A Simple Prayer Request

Wow it’s been way too long for me to post an actual blog on my site..My apologies to whoever reads these posts. I don’t know about anybody else, but for me, it’s very difficult for me to go from typing a blog, saving it, and actually post it on the web. I have so many “saved” post that I could upload, but critiquing my own writings can be brutal!!

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For the last several weeks, Christian & I have been in the process of searching for a car. We’ve praying and earnestly searching different websites for the “perfect” car. During this process, I felt in my heart that it was not in our “best interest” to finance for a car but rather pay for the car up right. With that thought in mind, it immediately changed our viewfrom looking at new cars, to used cars. The process has been tedious but yet exciting to be actually looking again. The cars that we have been looking at have been the Mazda 3’s or the 6’s so if you see one that is affordable, let us know.

The reason for this post is not simply to blog about our search for a car, but rather the way God has spoken to us in the midst of it. As I mentioned before, we felt in our heart that it wasn’t wise to go out and buy a new car since there are so many other things we could use that money for. Some many other needs that we can fill rather than having the simple “smell” of a new car.  That message was confirmed last Sunday at church during Altar Ministry. As I was headed to the front to pray for any person coming down with a prayer request, I immediately felt an impression on my heart that I was about to be “rocked”. This feeling is similar to what you might feel when you watch a dramatic movie that foreshadows anything that is about to happen.

As I was standing in the front with that gut wrenching feeling, I prayed silently to myself, “God, give me the words to say to whoever comes down in need.”…This is the same prayer I pray every single time I’m called down for Altar ministry. Usually after that simple prayer, I’m confident that my words will be edifying. I was uncertain this time.

As I peer into the crowd, I made eye contact with this little boy no older than a 4th or 5th grader. Immediately the little boy excuses himself from his row and walks down straight to me. I kneel down and I ask him, “Hey man, what can I pray for?” The little boy pauses for a second and then looks at me and this is our conversation:

Little Boy: “I want to pray for my dad”

Me: “Ok, what’s your dad going through?”

Little Boy: “I pray for my real dad all the time, but he hurt my mommy so they got a divorce. I want to pray for my future dad.”

Me: “Ok, are you saying that your mommy is about to get married again?”

Little Boy: “No, she’s still single, I just want a daddy..A new daddy. I want to pray for whoever he is, to be good to my mommy and me. My mommy is always sad and I think that would help….And I just want a new Dad.”

After I heard that, I had to take a moment before I could actually pray. Tears overflowed and immediately the Holy Spirit took over and reassured him that He was the little boy’s eternal Father. After that prayer,

After the boy left, I immediately felt the Holy Spirit ask me, “now what can I pray for?” (Romans 8:26) Funny how God can humble you & put your wants & needs into perspective. That question helped us weigh our options of do we really “need” a new car, or can a used one be sufficient right now?

My question to you is…..What are you praying for?

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They were weighed, measured, & found wanting

3n23m53p2ZZZZZZZZZ97fc08b395ba4191019Above is the Craigslist picture!!!

This day turned out to be an interesting day.  It started out normal, woke up, conference call, work, etc.  I went into the garage to get our GPS so that I could tell Brad the specifics on it.  While I was out there I noticed that Christian’s car looked a little different with the center console and glove compartment open with a couple of things on the seats.  I ignored it thinking that Christian was looking for something specifically and went about my typical day.  Later, while sitting in my office, my iTunes starting acting up on me for some reason so I went into Christian’s car to get my iPod.  That’s when I noticed my iPod and some CD’s were missing.  I searched my truck and realized my center console was up as well with CD’s missing also.  I double checked with Christian just to make sure she hadn’t been in the cars looking for something.  I told her, “Our cars were broken into.” I had to collect my thoughts to figure out what I was going to do next.  I double checked the house just to make sure I hadn’t brought it inside.  I didn’t want to call the police just for a few petty things.

After I collected my thoughts I had the idea to search craigslist just to see if the criminals were dumb enough to post it.  I went to the earliest postings on July 15th and found a picture of what I assumed was my iPod, posted at 4:58a.m.  The description read “I no longer use this ipod and need some quick cash please contact me.  Must meet in Lewisville.”  So out of curiosity I blocked my number and called just to see if it was my iPod.  An older male teenager answered and said, “yeah, I have to get rid of it pretty quick.”  I stayed calm and asked him about what type of songs were on there.  He waited awhile and couldn’t give me a clear answer.  I bargained with him and told him I would take it for $75.  He said he would take $75 and gave me an address which was less than a mile away from my house.  I told him I would be there in a few minutes but actually waited 30 minutes.

