Monday, February 7, 2011

I Want to be FOOLISH for God!

The title definitely describes this past weekend. I am still in awe of everything that God did. I am still processing it a lot but also seeing a TON of blessing from obeying His word IMMEDIATELY. I am going to go day by day through my weekend :)


I woke up around 4am, had a meeting in Bridgewater at 7am. On my way to the meeting I was praying for peace and for everything to just got well. God showed up HUGE at the meeting! Everything was interpreted extremely well and I was honestly encouraged when I left. After that

I drove a fellow manager to his store in Dorchester then headed back up to Beverly. I cleaned my car, got it washed then picked up Matt, Beth, and John. The four of us went into CFCF early to help set up for World Mandate. Going in was a littler nerve racking for me. I was worried about conflict and how my heart would react to certain situations. God showed up and really spoke promises for the weekend over me. After setup we ate an awesome meal and then headed into the gym for the first night of World Mandate 2011. Oh, by the way... I took a sweet fall in the parking lot... Don't run at night in the parking lot... you can't see black ice ;).

Friday night was definitely the hardest night of the weekend. I was extremely lost. After the session I was really just meditation on one thing that Robert Herber said. He spoke on the life of Peter but something that stuck with me was how Peter denied Jesus. The way Robert described it was funny. "A 13 year old girl says 'i saw you with Jesus' and Peter cries 'NO!'"... IDK why I put that in quoted because it's a paraphrase but you get the point. I sat in a seat just trying to figure out why I (just like Peter) am scared of the "13 year old girl. Why am I scared to tell people about Jesus? Why am I terrified to tell people that Jesus loves them? I found myself being scared of Gods will for my life and feeling useless for His purpose. I felt as if He couldn't use me EVER... I would NEVER go overseas and be a missionary. I have never entertained that thought in my life so I wasn't willing to entertain it then. I got prayed from Neil and it was SO GOOD. The insecurity was totally rooted in not knowing what it's like to trust a father. I don't want to over-spiritualize it but Neil's prayer was instantaneous relief. God captured my heart and really showed me that everything would be ok and that He was going to do BIG things in my heart but that I HAD to listen.... and if I listened... I wouldn't regret it..


So Saturday came along and I just felt ready to hear God... I was excited walking into the school for World Mandate 2011 day 2! However I was not expecting God to challenge me fast. I felt like God was wanting to release me of materialism and my desire to have a BIG Savings account and a secure future. Friday night I felt him tell me that I needed to give some things away... I obeyed though I didn't want to.... Back to Saturday: I'm going to be honest... I took ONE thing from Roberts talk on Saturday morning and it was this quote: "God wants to release your from desire nice clothes and nice cars so you can look good and impress people." That broke my heart. I can't say I bought my car because I wanted to look good - God definitely blessed me with it. However, I don't drive it as if he did. I drive like I'm better than people and I look down on people a lot. Primarily when things aren't going my way. On top of that expensive clothing was the Bane of my existence... sounds intense lol... but it's true... expensive clothing was misery to me... I had to have it, I had to look good. I had to impress people. I felt God tell me to empty my bank account, "GIVE IT ALL" and "TRUST IN HIM". It wasn't a thought I wanted to entertain but I knew I didn't have a choice.

During the break I picked up Dan... told him what was going on and he encouraged me to listen to God... I'm not going to lie... I didn't empty my bank account... I did take out money... more money than I was comfortable with... but God is still working through this. So we left the ATM, headed back to the school, ate lunch, the went to breakout sessions. Now to sum up everything thus far... my heart is hurting... I am disgusted, dissatisfied, and many other dis words I don't even know lol. But not at GOD... at myself.

