Monday, October 14, 2013

Two years in Billings

Today marks two years since we moved to Billings to help start the Fresh Life campus in our city. It’s been such an adventure and a huge honor to be a part of what God is doing here.

We have definitely had our ups and downs while here but thank God the hard times were never like a disease where they have affected us negatively in the long run. Instead they’ve been like wounds that have hurt at the time but then have left us with only scars with stories to tell about how God has turned beauty from ashes.

We started with a team of 9 and I am so stoked to say that as the church has grown, a little more than half the Fresh Life Billings campus are actively involved in serving and in community. It’s so cool to hear about what God has been doing in their lives because of the work done at Fresh Life whether they gave their lives to Jesus at our campus or have landed in our church home and flourished spiritually. The people that I have the honor of seeing throughout the week in my church are the best, and I for one feel beyond privileged that God put me together with these people to pass through life with. They have been like family to me and have drawn me so much closer to Jesus. And we just yesterday moved all of our stuff into what will become the permanent home of Fresh Life Billings!

It’s amazing to think that we really haven’t done much to cause the growth and impact at our campus. Really I can nail down 3 things I’ve noticed we have done that has caused for our church to ‘work’.

1)      We tremble before God’s word
2)      We are snakebirds: We’ve worked as hard as we could as God led, and trusted God would do something with the work we believe He led us to do
3)      Faithfulness: All we’ve ever done is show up

WEST HIGH 2011-2013





The Best is yet to come

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Heaven's still fuller..

Ministry; it's hard. To be completely honest, I've had my share of days where under the pressure of devoting my life to serving Jesus I've wanted to tap out. Now, before the shock of what you've just read starts to set in and completely change your opinion of me, hear me out.

I've been active in all things church for at least 6 years doing anything from teaching the bible, leading worship, cleaning toilets (literally) and have been a part of two church plants.

Over and over again I've faced situations that have made me want to quit, things that would beat up my heart so bad to the point where I feel there's not much left to give. Could be anything from not meeting the standards that people I have led placed on me, or being too broke to get by in a city God has called me to. The worse is when the people that are there during the victories, are nowhere to be found in the failures.

It's been tempting wanting to give in to failure and isolate. Jeremiah had similar moments too.

Talking about God got Jeremiah in trouble. It seems like at one point he had made the decision to not speak a word about God to anyone anymore. But then he writes in Jeremiah 20:9, "If I say I'll never mention the LORD or speak in His name, His word burns in my heart like a fire. It's like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can't do it!"

It's in those low moments where I've come close to making the decision to quit that my heart starts to burn, and the Holy Spirit reminds me that the small things that I do make a difference for all eternity for someone else. I start to look at the work that I have been a part of and the fruit that it bore and get reminded that I had a small part in ushering someone to Jesus. 

These circumstances that I face and the feelings of failure cannot, even if the enemy tried, alter someone's eternity. If I suffer because the devil is mad that I had something to do with someone giving their life to Jesus, that person will still go to heaven and will not be rerouted to hell, even if I'm living in a cardboard box in an alley or even if I lose a friend.

I've learned to say in all the hard times, especially when I recognized that the suffering is there because the devil is mad, that hell is still emptier and heaven is still fuller. On a bad day, that makes everything ok. And I quickly go from wanting to give up, to thinking like Jeremiah, with His word burning in my heart like fire with me being unable to hold it in... I just can't do it. 

In the end, I just start realizing how much of an honor it is to minister. I get reminded that the work of ministry is not a burden but a joy because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. And if ever I get to a point again where I feel like I can't handle it, that's the perfect place to be, because then I get to run to Jesus and lean on Him when I'm falling apart. I get the rest I need, and the strength from Him to keep fighting this war for souls, making hell emptier and heaven fuller.