And what can we do to focus on the heavenly?

Learning September 22, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Biblical/Theological Thoughts, Randomness, The Journal.
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We all learn. We all like to learn things that interest us. And sometimes we learn things that discomfort us. Personally, I love it when teachers and professors have you learn things yourselves. It’s a pretty awesome experience when you get things to click together in your head and being able to say that favorite saying, “EUREKA!” At times though we have to learn things the hard way, especially in relationships. For instance, I used to date this girl in college. One night before I dropped her off at her dorm, I had accidentally called her by her roommates name. BIG MISTAKE. Sometimes my mouth goes before my mind, I really have to learn to control that. I learned the hard way that sometimes people, women in particular, don’t really blow things over as well as I do.

Sometimes learning can be easy, especially when someone is supervising or teaching is over you. My Bible professor in my Old Testament class really challenges our thinking about evangelical presuppositions or what we take for assumed knowledge. In one class he had our heads spinning about wether or not the Davidic covenant is conditional or unconditional and wether or not it has been fulfilled. My head is still trying to wrap around the discussion.

And then there are times when we learn things about ourselves. When we start to analyze ourselves and what we have done in the past, we find out what our tendencies are, how we act in front of others, and how we act in times of distress. We all can say what we believe in, however, how many of us actually apply what we believe in with our daily lives. The past couple of weeks and the summer have been a time for me to learn some things about myself. Just yesterday I was involved in a pretty bad car accident (I’m ok so don’t comment about how I am doing). I guess you could say I recieved a crash course in handling car accidents. God is good, He definitely helped me to step up as a man or a leader and handle the situation as best as I could have. I do have to be honest, I was shaking in my shoes the whole day.

Learning is something that we really do everyday. So what are things you have learned recently? What have you learned about yourself? Do you like what you have learned?

Gestalt and Ministry September 15, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Randomness, The Journal.
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If you have ever taken Dr. Drummond’s class at PBU/PCB, this is for you. Gestalt.

At any rate, let’s talk about what ministry means. Recently I wrote a paper for a Youth class I have, the paper being, “What is the definition Ministry?” People often think about ministry as something that real spiritual people do, like preaching behind the pulpit or leading Bible studies. But ministry or having a ministry position is a much, much, much lowlier position. Ministry litteraly means service or to serve. In class we discussed how its like waiting on tables, simply serving and cleaning up after people. In Acts 6, the early church were forgetting some people and their needs because the congregation had grown to such a large size. They then specificaly assigned men to the “ministry of service” to the orphans and widows. All these men simply did was wait upon the people, loving them and caring for them in anyway possible.

You can say this changes my thought on ministry. All to often I think of myself in an awesome youth group with kids that literally eating off my palm of what I am saying and calling that ministry. Now preaching the Word of God is ministry, however it is a very small part of it. Ministry means to hold the door open for a stranger. Ministry means putting my dishes away in the dishwasher AND cleaning up the house without my mom asking me to. Ministry means to let someone else have the last cookie or offering to get people drinks.

What does ministry mean to you?

19 and still kicking September 8, 2008

Posted by Jesse in Randomness, The Journal.
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So today is my 19th birthday. It’s pretty impressive that I have lived this long and am still standing on two feet… and others around me are still standing… Anyway, I’m pretty “happy” with what God has lead me through these past few months, and past few years even. Looking back, it’s weird to think about the guy I used to be, or the man I used to be (pretty lofty of me to declare myself a man). I like the fact that God has changed me, changed my thinking and where my heart should be. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’m Peter’s age and thinking about the past… or my father’s age… gllllllll. It’s comforting to know though that God doesn’t love a future part of me, or a past part, He loves me no matter what kind of situation I’m in. I’m sure next year I’ll look back on say, “Man that guy was an idiot!”, but God still had use for me and still used me for something. I look back even recently and am evaluating how I can better serve those around me, and love those around me. God is truly Good.

What about you? Is it comforting to know that God will love you in your highs and lows, not for what you’ve done or what you’ve yet to do?