Robert Herber held the first breakout session I went too it was entitled "power evangelism" and honestly... it was GREAT. I need to tell people about Jesus, I need to love people well and really desire the will of God to be done in the lives of the people around me. Robert did some skits for some passages in the bible and they were awesome and funny. When it came to the 3rd skit he called on some people. He brings a guy from the front row up, then the guy in front of me then calls me up. Ironically enough we are about to act out "The Parable of the Prodigal Son". On top of that... I am picked to be the lost son. I didn't even UNDERSTAND what God was doing until the end.... you have all probably heard the story... the younger son demands his inheritance from his father... he blows it all on partying and just junk... gets a crappy job then returns home upset... His father runs and embraces him with a HUGE HUG which was entirely uncommon for a father to do in that era. I had to hold back some emotions during this... I wiped it off with laughter... but I knew God was still making a HUGE POINT in my life.... Think back to friday... Neil's prayer for feeling "Fathered by God"... that was just God confirming that He loves me... despite all the pain from my "earthly father" God LOVES ME and HE is my TRUE FATHER

So after that AMAZING breakout session I then went and attended Kurt Mahler's session called "Perseverance: The War of 1000 Choices." Overall I would say I know a lot about perseverance but I definitely stink at it... I complain, and don't go to God. It's a hard area for me. But something Kurt said stuck with me. It was on forgiveness. He gave a long list of things we need to persevere through but this was one that cut to the core : " we are called to forgive because we have been forgiven." A TON of situations came to mind but one specific one stuck out and I knew I needed to actually APOLOGIZE to this person.... but of course I didn't believe it. I tried to run from it all and ignore it. However, every single time I went somewhere that person would be there. Needless to say a close friend noticed this and encouraged me to listen to God... talk about accountability!

Saturday night comes along and I am honestly nervous about what God is doing. Keep in mind I still have money to give to another person... and at this point I have no idea who it is... I just know God wants to bless someone.  Worship time was amazing! God spoke clear to me about providing for a practical need and how that's where HIS money is going. So I got a name and I held onto it for 2 hours haha! Kurt Mahler was leading this session and a ton of the things he said were amazing but yet again one thing stuck with me and that was that "I am being prepared for a purpose". First time I though about my calling like that... and I am in a training school that teaches JUST THAT... talk about not having faith! We did the usual altar call. I got up there and just started surrendering it to God. Dan started praying for me and just asking God to have me "GO!" where He is calling me. To stop making excuses and to stop holding back from giving my life completely to God. I was rocked and this was 5 minuted into response time. After that Jeff Bianchi got up on the mic and spoke on some healings that He felt were going to happen. The first one was for a back. Now I have had back pain my whole life! I have had numbness in my lower spine and when that happens to someone they bend their neck backwards to regain feeling... it sounds confusing but it is actually kind of painful. Matt and Dan started praying for my back then "Ny Ny" came over. I felt COLD hands and I was just telling some of these people that they had warm hands. It was happening... my back was being healed... Now I KNOW God healed it then but I was so out of it that I didn't know how to react. Right after that a good friend from the Harbor named Jim came up to me and asked to pray for Joy in my life. Once he started praying I started losing my feeling in my legs... I just couldn't stand up... so I got down on the ground to my knees and my face. After that I a few more people came up and started praying....

I felt more HEAT then immediate COLD. I could feel things breaking off of me. I started just screaming "YES JESUS!" then I started speaking in tongues... which I have never done.  I don't really know what was happening because I couldn't hear what people were praying but I know that Matt told me he started praying for joy to fill my stomach and that was when I fell flat down because I couldn't hold myself up. It was CRAZY! God healed my back, filled me with joy, and also gave me a call to the nations(forgot to mention that part). I think I am still currently terrified to go to the middle east but I did get a heart throb for indonesia and I'm just praying through what God wants to do there. I believe God wants me to reach out and share the gospel with muslims but I am open to anything.... except the middle east... but that's fear that I know God can break off!

Right after that I went over to a friend who I knew God told me to give the money too. She was blessed and praying for her with a bunch of people was even more amazing!

Needless to say this weekend radically changed my life and I'm not even done talking about it yet! I am going to blog about Sunday and Today... tomorrow! :)

Jesus Loves You!!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Set us Free in YOUR LOVE

It's 12:23am and I should be in bed. I have been up doing absolutely nothing. Today was definitely a hard day, not sure why. Actually, I take that back... I know why. It's definitely because I try to do things my way even when I know God's way is better. It's such a tough place to explain... I am captivated by Jesus but giving EVERYTHING to Him gets hard...