During that 30 minutes I got my serial number for my iPod and started getting non-emergency numbers for the police ready in my phone.  I went to the address he told me to meet him at, I parked down the street, went up to the house and a lady answered the door.  I told her I was there to look at an iPod.  She proceeded to tell me that there were no teenagers or iPods at that house.  She then asked about a car that was parked in front of her house that wasn’t mine.  I didn’t know at the time but it was the thief’s car.  He had given me the wrong address.  I called him back and he said he would meet me at a gas station around the corner instead.  He asked what I drove.  I lied and said a red Toyota Corolla.  I drove to the gas station and they pulled up after I did.  I saw 5 people in the car and I walked up to them.  They didn’t get out, they just showed me the iPod.  I asked if I could listen to it just to make sure it worked.  They obviously didn’t think things through because they so happened to play one of my personal friends, Aaron Ivey’s, song, “Found” and Kristian Stanfill’s “Faithful”!!!.  I said, “Ok, cool.  I accidently left my cash at home.  Could you just wait until my girl brings it?”  They agreed and two of the guys in the back seat got out of the car and the other 3 drove off.  I walked away pretending to give directions to Christian when in reality I was calling the police.  While I was waiting they revealed they just got out of jail for felony charges…I then got more ticked (not nervous) that they were out doing crimes again….

Twenty minutes passed and all of a sudden a swat of police cars surrounded us.  One cop came out and asked the two boys what they were doing.  They told him they were trying to sell me an iPod off of Craigslist.  He then asked me what I was doing.  I finally revealed what I was actually doing by saying, “I’m trying to buy my own iPod back.”  At that point, the boys knew they were caught. The police found a weapon and a few drugs in their possession.

After the long ordeal, the police talked to me and stated that they can’t officially charge them with burglary yet until they admit…since I didn’t report it soon enough but they can charge them with theft, & possession.

What a day, what a day. 1/2 the burglary ring was caught and the other half drove off. Cops told us to lock our windows and secure our house if we are going to be out of town b/c the other 1/2 was still out and about. Pray that they don’t try to retaliate at all..Thanks for listening.

Love God, Love People

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God’s Calling is Definite & Certain

I’m typing this fast, so if there are mistakes, my apologies…

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Listening to Preston’s message last night revealed a lot of new things and shined a new perspective light on other things in my life. He said two things that struck a cord with me: “Even the healthiest trees can die in unhealthy places…,” & “God won’t ever take your gift away, but that doesn’t mean you won’t give it away” Within those two quotes, I began to evaluate how many times I have been in compromise-able situations/places in my life that I “gave” my blessings of life away. Thank the Lord for His grace and His mercy to re-direct me on the path that has been intended for me.

With Preston’s message last night, it reminded me of the story of Abraham in the bible. I dunno how many countless times I have read his story but I came across some old notes that I had and I want to shed some “new light” on his story even more.

I was always baffled about how God tested Abraham with the sacrificing of his son Isaac, but even more amazed on how Abraham trusted God to provide. I dunno about your life, but in my past experiences, it was sometimes difficult to discern what God’s calling was for my life at that present time. I needed to filter out my desires with prayer, but even then I tended to say, “I feel an impression on my heart to…(fill in the blank here)” That’s when God showed me the story of Abraham.

In his story, I love how God “reveals” His test on Abraham. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”  “Here I am,” he replied. ” – – Genesis 22:1 (Side note, how many blessings would you receive if you could answer like Abraham did..”Here I am”.)

Vs 2, “Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” I love how the Word sets up this story because if I was Abraham, I would  make sure I had not one doubt in my mind on what God is instructing me to do. Especially if it involves this particular task….Wouldn’t you? God made sure Abraham knew exactly who & what He was talking about.. “Take your son,” Just in case you don’t know who this is Abraham, “Your only son,” (Reminder!! Ishmael was not the son I attended for you), “Whom you love…” What a definite & Certain calling that was on Abraham’s life. God left no doubt in Abraham’s mind, but the story does not stop there.

I believe if God has called you into something, he expects You to do it & not pawn it off to someone else. He equips you not someone else to carry out the task for you. I love how Abraham understands this situation. “Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” – – Gen 22:3-5

In seminary, we were taught the climax of this particular passage was in verse 5 when Abraham mentions that, “we will come back to you.” Although it shows true faith that God will be his Jireh, I submit that the climax of this story happens in verse 3. Abraham was a prince. He had many servants, it even mentions that he grabs two servants to head to mountain. But the thing that screams out to me the most is that Abraham, the prince, decided to Cut His Own wood. Abraham knew that this was God’s calling on his life and not anybody else’s. He knew that he needed to make the sacrifice and that he had to prepare for it himself..not his servants.

