Friday, December 27, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Cliche title, and perhaps a cliche post to follow. The Christmas season is here, and nearly over. As I've been perusing facebook during the short breaks between Christmas feast feedings, I've noticed that there seems to be a lot of variance in people's Christmas experiences.

It can be easy to think that the way that My family and I do Christmas is the way it is for everybody. I'm reminded this season though, that there are many people who are celebrating the season with someone missing from their lives. Whether this is a recent development or has been an aching emptiness for a while, it would seem to me that it wouldn't get much easier, even with some time.

Cass and I celebrated Christmas our own Christmas together a few days ago, and it's something that we still have some freedom to decide. This new year will bring with it more changes in our lives. We're having a baby. That's crazy! There is a life growing inside Cass that is going to be joining us in the world of air, and breathing, and stress, and pain. Spur of the moment is probably going to start feeling like spur of the hour. Things that can be decided seemingly easily now, will take a bit more consideration, and we won't be able to just do spontaneous things as easily.

I am super excited about being a Dad though. I can't wait to play with my kids, and make awesome memories with them. The thing about family is that, we all know the things about our families that drive us crazy. I remember having to live with my 3 annoying brothers. We would play together, and often it would end in verbal violence and outbursts of anger, possibly holes in walls. The truth is though, I know that I can count on my brothers. My family is always there for me if I need a helping hand. And I'm glad to be able to help my family, when they need me to. My parents taught us that no matter what happens, family is for good.

Not every family is perfect. I'm pretty sure that no family is. But maybe it's ok that our families aren't perfect. If they were, would we realize our need to be adopted into God's family? That's the perfect family. Jesus as a brother, sounds pretty crazy. I wonder if he fought with his earthly brothers? I wonder if his brothers even wanted to fight with him, if he was loving all the time? What do you think Jesus was like as a kid? Sorry, there really is no conclusion to this post, just random thoughts. I love my family, and I wonder what Jesus family was like when he was growing up? Do you think he or his brothers knew that he was different? He was the oldest in the family. I wonder if his example encouraged, or annoyed his siblings? What do you think?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My God is personal

This year has been a time of transition and newness. For most people who know me well, they know that I don't like to sit still for very long. I like change. I like transition. I have a hard time with doing the same thing for a long time. It's no wonder that I love my current ministry, and enjoyed the job I was doing before it.

Recently, I applied and was accepted into ministry as the youth pastor at my home Church. This is a position that I've been thinking and praying about for years already; constantly wondering whether this was something that God wanted me to do, or I wanted to do on my own. Over the past number of years, God has been showing me how much I need him for everything. There are so many times I can think of that I've tried to do things on my own, and failed. I love this job, because it's always different, which forces me to change and grow. I need to rely on God, because it's really his ministry, and I'm just here for him to use to impact lives and introduce people to Jesus.

Thinking about the call on my life to be an example of what a vibrant, and living relationship with Christ is like, can seem pretty intense at times. Another part of me, is excited beyond words at the opportunity that it is, to be able to seek God and his will for my life, and those that I lead, as a career. I realize that this ministry comes with its yucky parts too. Working with people is never the same, as situations come up that you don't necessarily expect. For instance, yesterday we were having a routine youth night, and one of the young people got sick, and I spent some time cleaning up after them this morning still. New experiences, and new ways of being stretched and grown, and having to call on others to help me to learn how to deal with this kind of stuff.

I am so thankful that God decided that he wanted to make people different. Not everyone is the same, and I am super thankful for that. Our junior and senior high leadership teams are made up of different people, but we are all here for the same goal. We want to live for God, and to learn what it means to follow him, together. We want to be examples to youth, like the youth leaders that came before us.

More transitions in my life this year have been: buying a house for the first time,  and finding out I'm gonna have a son or daughter for a birthday present this year. I'm so thankful that God is my provider, and I can lean on him, when I don't quite see how everything will work out. He knows us so well. My wife Cassie is an amazing woman, and I am very thankful that she's not exactly the same as me either, I love that she encourages me, and tries to support me in the things that I'm doing. I am so excited that we get to raise kids together, it's gonna be an adventure!

One thing I'd like to leave you with, that God's been teaching me through all the transition and change, and newness and stress in my life, is again that he is faithful. He is constant. He is good! It's silly how often we believe lies that come in the form of questioning ideas in our heads. 

