"I believed, and so I spoke"

The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

"I renounced, for the love of Him, everything that was not His; and I began to live, as if there was none but He and I in the world. Sometimes I considered myself before Him, as a poor criminal at the feet of his judge; at other times, I beheld Him in my heart as my Father, as my God; I worshiped Him the oftenest that I could, keeping my mind in His Holy Presence, recalling it as often as I found it wandering from Him. I found no small trouble in the exercise, and yet I continued it, notwithstanding all the difficulties that I encountered, without troubling or disquieting myself when my mind had wandered involuntarily. I made this my business, as much all the day longs as at the appointed times of prayer; for at all times, every hour, every minute, even in the height of my business, I drove away from my mind everything that was capable of interrupting my thought of God.

"Such has been my common practice ever since I entered into religion; and though I have done it very imperfectly, yet I have found great advantages by it. These, I well know, are to be imputed solely to the mercy and goodness of God, because we can do nothing without Him; and I still less than any. But when we are faithful to keep ourselves in His Holy Presence, and set Him always before us; this not only hinders our offending Him, and doing anything that may displease, at least willfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom, and, if I may so speak, a familiarity with God, wherewith we ask, and that successfully, the graces we stand in need of. In fine, by often repeating these acts, they becomehabitual,and thePresenceof God is rendered as it werenaturalto us. Give Him thanks, if you please, with me for His great goodness towards me, which I can never sufficiently marvel at, for the many favors He has done to so miserable a sinner as I am.”

This quote is from a book made up of writings from Brother Lawrence to various people he knew. I would suggest the work to anyone who wants to be challenged to take a step up in his/her walk with God. One of the dangers of reading this book, though, can be found in the first sentence in this excerpt. If we live as though life consists of only self and God, we are in danger of seeing our growth as the only important aspect of our Christian walk. We ought not forget that we are called to make disciples. Now, if we take what Brother Lawrence said and apply practically and in the right way, it can be most effective.

What we see is a total surrender of the sinful self and a taking on of Christ’s self. What a beautiful picture this will paint, as we see in the life of Brother Lawrence.

This morning I read I John 2:15 which says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”. I was both challenged, obviously, and reminded of reading this from Brother Lawrence’ book and I was compelled to share what I had been learning. It’s funny, yesterday I read the quote from Lawrence and then I had a break after class and went to read some Andrew Murray (not the tennis player) sermon and the sermon happened to be on “absolute surrender”. It seems that I have lately been challenged to search my life for areas in which I may be holding back. So, that’s what I am doing. I would encourage you to do the same thing, as everyone has something to improve upon. But as you do this, I want to remind you of a concept I read from Andrew Murray, it goes as follows, “Be not afraid, but come just as you are, and even in the midst of your trembling the power of the Holy Spirit will work.” And later, “When God has begun the work of absolute surrender in you, and when God has accepted your surrender, then God hold Himself bound to care for it and to keep it.” And again, “Moment by moment I’m kept in His love; Moment by moment I’ve life from above.” Essentially, do not be afraid if you think that you may not be able to surrender it all. God needs only your empty heart to fill. He will help you if you are willing. You must be willing to say, Murray writes, “O God, I accept Thy demands, I am thine and all that I have. Absolute surrender is what my soul yields to Thee by divine grace.”

One of the dangers of reading this book, though, can be found in the first sentence in this excerpt. If we live as though life consists of only self and God, we are in danger of seeing our growth as the only important aspect of our Christian walk. We ought not forget that we are called to make disciples. Now, if we take what Brother Lawrence said and apply practically and in the right way, it can be most effective.

There is much more that I have learned but I want to encourage each of you to read this and let God use it in your lives. Let His Holy Spirit disciple you and teach you what this means.

I Peter 1:3-25

Born Again to a Living Hope

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

Called to Be Holy

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for

“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

I don’t have anything to point out in this passage. Just read it and soak in the glory of God.

The Valley of Vision

A beautifully honest Puritan prayer which has taught me much. Enjoy.

The Valley of Vision

"Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,

    where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

    hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

    that the way down is the way up,

    that to be low is to be high,

    that the broken heart is the healed heart,

    that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

    that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

    that to have nothing is to possess all,

    that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

    that to give is to receive,

    that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,

    and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

               thy life in my death,

               thy joy in my sorrow,

               thy grace in my sin,

               thy riches in my poverty,

               the glory in my valley.”

Anonymous asked: You guys are always sinning, even when you show partiality. But it's okay, cuz Jesus loves you.