How many times have we ignored God’s calling in our life? Scratch that, better question…How many times have we pawned, (or ignored) it off to someone else that we think is, “more equipped” or even worse, “we just don’t want to do it”? In Preston’s message last night, it made me think how we completely perverse the callings on our life with things of this world. I hope we can look past our lives and live by faith and not by sight.


Love God, Love People

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Faithfulness

For some reason, all I can say in this post is, I love the faithfulness that our God has to His people. Even though we stray away, I love how He allows us to return to Him. Thank you for Your Love. Thank you, Thank You Thank You.

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An Incredible Story 2 of 2

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Here’s the 2nd part of the story…This is unbelievably sad but with a joyful return that you will understand after you read it.

Louie Giglio States:

I will never forget the day her message came. And I’m not going to forget last Friday. Waking early for the last day of Thirsty, I happened to see this on my Blackberry and opened it.

Dear Mr. Giglio,
It is with a heavy heart that I send you this email. My daughter is Ashley, she wrote you an email that went on your blog and podcast Well, today May 3rd at 4pm we buried Ashley. She was killed in a car accident late on Sunday night. She lost control of her car and hit a light pole. She was the only car involved and had serious internal bleeding. She died in the arms of my husband at the hospital from unstoppable internal bleeding. But I have hope of seeing my daughter again. I have this hope because after years of praying for her, and watching her live a lifestyle in college that is known as the typical college experience. The last semester of her college career I saw a woman, not a college girl that I have never been more proud to call my daughter. I can point the thanks to you and Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Matt Redman, and everyone else involved in your Passion Conferences. Ashley fell in love with our Savior over the last 5 months of her life. She was so excited about graduation this week and moving to California to work her first real job. She had a life ahead of her. I miss my beautiful princess more than anything in this world.But I just felt like you should know that she listened to as many of your talks as she could get her hands on and read your book I am not but I know I am and she was so excited about God and her new found faith. Words alone can not thank you enough. I may never meet you here on earth, but I know that someday I will be able to meet you and give you a hug in heaven, but only after Ash does. Thank you so much for praying for my girl, and your support of her as she was starting her new life. Also thanks for being a man of God who has a passion, and love for college students.

Your vision to share the gospel and getting college students to do the same made all the difference at a funeral today. Instead of being sad and scared for her. We were able to sing praise and worship songs today. Though there will be tears and I am so very heartbroken and crying as I type this, it is only because I will not hold her for so many years. And I will miss her for the rest of my life. I know I have said thank you a lot in this email, but because of you and Christa (Ashley’s roommate) and people at the Bible Study that she was going to she was happier than I have seen her in a very long time. In the email she originally sent you, it said she had life for the first time in her 22 years, and please know she meant every word of that. She lived the last few months serving and loving and learning more about Christ. She will now spend eternity in heaven with Him so one more time thanks. I know this was long and I debated for the last 4 days as to whether or not to write you. I know you are a very busy man, but I also figured you would want to know.

Ashley’s Mom

Anna,

By the third line tears were streaming down my face, blurring the words, but not the sudden reality of it all. I had just received an e-mail from Ashley a few days before saying how excited she was to finally be through with college and headed to a “real job” in the Bay Area of California. And now she was gone.

I was crushed, but I found myself pumping my fist in the air, confident that Jesus Christ overwhelmed death and the grave. And just in the nick of time, He reached through the confusion and hopelessness and brought Ashley back to life again. Her mom was kind enough to allow me to share her e-mail and sent a photo of Ashley so we could all put a face with the name that has brought much rejoicing throughout the Passion world in recent months. Anna, please know that you and your family will be in our hearts and prayers as you begin the process of living without the daughter you so deeply love. You will see her again. And with our prayers we are praising God for matchless mercy…mercy that saved the day and carried Ashley safely home.

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An Incredible Story 1 of 2

Friends, I didn’t want to do this at first, but the more and more I thought about this, the more I realized that the only way to convey this message is to re-post this blog from 2007.  I’m going to re-post this in 2 parts. The 1st post will be Ashley’s response and the 2nd will be the response and story at a later date. This is probably one of the most incredible stories that I’ve heard in a long time. It comes from the 268 Blog in January 2007. I first heard this story when I was at one of the Passion Conferences a couple years ago, but only heard the bittersweet ending. Truly remarkable how this story plays out….


