Taking Care of Busyness

I know…it has been awhile since my last post. Life has been crazy, and I simply haven’t gotten around to the blog. Today I will share a few updates, what’s new, and what some hopes are for the future. To be honest though, it has been a pretty tough time, physically, mentally, emotionally, and especially spiritually. It has been truly difficult to balance everything. I suppose most people are good at it, but I am not. For me, I start taking care of one thing, only to let the other things suffer. Spiritual life going great? Awesome! But while that’s going on, I’m neglecting my health, then that starts to suffer. It’s crazy to think how hard it is to have a nice balance in taking care of everything. With the introduction out-of-the-way, here are some updates.

I’m going to college! Which is both exciting and crazy! I’ve been enjoying it for the most part, but it’s adding to my workload, which means I have to really learn to manage my time. And as mentioned above, I really need to work on. This first semester has flown by. I did end up missing a couple of weeks due to sickness, which put me behind. I’m almost caught up now though. I’ve also been getting some hours in at the grill on campus. So everything is going pretty well all in all. While this all may seem like no big deal to some, we’re talking about someone who used to not like going through drive-thrus, or answer the telephone, because of social anxieties. Those anxieties were only for a season though. Growing up I never had a problem with that. It was only during my later teenage years those issues arose. The Lord has brought me so far!

But alas, it can’t be all good things, can it? For there is some things that seem to be doing worse. While I’m still learning about living life, I find it difficult to remain focused spiritually. It’s easy to spend time with God when you don’t have so many things going on. It really has to become intentional when you are so busy. It may not seem busy compared to others, but for me, I’m the busiest I have ever been. Throw in still trying to maintain proper diet, exercise, and not to mention keeping up with ministry, and that’s a full schedule. They just never tell you how much responsiblity being an adult really is. Everyone says enjoy being a kid while you can, but you never realize why until it’s over. I just hope and pray that I can stay rooted and grounded while being busy, that I don’t get too busy for the One that really matters.

Please do not take me wrong, I know how writing about a subject can make it seem exaggerated and bigger than it really is. I’m enjoying all of this journey. And I cannot wait to see where the Lord takes me. It’s just that in all of this, I’m learning to prioritize. It’s very important how and what we spend our time on. We’re only given so much, and I don’t want to waste any of it. Love y’all!!

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Flight Control

I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. To me it just seems so amazing to be able to leave the ground, and take flight in a giant metal bird. Such freedom, seeing the ground from a bird’s-eye view. It’s so humbling seeing how small the ground we live on really is just by changing your perspective. I do plan on getting my private pilot’s license, Lord willing. But while I do love planes and flying in general, they also form a great metaphor for my personal life.

The last couple of weeks have been very odd. I haven’t felt this down in a while. It’s nowhere near what I use to deal with, but it’s still been enough to notice. Sometimes it can come without any reason, like now. Without any one specific thing being the culprit. While other times it can be brought on by a situation or circumstance.

There have been times I’ve felt like my life was spiraling out of control, like an airplane that has stalled trying to climb too steep of a grade. There are always, of course, times when control is regained, and steady flight is maintained.

Lately I think this time it’s mostly been brought on by spiritual reasons, and health reasons. Sometimes you can begin questioning things, and the more you question things, the more answers you seem to lack.

Don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings.

But one thing I have learned through everything is this: don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings. It’s easy to trust in the Lord when you feel like it. It’s easy to worship when everything in your life is perfect. The true test comes when trials come. For that is when you’re left with a choice. Will I stall out, spiraling out of control? Or will I push the engines a little harder, and navigate through the rough turbulence, trusting He will see me through?

I have chosen the latter. If Job went through what he did, and never wavered, then surely anything I might go through is nothing. So, big or small, drought or rain, I want to be someone God can trust. Uncompromising, unwavering, and completely sold out for my King. Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

We’ve got to learn to trust Him with everything, for our lives are but vapors anyway. His timing is not our timing, and His ways are not our ways. He’s God, and we’re not. The creation never supersedes or knows more than their Creator.

We’re truly nothing without Him. But I find comfort in that. It takes the burden off of me, and He gives me a yoke to take up, for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

Sold Out

Are you sold out? Are you totally committed? You have to be to jump out of a plane like in the photo above. Either that or you’ll be forced to jump!

Hey everyone! I know, it’s been a little while. This summer has just been so busy! I’ve learned so much, grown as a person, and especially found the Lord in a deeper way!