Well, we’re not always sinning but we sin much of the time. I agree, though. The beauty of it is that God will never love us more or less then He does right now. That reality must sink in for a lot of people who are living in guilt.

A Present Salvation

"Creator and Redeemer God,
Author of all existence, source of all blessedness,
I adore thee for making me  capable of knowing thee,
        for giving me reason and a conscience,
        for leading me to desire thee;
I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in the gospel,
        for thy heart as a dwelling place of pity,
        for thy thoughts of peace towards me,
        for thy patience and thy graciousness,
        for the vastness of thy mercy.
Thou hast moved my conscience to know how
    the guilty can be pardoned,
    the unholy sanctified,
    the poor enriched.
May I be always amongst those who not only hear but know thee,
    who walk with and rejoice in thee,
    who take thee at thy word and find life there.
Keep me always longing
    for a present salvation in Holy Spirit comforts and rejoicings,
    for spiritual graces and blessings,
    for help to value my duties as well as my privileges.
May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity of character.
Help me to be in reality before thee as in appearance I am before men,
        to be religious before I confess religion,
        to leave the world before I enter the church,
        to set my affections on things above,
        to shun forbidden follies and vanities,
        to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
        to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.
O God, make me worthy of this calling,
    that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me and I in him.”

A prayer from the Puritan prayer book called The Valley of Vision.

A Few of My Thoughts On James 2

James 2:1, 9-10 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”

So get this. There is a reason Christians are thought to be judgmental and rude and exclusive. The reason that we appear that way is that we most often are that way. So, this passage should hit home with more people than it does, which is sad. Another reason that I like this passage is that it will never be out of date. James knew that partiality was one of those sins that people just kind of swept under the rug. I don’t think I have ever met someone who is truly impartial. I’ve met people who are pretty nice to most people but when it comes down to it, everyone fails at this in one respect or another. Many of us, myself included, often think that we do a great job of this even though we avoid certain types of people in order to either make conversation with our friends or to meet someone who looks like they might be cool or whatever.

So, about this passage. I love how James calls us out by first saying, I just thought I’d remind you that you’ve got plenty of work to be done. Once he has humbled us by reminding us that we’re still so prone to sin he decides to convict us further. To do this he says, “And oh by the way, this thing you view as a little sin means that you have broken every single law there is.” Now, what James doesn’t mean is that you have broken every single law, although I am probably pretty close. What he means by this is that in effect you have been as bad a person as any. Even if you had sinned one “tiny” sin you would still be worthy of the same hell as Adolph Hitler.

What James has done here is shatter the notion that one could ever work their way into heaven. Now, we all know that, right? Well, I think that we all know that but many of you haven’t truly believed it. Many of you feel like you’re personally responsible for paying Jesus back for dying for you. You need to hear this, you can never, ever, pay Jesus back for what He has done. That’s the point of the cross. You cannot do it so Christ did do it. So, many of you have confessed your sin and asked God to forgive you and what you do not realize is that when you asked God to forgive you… He DID. That’s it, end of story. If you’ve responded to His call by giving Him your life, then God has already forgiven you for being impartial TOMORROW. He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done and everything you ever will do. See, if only your past sins were forgiven, you’d still be in sin and you would have to constantly ask for God to save you. The beauty of it is that, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. So, instead of feeling like we ought to hide from God when we sin, let us run to God who will give us comfort and peace. We must allow God to love us by running to Him rather than hiding from Him.

Takeaways: Love your neighbor as yourself, you’re not perfect, Jesus Christ is sufficient, and you can be “free in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:2

That’s my rant for today. If anyone has any concerns then feel free to reply to this or whatever you do on this thing. I hope that you have been challenged and encouraged by this.

Grace and Peace to you in Christ Jesus, Josh Waller

Love is one. Love is changeless.

"Love is one. Love is changeless.
    ”For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill of loving, it spends itself to make more lovely, that it may love more; it strives for perfection, even that itself may be perfected—not in itself, but in the object. As it was love that first created humanity, so even human love, in proportion to its divinity, will go on creating the beautiful for its own outpouring. There is nothing eternal but that which loves and can be loved, and love is ever climbing towards the consummation when such shall be the universe, imperishable, divine.
    ”Therefore all that is not beautiful in the beloved, all that comes between and is not of love’s kind, must be destroyed.
    ”And our God is a consuming fire.”  - George MacDonald

Sanctification described in terms of the causing nature of God and the result in man and in nature. It’s beautiful. God loves our imperfections out of us. Perfect love will love its beloved into perfection. Beautiful.