Ashley’s Home

You guys remember Ashley, the Florida senior who sent what might be the coolest e-mail of all time. Just after Passion 07 we received this at the Passion House from her:

Hi, I feel kinda weird writing this email. And i doubt if it ever gets to Mr Louie Giglio. I am a Senior at The University of Florida. I got a new roommate this semester and she is a Christian and I have never really been into the whole Christian thing because every pastor or speaker that I have ever listened to didn’t speak in a language I could understand. I have believed in God and Jesus, but never really understood it because the preachers at the church that I have always been forced to go to every Sunday of my life. They speak all high and mighty and I never really felt connected, and I felt like God was only for the perfect people.
Well my roommate went to this Passion Conference over winter break. And she came back and moved into my apt and she was real and genuine about all her Christian stuff, like I have never seen before in a person. She said that God changed her at this conference, so i was like what are you talking about. And she told me. She told me about how God was cool, and how God really wanted a deeper relationship with her, and she wanted to really love God the way he loved her, so of course I was like well huh? She then said you need to listen to Louie talk about God, so I asked who Louie was, and she put on the Indescribable talk, and then we watched the Passport talk. And in the Passport talk you said that Christians do not have to just hope for the best at the end, that they do not have to do enough good stuff. You explained how to get to heaven in a simple way, in a way that I have never heard before. I actually got it, I got it that it is not about being so good, cause I am not a good person. I have screwed up a lot. But then you said grace, and talked about how is was different than other religions. Because God is a loving and a kind God who wants to forgive me. My roommate then explained that he wants to forgive me.
Now for one of the reasons I am thanking you. One, I am now a Christian. And two, my roommate said that she had never really cared about telling others about how much God loved her before she went to this conference. So though I am not sure who will ever read this. Please tell Louie thanks from me, for talking about Christ in a way that a college kid can understand. I know that Jesus has changed my life and as I get ready to graduate college in May, I am gonna be a different person. I am sorry this is kinda rambling but I just had to tell you that I now know about the Grace of God, and I have life for the first time in my 22 years

Ashley

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Truth Reveals

Someone once said that “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians,,,,, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” with that being said….. I think it’s funny how God uses certain things in your life to reveal specific things that you need to hear.

This encounter happened when I was minding my own business watching an episode of “Hells Kitchen” on Fox. Gordon Ramsay was being his normal self by yelling and cussing every other prepositional phrase at his chefs who were all performing very poorly. During this hour, one of the things that Chef Gordon was repeatedly saying over and over was, “Taste the food first before sending it out!!” Most of the potential executive chefs were sending out food to the guest that was either, too salty, too bland, and/or too spicy, and all they had to do to remedy this simple problem was to taste the food first and fix the mistake.

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Immediately after I heard Chef Gordon say this, God thumped me on the head and asked me one simple question He already knew the answer too. “Do you speak simple truths to others without applying it to your life first?” I was speechless, I didn’t know what to say because I knew in my own life, I was expecting people around me to live a life that I didn’t require of myself first. He immediately referred me to the life of Moses to explain this conviction.

Most people only know the story of Moses from what they learned from their Sunday School Teacher or even what they have seen in the movies. I believe one of the greatest truths that had to be revealed, happened even before Moses even went to Egypt to ask Pharaoh to “let his people go.” In order for you to understand this post, you must first know the main reason why the Hebrews needed to be freed was not because they were, “Slaves of Egypt” but because they were “Slaves to unrighteousness.” During captivity, the Hebrew people were unable to worship God as they were instructed to do. At that present time, circumcision was a man’s way to enter into a covenant with God. Pharaoh prohibited this act of worship and caused all men to be left uncircumcised during their slavery. (In fact, local Pastor, Chuck Swindoll mentions Joseph, a another Bible character,  had to show he was circumcised to his brothers in order for them to realize that it was actually him alive in Egypt). God chose Moses to free His people so they could worship Him accordingly. What happens next reveals the truth and  how we can apply it to our lives even IF it’s in the Old Testament.

Exodus 4:24-26 is what blew me away because even after God chose Moses and gave him clear cut instructions, and even after Moses conceded after begging God to pick someone else, God came into the night ready to kill Moses before his adventure even started. See Moses forgot one small detail…his son wasn’t even circumcised so how can he deliver God’s people from this bondage, when he himself hasn’t worshipped God in this way? Zipporah his wife had to unconventionally be the person who responded and spared Moses’ life while he was asleep.

I had to chew on this story for a long time just because, I myself tend to act on things without applying it to my life first. When I was working at my previous church, one of the most common mistakes that I made frequently was the fact that I would go into study only to prep for the next bible study that I would be teaching without trying to apply what He was teaching to me first. In fact, now that I look back, most of the studies that I taught on, were mainly intended for me!!! I urge you to listen to God’s still small voice. His intentions can be played out rather loud if you just listen. I pray that In Joy, Enjoy!!!  Even if the truth convicts you. Love God, Love People.

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