Where to begin? Let’s begin with our youth group’s cabin trip. Our trip took us to Pigeon Forge, TN, the usual place we go to for summer retreats. When we got there, the cabin we originally booked was trashed, so we had to scramble and book another one. Praise God we not only were able to book another cabin, but it ended up being the best one we’ve ever stayed in!

Each night of service was amazing. Full of prayer, worship, and being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit wanted to do. Chains were broken off of people’s lives, and hearts were set ablaze with the love of Jesus and fire of The Holy Spirit. I personally really learned how to push through and worship even when fatigued.( Our services would start around 7-8, and sometimes end in the early a.m. hours. Not to mention our daily devotionals and activities throughout the day, including team games!) Needless to say, I truly learned how to push through.

So it’s personal testimony time. I’ve written before about over thinking, depression, etc. I’m glad to say I’ve been set free from those things!! I’m learning to walk in my newfound freedom, but it’s amazing to see where God has brought me from. I was at points throughout my life where I wouldn’t even go through a drive thru, because I didn’t like talking to strangers or anyone I didn’t know. I’ve even noticed things I’ve been set free from I didn’t realize were a problem until they were no longer there. I no longer feel lonely and much of the fear I’ve had is totally gone. God is so so good!!

Jump forward a couple of weeks to this past weekend, and I gained even more freedom at Summer Warrior-Fest 2018. I experienced even more of the freedom I learned on the cabin trip, freedom in shouting, dancing, and crying out to God. And hunger.

Sometimes we reach a certain level in the Lord, and become comfortable. It’s pretty easy to do, but I just keep getting pushed into pressing in, and asking the Lord for more! I just want more of Him! I’ve come to realize we’ve got to be sold out.

Sold out. Unashamed. Uncompromising. Relentless. I want to be so in love with Jesus that everyone knows it! I see Him drawing me closer to Himself, asking me to go deeper. I’m not sure how to go deeper from here, but I’m trusting He’ll show me the way.

I don’t want to go back! Back to the mundane! Back to no passion! I want to be on fire and passionate for Him! Keith Green’s Biography, No Compromise, is really pushing me to seek Him out more. And there’s a deeper longing to be His hands and feet. I want to see myself sold out for Him, along with the rest of the church. Then we can truly take the gospel to the nations, because nothing will hold us back.

Everyone talks of revival, but how many are truly willing to do what it takes? Revival starts with me. It starts with you. It starts with repentance, and throwing off the weight that so easily besets us. I want to see the lost saved, the sick healed, the broken hearts be mended.

So I guess that’s all for now. Love y’all!!

Fix Our Eyes

What we look at, or dwell on, becomes magnified. Not literally, just in our own view, or perception. I have learned, and seem to have the need to keep on learning this truth.

Our perception or viewpoint really determines how we see our world. Whether sitting in an auditorium or stargazing at the night sky, where we’re seated and how feel at the moment can affect what and how we perceive what we’re looking at.

I’ve been learning in my own life lately how keeping my focus on Jesus just changes literally everything in my life. The storms in my life, the fears and insecurities I fought, all seem to just melt away when my focus is on Him, and His goodness.

I feel like everyday, I’m Peter asking Him to call me out on the water.

I feel like everyday, I’m Peter asking Him to call me out on the water. And everyday I have the decision to step out of the boat and walk to Him. But also everyday I want so badly to make it to Him without taking my eyes off of Him. But day after day I still seem to fail. I partially have my eyes on Him, but, just like Peter, the storm rages, I lose my focus on Him, and begin to sink. I then cry for Him to save me from drowning, and He pulls me to safety.

Most recently especially, I feel like I’ve just been in one spiritual battle after another. The more I want Him, and the closer I seem to get, the more the battle rages. Just tonight I realized something was very wrong, and I had to get back to the simplicity of pursuing Him. Without an agenda, without a time clock. Just Him, and I.

He is so Good. And don’t even know how Good He is. He is so mighty. So just. So pure. So holy. So loving. I don’t even know where to begin in understanding Him. I just know I can’t live without Him. There is nothing good in me, and everything good in Him. The only thing good in me is Him, and without Him I can do nothing.

Chasing God is not easy, and I wouldn’t want it to be. But He wants to be found. He wants us to find Him. He wants a relationship with each one of us. That’s the very reason we were created. So if you’re discouraged, or feel like your problems are just too big, two wonderful chapters of God’s word I recommend you read are Isaiah 40, and Job 38. If you need to be reminded how big God is, how small your problems are, or just need some humility(these chapters work great in humbling me for sure) give them a read, and ask the Holy Spirit for help. He so wants to help and empower you.                                                                                                Shalom and Love,                                                                                                                                                                     Joshua