Blessed are the feet...

Posted in Reflections.

road

The sandaled feet walked slowly along the pathway. It was a long, dirty pathway that was well trodden by the feet of the thousands of daily mourners. These feet dragged a bit and were devoid of energy. They were dirty, sweaty, and worn. They were the feet of the weary, the hopeless, and the tired. Such a dreary walk for any man or woman to have to make.
Suddenly, the feet stopped. The pathway was still long and weary but these feet had arrived at their destination. The feet shuffled and suddenly seemed very nervous. They stepped back. They tried to move forward but something seemed to be wrong. Muffled voices spoke quietly and quickly.
Suddenly, like lightning, the feet rushed forward into the dark tomb only to find it empty.
The tomb was empty!
The tomb was empty?
The tomb was empty!!

Inspired

Posted in Reflections.

inspiredyouth

I remember the first time I truly felt inspired. I was watching the movie Independence Day and the President of the United States jumped up on top of a military truck and grabbed a microphone. He began to speak one of the greatest speeches in movie history. I was floored! I wanted to jump up from my seat in the movie theatre, grab a fighter jet, and help stop the alien invasion. I was ready to take on the world whatever the cost!
Now, the reality is that it was just a movie. It was a speech written to motivate men and women alike into action. It was meant to spur us all out of our seat to fight, cheer on, encourage, and exhort our fellow soldiers in the battle that lay ahead. But, it was just a movie. A good movie...but still a movie.
Today, I sit in my office feeling the same way. I feel inspired. I feel called into action. I feel ready to stand and fight the good fight. I feel ready and willing to charge into the breach of darkness and to vanquish the one who stands against us all. I truly feel inspired.

Redefining Education

Posted in Reflections.

teaching

What is a teacher? I've asked myself that a lot over the past couple of years and I'm amazed by how many answers there really are to the question. And I've spent so much time on what makes a good teacher that I sometimes forget that the content is just as important as the teacher.
In the church we have struggled for years to find good, qualified, passionate teachers. It seems like every quarter there is a plea for people to step forward and accept the challenge of teaching the kids, the teens, and the babies. We beg and beg for people to step forward into these roles knowing that most will do it reluctantly.
Now, I know exactly why people struggle to step into these positions. Ask any good teacher how long it takes for them to prepare to teach just one class and they will tell you a simple answer. HOURS. DAYS. Why? Because they care. So, in trying to help teachers, churches go out and buy prepackaged material that can be easily laid before the teachers and they can just open it up and start teaching. If you didn't know this already, this method is exactly why most of our school systems are going down the drain quickly. But for some reason, we thought it wouldn't affect our children in our churches.

New York Mission Trip

Posted in Reflections.

newyork

Over the summer the Buford teens have been all over the world. We have traveled over 22,000 miles! We have been to China and back, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, and now New York.
This past week, 18 teens, young adults, and Generation Nexter's headed to Long Island, New York to work with the Springfield Gardens church of Christ. We headed out on Saturday the 3rd of August at around 4 am and drove all day. We drove through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and finally, New York.

Landmines

Posted in Reflections.

cambodia

I remember waking up on the floor of the church building in downtown Bangkok, Thailand and wondering to myself, “Why did I choose to sleep on this hard floor?” My back hurt badly and I could barely sit up without a lot of pain. I rubbed my back as best I could and then realized my neck hurt even more than my back.

This was going to be a long day. A very, very long day.

But the day before was even longer.

I awoke the day before in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and boarded a bus…well, lets call it a bus. It wasn’t really a bus inasmuch as it was a large vehicle that we shoved 40 people into. Kyle and I sat with our massive travel bags under our feet and I had my knees against my chest. There was no air conditioning and it was close to 95 degrees on the bus. I began to pray because I knew that the journey we were about to make was going to be a rough one. In fact, it was going to be an incredibly dangerous one.

Coffee with a Stranger

Posted in Reflections.

coffee

I sat quietly in a café in downtown Catania. This was my normal stop on my morning commute to work. Each and every day I would walk the ten blocks from my eleventh floor apartment to the church building and, on the way, I would always stop at the “bar,” or coffee café, for my morning breakfast.

As I sat quietly this morning drinking my coffee, the waiter, whom I’d never met before, came out and asked me if I needed anything else. His Italian was pretty good but I could tell he was from the Middle East. I told him that I was fine and thanked him for asking.

As he walked away from me, I heard another patron at the café speak.

Camp Inagehi

Posted in Reflections.

campWell, another year at Camp Inagehi has come and gone. Over one-hundred and eighty kids, teens, and adults spent the last week our at camp and had an absolute blast.