I was speaking to my pastor last night and I told him how I feel "grounded" in Christ for the first time. I feel close to Him and I can definitely hear what He is saying. However, it's still really hard to have all my "junk" come to the surface and have Him say: "I still love you." It's overwhelming at times but I guess my picture of God for the past few years has been relatively distorted because I never really knew what the saying "father" meant. Needless to say God has definitely been showing me what a father is and how much HE LOVES ME. God is the ultimate father and nothing can take His spot there in ANY of our lives. It's fantastic to process it and come to that conclusion. God is definitely showing me not to hold any resentment towards my father. To quote John Dawson: "Don't be angry with your parents. They're just kids who had kids."

It is still overwhelming... lol. I look back to who I was and who I am and I just can't believe what Jesus has done in my life. 2 years ago you wouldn't have been able to tell me that I would be maturing in Christ more. I was in a rut, and I just wanted to hold on to my "junk"... Funny how Jesus doesn't even want us to do that. He was us to be free.... You're probably confused by this entry just as much as I am. I think this is what happens when you process and type at the same time... I was listening to a NEW song tonight by United Pursuit Band (surprise!). It's called "In Your Love". I am going to put the lyrics below then comment on them. Unfortunately the song is BRAND NEW so there's no youtube video out for it.... yet

United Pursuit Band "In Your Love"

I will believe in You
All of my hope's in You
I will depend on You.
I will have faith in You.
All of my hope's in You.
I will depend on You.

Set us free
In Your Love
Set us free
In Your Love

If you find Him
Tell Him that I LOVE HIM
If you find Him
Tell Him that I LOVE HIM

Set us free
In Your Love
Set us free
In Your Love

If You find Him
Tell Him that I LOVE Him
If You find Him
Tell Him that I LOVE Him

Tell Him that I yearn
Tell Him that I long
Tell Him that I yearn
Tell Him that I long for Him..."

This spoke directly to me. "If you find Him tell Him that I LOVE Him". God just asked me (rhetorically) "Jon why are you scared to give it ALL to me... I don't JUST want the stuff you want me to fix... I want the things I want to fix." I am never disappointed by His work in my life... it's always good.... He's God I'm Not...

How about you?

I apologize if this was hard to understand... once again it's 12:40am and I am TIRED...

sorry for the excessive use of the ellipsis too


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rejoice ALWAYS

These past two weeks have been so crazy and God has been teaching me a lot. We're currently 15 days into the new year. I remember being at living waters with some friends on new years and God spoke a TON of promises to me for this year. The biggest one of all was that He was going to change my level of comfort and it was going to cause me to grow deeper in Him. All I can say is that GOD WAS RIGHT... I feel like He is changing my heart in ways I didn't expect. It all started when I went through "The seven steps to freedom in Christ." It's part of the book "The Bondage Breaker" by Neil T. Anderson and I highly recommend it. It was a powerful experience to sit down with a friend and forgive myself and others and also confess my person sin. I didn't think it was going to be powerful. About halfway through we came to a point of forgiving other people and it was extremely hard in some cases but God spoke over me and let me know that this is what I have been holding on to. It was very supernatural... This was definitely a moment I will remember.

As for life on 1/15/11 I will say it's great because it is! I have been meditating a lot on Philippians 4:4 which says: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say t again: REJOICE!

I think a big part of my life has been based on loving God when things are going my way. However, when things got tough I would get mad at Him for taking things away or putting things "on hold". However, seeking Him more recently with my full heart has really shown me how much He loves me and also how much better His plan is than my own. Definitely giving it all the J.C. is the way to go if I do say so myself. I am enjoying growing in Him and also just staying focused on Him!

Oh and of course.... here's a song "Fill Me Up" by United Pursuit Band

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jesus because of YOU, I'M FREE

I have not posted in a long time! Life has taken a crazy turn and I feel closer to God than ever before. I would say this song sums up how I feel...

I wish I could just blab out everything that Jesus is speaking into my life but I can't... YET ;)... soon though... VERY SOON.... BAHAHAHA GOD IS SO GOOD!

SO I decided this past weekend that this blog is going to go in a different direction. I was talking to my friend Nate and he was telling me how how he loved finding new music up here and I got really excited about posting. Unfortunately I wasn't using my computer for a week so I had to wait until TODAY :).... In closing... this blog is going to be dedicated to music, primarily worship/christian. I feel a lot of things through music and God definitely speaks through it as well. So I am excited to share more with you all!