"Is God really good?" - In the book of Daniel in the Bible, there's a story of the man named Daniel being thrown into a den of lions overnight, since some guys wanted to kill him, and they tricked the king into passing a law condemning him for praying to God. The King really didn't want Daniel to die, since he liked him, so he spent the night fasting and praying on Daniel's behalf. After the night is over the King went to the lion's den, and they found Daniel alive!! The story's in chapter 6, and it's pretty cool. After the whole ordeal King Darius sent a message to "the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world" (Daniel 6:25) and told them about God. "For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth." (Daniel 6:26b-27) Read the story for yourself, it's cool. God is good. He is our rescuer!

 "Does he really love me?" - Cliche as it is...John 3:16 is true. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him." God wants to be in a relationship with you. He wants you to accept his love,and believe that it's real! If you do, you won't be able to keep yourself from loving him back! He wants you to share that love with others around you too!

Read the Bible, it's alive, and powerful.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A life of blessing.

I am so blessed. I am engaged to marry the love of my life, and I am very excited about that! I grew a beard for just about 7.5 months, and raised a bunch of money for the bunker through shaving it off. I started a new job just over a week ago, where I get to learn some new things, and be challenged physically as well. It's almost summer, and I've been able to play a lot of ultimate frisbee recently. I go to an amazing church, where I feel connected, loved, and supported. I have a great family, even if I can't see them as often as I would like. I also have amazing friends, who love me, and care about me. All of these things are great, and I am really thankful for them, but, the most important thing is that Jesus has saved my life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that he says following him won't be easy. I know that he is faithful, and his love endures forever! Even when I feel as though I'm spinning my wheels. Even when I feel like I am on autopilot; God is in control! I pray God, that you would shape, mould, and use me in a way that would best use my skills and gifts as an offering of praise and worship to you!! You are the reason I live!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Praise God!

God has lately been putting it on my heart that as Christians we need to do a few things.

The first thing we need to do is believe that God is who he says he is!

The Second thing we need to do is act like we believe that God is who he says he is!

God wants us to ask him for the things that we desire, more than that he wants our desires to line up with his desires, but he wants us to ask him for things. James 4:2 says: You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. I think that God wants us to believe that he is who he says he is, and that he does what he says he'll do, so that we'll ask for crazy things. So that we will be bold in doing what his Spirit asks of us, because he craves our obedience. The more we obey his Spirit, the more of his character he'll show us.

Some testimonies of God's crazy power that I've experienced personally:

I used to wear glasses. From age 2 to 8 I needed to wear glasses because I was cross-eyed and far-sighted. In Grade 3 I went to the optometrist, with whom my parents had been discussing surgery to try and help me see better, but this visit was different than the rest. We did some tests, and afterwards, the doctor told my mom that I didn't need to have surgery after all, and that I didn't even need to wear my glasses anymore!! God healed my eyes! Praise be to his name!

One day in November this year, I was driving in Winkler and thought to pray for a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in a while. Later that day he texted me and thanked me for praying for him...I didn't tell anybody I was praying for him. The Holy Spirit told him!!! God is alive and works! Praise be to his name forever!

I've been trying to listen to God lately, and allow him to ask me to do things, and be obedient to his voice. So at work the other day I was praying about what he wanted me to do. It's a pretty generic thing to pray, he could go any direction with that. He's been trying to teach me to trust him with my finances for a while now, and I continue to worry about them, even though I know I need to trust that he'll provide what I need when I need it. He told me that I should ask a friend of mine for $2000! I struggled with this for a while. $2000 is a lot of money!!! I still felt I needed to do it. I thought a lot about why he would ask me to do this, and what could happen if I did ask, and the friend did indeed give me the money. What would I do with it? What would make for a cool story? What was his will for the money? I'm going on a missions trip with a team of youth from my Church this spring break. I have the time off from work, but I'm not being paid that week. What was I going to do with my missing finances? God said..."Trust me, Gerry. Trust me. I'm bigger than you think." (Not audibly, but that's the feeling I got.) So, I asked my friend for the money. I told him to pray about it, because that's a big deal. Guess what happened? He gave me the money. I am blown away! I praise God for my friend's faithfulness in listening to his voice! I praise God for providing finances for me! I prayed about what to do with the money for a while, and finally felt God telling me that it would be foolish to refuse his help and try to do it on my own if I would just turn around and give the money away to someone else. Kind of like the story of the people in their house during a flood. the water kept getting higher, and boats kept coming by, but every time the people in the boats would offer help they would refuse it saying that God was going to provide, so they would wait. God has provided finances for me, so I don't have to be stressed out. Thank you Father! Praise God. So I'll tithe on it, and try my best to use the rest of it in a way that is honoring and pleasing to him!