The theme for this year was "The Cross Factor." We really tried to focus in all of our lessons on how the cross affects us personally, how it affects the church, how it affects the world, and how we can use the cross to affect change in the world.

Camp is always a fun time but this year we really tried to focus in on the spiritual side of things. We added a new Bible class time, more devotional times at night, and really tried to make sure that we tied all of the Bible class times into every game, activity, and craft. Our teachers did an amazing job, the craft ladies knocked it out of the park, and our counselors did an amazing job getting to know the kids and teaching them twenty-four hours a day! This year was the best year yet!

UPLIFT - Follow Me

Posted in Reflections.

upliftUPLIFT 2013 was an incredible journey of faith. Twenty-six teens and adults headed out for Searcy, Arkansas and the Harding University campus for a week of spiritual growth, fun, and encouragement and boy, what a week!

The week's theme was "Follow Me" and we dived into the lives of the apostles, disciples, and the early church in our search for what it truly means to "follow" Christ. The classes focused on answering four main questions surrounding "following" Jesus – "What are you passionate about", "where does your money go", "where do you go for comfort?," and "what disappoints and frustrated you?"

Father

Posted in Reflections.

father

There have been many men and women in my life that have had a big impact on me. I have stood at the feet of many great, wonderful, Godly people, but none come even close to the impression my father has had on me.

I am his son and I am proud of it.

My father isn't the perfect man...he simply imitates with his very being the One who is perfect, Jesus.

My father wasn't the perfect dad....he just never stopped trying to imitate our Father in Heaven.

My father wasn't the best at everything...he simply did his best through the abilities given to him by God.

When it all comes down to it, my father is a man, a fallible man. He is a man who will readily admit his sins and failings to the world.

But – He is a man after God's own heart.

A Plan Of Action

Posted in Reflections.

a-plan-of-action

While at Faulkner I have had many opportunities to be in a leadership position. One of the most recent opportunities I was given was to be the coordinator of our annual Student Led Gospel Meeting. The Bible majors and I sat down and set the dates for the meeting. We picked a topic for the meeting and designated the speakers. We even went ahead and picked a place that we could have the meeting and we booked it. However, as we all know, no matter how solid you think your plans are they are always subject to change in a moments notice.

Standard Living

Posted in Blog.

family-blog

 

I don’t remember my father ever sitting my family down and us discussing a fresh spiritual start but I do remember the first time my father ever influenced me to change.

I had been a Christian for around a year. I was trying my hardest to follow what God commanded. I prayed every night before I went to bed and thanked God for my life throughout the day. I read my bible every morning when I woke up and during my free time at school. I thought I was really doing great.

It was an early Sunday morning and I awoke to my father getting me out of bed. He took me into the living room and sat me down between my mother and sister. I knew that my sister was suppose to leave for a beach trip with a friend early that morning so I just assumed we were telling her goodbye. However, that wasn’t the case. We were sitting in our living room to take the Lords Supper with her before she left.

Heading to China!

Posted in Current Events.

chinaWell, here we go!

As many of you know, nineteen of us are heading out to China this afternoon. We will be in Nanning, China for close to two weeks working with China Agape and two of their orphanages. It is going to be a long trip! Awaiting us is a four-hour flight, a sixteen-hour flight, a three-hour flight, and then a two-hour bus ride. And that it just to get there! Should be fun!

I wanted to let you all know a neat story about this trip. Last fall I challenged the teens to push themselves beyond the low expectations that many have for teenagers in our modern world. Everybody expects nothing more than trouble and problems from teens and I wanted them to see themselves as different. Well, little did I know what that would mean!

Praying with my Daughter

Posted in Reflections.

prayingI don't remember the exact first time that my father or mother prayed with me, but I do remember it being as a young child. From my very youth I remember praying at meals, at bedtime, and many other times with my parents. Even when they didn't pray with me personally, I know that my parents prayed for me consistently since even before I was born!

But there is something to praying with your child that is simply amazing. As an adult, the memories flood back to me every time I stop to pray at a meal with my daughter. They flood back like wonderful waves of comfort that I never knew encompassed me. These memories cling to my soul as I teach my child about God and communicating with Him.

A Momentous Moment

Posted in Reflections.

childrenIt was a truly momentous moment. A life changing moment that changed me forever.

I remember the moment when I realized I could influence my parents. I was a small child and I realized I could turn mom against dad or dad against mom. It was an eye opening moment of awesomeness.
I suddenly wielded a power that was truly incredible.
And I wanted to use it.

Oh, we have all used this power as children. We learned to ask mom if we could jump off the roof. She would say, "no" and we would go and ask dad. But we wouldn't ask dad just at any point in time. He needed to be doing something so that he was distracted. From behind his paper, or while he was watching sports, he would answer, "Sure, sweetie."

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