This quote is from a book called From the Library of C.S. Lewis. It’s a collection of writings from authors who inspired C.S. Lewis. I’d recommend reading it to anyone.

The Gospel: what does it mean?

The Gospel has three primary aspects and many secondary and even tertiary aspects. In this post, though, I will be focusing mainly on the three primary aspects which include that there is a problem, a solution, and a response.

We will go in order.

The root issue with, well, everything is that people are wretched. See, originally there was only God. Now I must divert from MY primary focus, the Gospel, and do some explaining.

We know that originally there was only God because there are really only three possible options. So, either something came out of nothing, material things always existed, or something immaterial (God) existed and created material things.

Something came out of nothing? From the beginning we have known that from nothing nothing comes or ex nihilo nihil fit. This is very simple and is not hard to wrap the mind around, it just makes sense.
Material things have always existed? As far as you can go back in time, you will continually ask: “What about before that? What caused that?” Because everything has a cause, we would go backwards in time infinitely if we chose to take this to its course, which of course would take forever. However, if you have done any research, you know that no one of high standing position, even among atheists, would take this position. This means that there was a beginning.

Something immaterial (God) existed and created material things. The only way that there is a beginning is if there was a sudden cause. An uncaused cause. An immaterial uncauseable cause. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3. As you will, hopefully, begin to see, the Bible answers every question. So, God is the immaterial and uncaused cause of materials.

Now that that is taken care of, let us move on.

The Problem
Now, back to the Gospel which is of utmost importance (I Corinthians 15:3). So, now that we have creation and specifically the creation of man, we have the problem. The only way there could be sin (disobedience to God) is if there was something to disobey and without something to obey, there is no obedience to God, only existence. Therefore, God gave ONE commandment to Adam and Eve. He gave them complete freedom aside from one thing: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16b-17. Think about it, if someone tells you, “look, I don’t really care what you do. Do whatever you want. Oh, and by the way, don’t eat this or you’ll die.” Your first thought is going to be to question that. You will wonder why you will die and will most likely want to try it. Now, I am sure that Adam had that temptation but he remained sinless until the snake (Satan) told Eve that the only reason God told them that was because the fruit from that tree would make them like God. Naturally, she and Adam, who was right beside her, ate of the fruit. Now fast forward to the present, here we are, just as stubborn and selfish as our original parents. Their temptation is so familiar to us. We want control, we want knowledge of everything, and we definitely do not want those to be taken from us. So, the problem is in that we all, from that point on, have been born into this sin (“…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23). Everyone sins because not a single person is perfect. Now, if we take the idea that Romans 3:23 cuts right through and read it from beginning to end, then we have the solution.

The Solution
"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by His blood, to be received by faith." Romans 3:21-25. See, John 3:16 ("For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.") is the most common scripture in the world. It seems that we have become numb to the weight of this. You see, God made us perfect. We were with Him and enjoyed His presence for a time. We then rebelled. We did the only thing God asked us not to do. So, what is God’s response? He decided to forgive us. There is a catch though. Once we were contaminated, we could not enter into God’s presence because God is perfect. We would contaminate God’s presence. So God decides to send His only Son, His beloved, to earth to live with us. Jesus was not born into sin like us because of who His Father is. So begins the life of Jesus. Jesus was tempted by all that we were tempted with (Hebrews 4:15), yet remained sinless. Before Jesus, there were animal sacrifices that would be done in order to ask forgiveness from God. This form of atonement was only temporary and because the animals were animals, they could never be adequate in forgiveness of sins. So, Jesus lived a perfect life, died bearing the sins of each of us, and then was raised from the dead by God, thus defeating sin’s stranglehold on humanity. An important aspect of this is presented in Luke 22:39-44 when Jesus prays in the garden. Here in the garden Jesus sweated blood. He asked God is there was another way for salvation before submitting to God’s holy plan for His life. Jesus was so emotionally drained from the thought of what was about to happen that he sweated drops of blood. This is a real phenomenon that only happens under immense stress and fear. The following day Jesus would be beaten beyond human semblance (Isaiah 51:14) and unjustly suffer an excruciating death on a cross. But get this: He was not afraid of that. Jesus was afraid of the wrath of God, His Father. Jesus was so terrified of the wrath of His own Father that He sweated blood. Jesus knew what it was like to be in real communion with God and He knew how invaluable that treasure was. He also knew that He was about to lose that. So, we have Christ taking the punishment for our sins (propitiation). Many, many people have fallen victim to the notion that Christianity is a mixture between karma and the Gospel. They believe that if they do well, Christ’s death will atone for the areas they failed. This is simply not true. As I have shown, scripture tells us that we have all fallen short and that falling short means hell. The exception is not that we can do well enough to avoid that but that we can realize our helpless state and BEG for forgiveness. The main point of this section is Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord."

