Wouldn’t things be different?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Me and the guys are going to commit these five verses to memory this week. Sometimes you come across scripture that is so applicable. The verses just strike a chord in your heart and you know that it is true, it is beautiful, and it’s speaking directly to you. It makes me wonder what our lives would look like if we lived these verses.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

What if we took that word always seriously? What if we truly trusted in His plan and simply rejoiced regardless of the circumstances? Wouldn’t things be different?

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

What if Christians were known for being gentle, rather than loud, arrogant, and judgmental? What if we took our WWJD bracelets seriously and actually ask ourselves what Jesus would do?  Wouldn’t things be different?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

What if we simply weren’t anxious? What if we we approached things by prayer and petition? What if we went to Him with our problems first? Wouldn’t things be different?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

What if this wasn’t just Christian wall-art? What if we took our thought life seriously and dwelled on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy? Wouldn’t things be different?

It’s easy to read scripture, like the way it sounds, put our Bibles on the shelf, and go live out our lives. Me and my bros here don’t want to do that anymore.

I love college

It’s been awhile. College is crazy awesome. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to find the time to write out a blog with so much to do all the time. But writing helps me process, and with so much happening around here, I need to let y’all know what’s going on down here in Texas.

My two prayers coming down here were for authentic community and meaningful work. They’ve been answered. God is good and he’s been absolutely rocking my world down here in Waco.

The first one was answered immediately. My roommate is an absolutely incredible person and we kind of skipped the whole awkward getting to know each other thing and jumped right from strangers to best friends. Besides Nate, we’ve got some great community going on in Penland hall.  I’ve only been here for 10 days but I love these guys. Proverbs 27:17 says that “As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” I’ve never had a fuller picture of what that looks like than here. It looks like late night hammock sessions in the quad and a Bible study in the cafeteria every morning and talking about what we miss most about home. The community here has been incredible.

My second prayer coming down here, meaningful work, is more of a work in progress. At home, I had service outlets. I had things that I was a part of where I knew I could love on and serve people around me. The first week down here was hard because I didn’t have those outlets. I was still searching around and still am to a certain extent. But last Sunday morning I took a short walk to the I-35 overpass to visit the church under the bridge. This congregation meets every Sunday under the I-35 bridge. The congregation of about 300 people is primarily made up of poor, homeless, and marginalized members of the community. The other people there are like me and want a more authentic, primitive Sunday morning experience that looks less like a rock concert and more like a bunch of people coming together to love, support, and talk about the hope we have in Jesus together.

I instantly felt at home under that bridge. After that Sunday, I went from having no ways to connect with the community and serve to having an opportunity to do so every day. There’s work to be done at the shelter and little kids to love on and meals to serve downtown and a refrigerator box sleep out coming up. God definitely answered my prayer for meaningful work.

I’m having a lot of fun down here and things are going great. I’ll mention one hard thing though. Moving to a completely new place, it’s hard to feel known. I’ve been homesick very little here, but I miss being around people who know me, people who know what makes me tick and my hopes and fears and people who have lived life with me for the last 18 years. It’s hard since even my closest friends down here, I’ve been living around for just a little over a week, and it takes a little bit longer than that to start to “get” each other.

Being here at college, though, is such a blessing. When you look at history, I’m ridiculously blessed to live in a time where it is the norm to spend four years doing nothing but learning inside and outside of the classroom. What an incredible opportunity to develop what I’ve been given.

“black, white, brown, rich and poor, educated in the streets and in the university all worshipping the living God, which makes us one.” -Church Under the Bridge motto

You can only be loved to the extent that you are known.