That's all for now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"I never really expirienced change...."

This title could spark some conversation! I haven't updated in a while and surprisingly I have some things to say. To start: Life has been absolutely amazing. Work has been busy, Jesus has been teaching me a lot, my family has been awesome, and chuch has been beyond belief!

I am actually going to share with you something that Jesus did last week and it completely rocked my world!

As some of you may know I am one of the drummers for worship at "The Harbor". Last week I was asked by Jenna to play drums and for the first time in my life I didn't want to play. I didn't know where these feelings were coming from and they were extremely frustrating. I tried praying through them and the only answer I got from Jesus was "play". I felt trapt because I LOVE playing but it's really hard to play when you don't want to... As the week went on I came to term with a lot of pride in my life. God really showed my how prideful I can be with the gifts he has blessed me with and how cocky I am behind the drumset. I come across as really arrogant sometimes... it was disgusting for me to see.

When Sunday came I spent the morning at starbucks. I did some reading and listened to the worship slections for service. At this point I still had absolutely no desire to play drums. I get a phone call from my Mom sharing with me some extremely surprising and disipointing information about a family memeber. To not go too deep into it... I was crushed. I wanted to leave and spend time with my family and pray for them, with them (for the first time) and just show them my love. God had bigger plans though.

As I left starbucks I recall sending Neil (my pastor) a text message asking him for prayer. I couldn't sense God's presence but somehow in 4 hours I was going to be "worshiping Him". All I could feel was pride stepping in. I contemplated calling Jenna and backing out of my commitment... I contemplated not calling and not showing up. However, I knew one thing and that was "God is in control whether I feel Him or not. He is going to step in and I need to let go over everything that is going on and give it all to Him."

I showed up at the church and got behind the set. Immediately went to the drumset to relase my feelings. I'm not a very verble person with many people about how I feel. I only spoke to one person all day about what I was feeling. Pride set in immediately... I couldn't hit parts I wasn't feeling comfortable behind the drumset. I was faking everything, I didn't WANT to be there but I knew I had to be.

As practice ended I felt like I needed to get before God, alone and seek Him. I begin praying for God's presence to overcome me and help me worship Him. Help me not play to show off. I wanted to play well but it didn't matter if I made mistakes. I wanted confidence in my playing but I didn't want to chase perfection. There's was so much junk going on in my life I had a lot of pain.

As we started the first song I felt God take over. It was something I have never felt in my entire life. Usually when I play I want to play well and have people tell me I did a great job. I chase perfection constantly. Since I was a kid I wanted to be the best drummer out of all the people I knew. In high school I was always one person away from being the best. Starting college I met a kid who is now my bestfriend who out did me too.

Essentially, the past 15 years of my life were all based on personal gain with all the types of drumming I did.

I came to realize that God is the one who gave me this gift. It didn't come from my own doing, it came from Him. As I seek Him more he provides everything I NEED.I probably made a ton of mistakes this past week but I felt like I worshiped God and grew closer to Him. I wasn't looking to hear "You did a great job Jon". For the first time in my life I felt like I gave my life fully to God's plan for me. It was only 2 hours!However, it made me realize how reliable God is and how much He loves me. I never expirienced His love like this. It was overwhelming and amazing! It broke down a ton of walls in my person relationship with Jesus....

Here's a video I watched mid-week. It made me realize a lot in my life. Aaron Gillespie has been a drummer I listened to and imitated since being a Christian....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Is this a soul that stirs in me, is it breaking free, wanting to come alive?"

I haven't blogged in quite some time. Life has been extremely busy but extremely rewarding. Where can I start?!... Some of you may have heard that I was in the Hospital for a day, I am completely fine! All healed from the infection I had, Praise God! Taking the day off from work to get everything done was not what I wanted to do, but was necessary.

Work has been extremely busy! I am blessed to have this position with great employees working for me! I enjoy working for this company a lot! I found out today that I have 40 hours of vacation that I can use at anytime before the end of this year... hmmmm... Where should I go? Throw me some ideas people!

Navigate started last week and I am loving it already. Waking up early, reading, waiting on God... It's all amazing! I love the people in it too! It's a great community I am excited for life!

ummm anything else??? Oh ya! Faith Group is tonight! It's going to be a great time...

Here's a song!