The Response
How do we identify with Christ in order that we may be saved? John says, “…whoever believes in Him should not perish…”. Now, what does it mean to believe? Believe does not mean what we think it means. The word actually used in the original text meant to have some sort of action behind the belief. Not only are we to know in our heads that Christ was wrongly murdered for our sins, but we are to be compelled to trust in God for forgiveness of sins, then allow Him to change us out of our love for Him. To believe is to live. James 2:19 tells us that the demons “believe” and shudder. Clearly, the word here is different from the word in John 3:16. I have met many people, though, who are convinced that they are saved because they “believe” that Jesus died for them and has forgiven them when in reality, they are stuck in that knowledge and have met to actually submit their lives to God. The appropriate response to the Gospel is that we would be humbled by our sin, in awe of God’s grace and mercy, beg for forgiveness, and then live in the freedom that is Christ. One vital truth of the Gospel that people often do not realize goes as follows: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. This is unbelievable. Not only are we forgiven for every single time we have fallen short of perfection, but we also are forgiven for those times that we have yet to fall short. When Christ died, He took my sin. Now get this, if He had just taken my sin away from me and forgiven me for that, I would be in no better place than where I started. He, however, not only took my sin, but replaced my sin with His own righteous perfection. Think about what that means. Now, please read this carefully. Even when I am currently sinning or am deep in sin, I am no less perfect than when I feel close to God. Now, let’s read that again. Even when I am currently sinning or am deep in sin, I am no less perfect than when I feel close to God. So, as a result, there is no condemnation. I am free to live in Christ and finally do what I was made to do. I am able to glorify God by abiding in Christ. The main point of this section is presented beautifully in the whole of Romans 8. I would suggest reading that right now. If you do not own a Bible, the internet can provide that if you just Google Romans 8.

And that is the short version of the Gospel. God made us. We messed up. We still mess up. God made a way through Christ. We must accept Him to reunite with God.

I am getting really excited just thinking about this whole concept, and I hope that it encourages or convicts you as well. Feel free to write to me for any questions or concerns that you may have. I would love to talk to you. If you don’t believe what I wrote is true, then tell me why so that maybe God will use me to answer some questions that you may have. There are more answers out there than most people are willing to look for so please don’t go on in the dark because you are unwilling to find answers. Just ask. I’m praying that this message means as much to you as it does to me. This momentous event has given me a reason to live. If not for God, then for what do you live your life? There is no meaning aside from the Lord. Thanks you reading, everyone! I’m praying for your hearts to be softened.

Sincerely, Josh

Gospel Transformation

It was not until recently that I realized that I have recently experienced a Gospel transformation by the power of God. When I arrived at Beach Project, I knew was certain of these two things; that Christ provides salvation to those who respond to the Spirit’s calling and that those who are in Christ are free. While I knew these things, I was afraid to live them.

Christ provides salvation for those who respond to the Spirit’s calling. Everyone who has ever been to church is aware of this. “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved”, right? Well, if this is so (and it is), then why are we afraid to talk about it? If Romans 6:23 is true (and it is), then why do we not talk to everyone we know about the saving power of Christ and what that means for us? I have become more and more convinced that if you truly believe in the Gospel, you will be compelled to share the Gospel, not burdened to share it. Every Wednesday at Project is half-reserved for beach evangelism for a few hours. For those of you who do not realize that the term “beach evangelism” is extremely self-explanatory, I will explain what that means. We go to the church at 1:30pm and listen to the Gospel being preached and learn tools to help us share our Hope and from there we go to the beach for an hour or two and walk up to strangers and share the Gospel. If I know Christians like I do, then I know some of you are saying, “that’s not the most effective way for people to come to Christ.” Am I right? Okay, great. Now get over yourself and pay attention. Just because you don’t see immediate results doesn’t mean that there will be no results. Isaiah 55:10-11 says,”For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it being forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." This means that God can make anything happen when you open yourself up to sharing the Gospel at every chance you get. In addition, sharing the Gospel is immensely effective at edifying the spirit of the one who ventures to share. Every week I have become more and more excited to get to the beach to talk to people about my Savior. Much of the change I have seen in myself has resulted, largely, from beach evangelism. The point of this is to say that literally every single conversation has Gospel potential. Take advantage of your God-given opportunities, it’s much easier than you think. Also, allow the Gospel to transform your life. Read through Romans to try to understand what it actually meant. Please do not stop at the reading of the Gospel but think on it, meditate on it, and begin to allow it to permeate your being. I can guarantee you that you know much less about the Great Exchange than you think you do.