Jesus is everything. God's word is true, and reveals his character to us. How can we be like Jesus if we neglect to seek to know who he is/was/and will continue to be? Read the word, Seek God, and Love God and others more!

God is real and at work today!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Information Overload!

I think that it's going to take me a long time to process all that God is teaching me lately! It's crazy! The internet has been down at the center, otherwise I likely would have updated this a couple more times by now. Right now, I'm sitting in Tucson, Arizona again. Staying with some friends of Ryan and Juan Carlos, attending a seminar put on by Corazon Ministries. I think that God is teaching me about surrender. I'm not very good at surrendering. I like to be in control, but I need to let God take control of my life. It's only because of him that I am alive and I want to live for him because he loves me so much!

Learning Spanish is so much fun, but it's so mentally draining!! I've learned a lot of new words, but I want to know everything right away. I am excited about having 2 weeks to learn more!

This morning I changed my plane ticket, and updated my travel insurance to accommodate staying for an extra week in San Carlos! Praise the Lord there was a seat sale so the ticket I switched to was the same price as my other ticket, and I only needed to pay $60 to switch it, and $24.25 to update my travel insurance. The reason I'm staying an extra week is in order to actually see the ministry of Casa De Esperanza in action. The first group arrives on the 12th, which would have been the day after I left, before I switched my ticket. This trip has ended up costing me more than I expected, so I'm not entirely sure what will happen with my finances once I get back home...but, I'm sure the Lord will provide a way for everything to work out the way he wants it to!

I've been really impressed with the fact that A lot of the Mexican Pastors, though they have very little, give glory and thanks to God for what they do have. They are very thankful, and very generous to anyone who has a need. In the short time that I've been in San Carlos, I've heard a lot of stories of how God has been faithful. I've also heard a lot of stories of families struggling, broken, and in need of God's healing love. Pray that hearts will be touched, and that the ministries that Casa De Esperanza partners with, and that groups come down and work with would be encouraged, and renewed in order to keep going strong in their ministries!

Be thankful for what you have. If you've complained this week about how much money you make think about what life would be like for you if you made 500-1200 pesos ($37.79-$90.69) a week for work. The only reason we are able to breathe is God's grace!

Glory to God! (Gloria a Dios!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Hosea 6:6

I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings!

Hosea 10:12

Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you!!!

Micah 6:8

No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God!

Be encouraged! The infinite God who created the universe loves you, and wants to have a relationship with you!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Thoughts of a journey

I feel like I've been crying almost every day for a while. Not tears of sadness always. Tears of joy, thankfulness, wonder, gratitude, but also sadness. Feeling a fraction of the weight of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. He took all of our sin, shame, and guilt. To give us freedom. The holy spirit is softening my heart. It's amazing what God does when you spend time seeking him. I wouldn't trade my relationship with him for anything! Just last year I was at a point where I realized that something wasn't connecting. It seems like a theme in my life has been trusting my mind  and my own understanding more than trusting God. I worked for years at trying to be righteous, trying to make myself a better person. I realized in may, I think, that I was focussing on trying to make myself worthy of God's love. It makes me feel kind of dumb to think that I didn't see it before...but that also brings me back to a place of being prideful in my intellect and ability to think and know things. : p I didn't realize that I was doing it to try to  make myself worthy of God's love. For a long time I felt like I was unlikeable. Unlovable. Not for lack of loving influences in my life, but I disliked myself, and because of that I  couldn't accept that God loved me unconditionally. Praise God for the healing that he's done in my life, that I I've been able to learn to love myself and others more!

A real relationship with Jesus will change your life! If you have a relationship with him and you feel like it's not changing how you act from day to day. I challenge you to invest more into that relationship! Think about your friends, if you don't spend time with them what happens to the relationship? It fades away. Learn to love like Jesus. It changes lives, not just yours, but everyone who you share that love with!