Those who are in Christ are free. Here again we have a statement that every true Christian would agree with. So I beg the question: if we really understand that we have this freedom, why do we continue in the same sins as those we knew when we were lost? Proverbs 26:11 says, “Like a dog who returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” There are countless other scriptures all singing the same verse to the same old convicting song that has always resulted in nothing for most. We need to realize the meaning of Romans 8:1 which says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The meaning of this verse, unsurprisingly, is actually that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. It’s amazing to me how many people would call themselves Christians but are still held in bondage by their sins. If they are surrendered to Christ, then they will have the spirit of Christ (both Spirit and affect apply here; double meaning). Christ, though tempted, remained sinless. I am not saying that a true Christian will not sin, but that there will be no chains holding the Christian to his former sins. I really don’t know how to explain what is going on in my head about the idea of freedom in Christ. I would just suggest reading Romans 8 and letting that be true. Everything I am trying to explain is perfectly explained in that chapter. If anyone is feeling super spiritual, then I would also suggest reading through Colossians and letting the truth that is God’s Word sink in to the heart. Now here I am, halfway through Project, a changed man. I arrived here in Panama City, FL understanding the keys concepts of the Faith and I have blessedly become a man who lives (or at least attempts to) the key concepts of the Faith. My hope is that anyone who reads this will be challenged and encouraged to take the next step in their walk with the LORD, and truly allow change. Peace and blessings!

The Call Home

I have been at the Summer Leadership Project since May 18th and I will be until July 24th. So far it’s been pretty incredible. I went into the project with a pretty apathetic mindset. I had nothing better to do and no other way to make money so I figured that I might as well come here and see how it went. As it turns out this summer is shaping up to be by far the most challenging experience of my life thus far. I have come to realize that God has brought me here for a reason (duh) and I know that if I am lucky enough to get to a point in my life where I am an old man with almost an entire life under my belt, I know that I will look back on this summer and see it as a pivotal point in my life. Anyway, I am going to try to post on a fairly regular basis over the summer but there is very little down time so I guess we’ll see how that goes.

Something that we do every Wednesday afternoon is go out onto the beach in pairs and share the Gospel with anyone who will give us a chance. This is has been rewarding so far in that I have gotten much more comfortable with these conversation. It has actually gotten to the point where I don’t get nervous but I actually get excited to go out there. This week, though, was a little different. We met at the church, heard the pregame message, and then were told that we were not going to the beach. What we did instead was much more challenging. We were told that we were going to do what the call, “the call home”. We were to call someone from back home, either at from our university or where we grew up. As soon as they told us what we were doing, I knew who I was going to call. I have never been more excited to have a conversation about Christ than I was on Wednesday. When we got back to the hotel, my room prayed together and then we went to make our phone calls. I called a friend whom I have known for a long time. We played soccer together and have even traveled together but, amazingly, I never brought up Jesus Christ. Over the last year I have been thinking that I need to have him over to talk to him about spiritual things to see if I could somehow share my faith but it never worked out. So on Wednesday I finally had the chance to speak to him and it was pretty encouraging. I told him what I was calling about and asked if he had a few minutes and he was on his way somewhere already and could not talk for very long. To my surprise, he was excited to talk about it even though he didn’t have the time. So even though I didn’t get to have the full conversation, I am praying for him and waiting for the follow up conversation.

I know that this was a pretty drawn out story and that it probably doesn’t mean that much to anyone reading this, but it really meant a lot to me that the conversation went like it did. If you’d like to, I would appreciate it if my friend could be showered with prayer as I wait for this second conversation. I think that the biggest thing that I learned from this was how easy it is to share with people that I know well. Everyone always says that it’s a lot more difficult to share Christ with someone you have known for a long time. In that past I would have agreed but this week has taught me otherwise. I would encourage anyone who reads this to call or meet up with someone who they know well, and share with them the only Hope there is in the world. It’s definitely worth the awkward part of the conversation and you never know how it may turn out.

Just so everyone knows, I plan on posting every week or so about things that God has been teaching me. There is not enough time for me to write it all down though so if you would like to know more about my summer, then give me a call. Thanks for reading this whole thing, next time I’ll try and make it shorter.

Conclusion. Boom.