Sunday, October 31, 2010


The craziness of life has overtaken me and I have been slack about blogging. I am going to get better, I promise! Since the last time, I blogged a lot has taken place. It's cool to look at my life and to see how I am constantly changing and growing...all for the Lord. Lots of opportunities have come my way and a lot has taken place, so I just figured it would be good to catch you up with some cool things God is doing in my life. (These are in no particular order, as my brain is very random!)
1) I was recently elected President of BCM at my school. Exciting, huh?
2) I am applying to go to Haiti again in January. Yes, I know, scary for me and the foot, but I am excited, as I have watched God perfectly time this opportunity and open this door, once again.
3) I have gotten VERY involved with the youth group at my church. Needless to say, I love ministry and I love every single student and leader I get to work with!
4) I have been getting a lot of requests for photo shoots. Again, a very exciting thing.
5) Along the lines of going to Haiti again, I have recently had the opportunity to spread the work and share of my experiences from my first trip. Macon State added photos from our trip to their web page and I just completed an interview for an article that will come out in the Macon Statement, our school newspaper! I also got to make a video for my science class and the topic was earthquakes, and I got to share with my class what Haiti is going through.
6) God has really taught me a lot about friendships lately. I'm seriously learning who the real ones are and the ones God wants for me in my journey and walk. I've met a lot of new and cool people and I am excited to see new friendships come to play. It is also very cool to see old friendships rekindling!
7) I have been looking around at seminary schools. I feel like this is where God is leading me for the next step in my journey. I am not sure where yet, but I want to receive a degree in either Education and Christian Counseling or some sort of missions degree.
8) I am ready for the summer.
9) Missions is truly becoming a lifestyle for me, and I love everything about it!
10) I honestly have nothing to complain about in my life. Do I have hard times? Absolutley. Do I have struggles? Of course. Do I have things I could complain about? Duh. But, at the end of the day, that stuff doesn't matter. I have everything in my life that I could possibly ever need. I have incredible family, awesome mentors, amazing friends, a stinkin' great church family, and Jesus Christ who loves me and is ALWAYS here for me. I think I am pretty good to go!

Hope you enjoyed the top 10 happenings in my current life. Now that you're updated, I can begin to blog again! Thanks for listening.

Holding Open His Door,


Friday, August 20, 2010

You have pretty bones.

I’m taking a break from writing about Haiti. I will continue to tell my Haiti journey, but God taught me something recently and I just wanted to share it with you. It’s cool how He uses the smallest things in my life to teach me something incredible about who He is to me.
A story that you will hear on a later post is about what I brought back from Haiti. Yes, I brought back a lot of cool souvenirs, but along with that I carried home an infection in my foot. I know, a crazy thing like that would happen to me—it’s a really interesting story that I will for sure tell later.
Because I had the infection in my foot, the doctor wanted me to get x-rays just to make sure the infection had not got into my bones. This thought made me nervous and I prayed hard every day that it had not. As I was driving to get my x-rays done, I looked and my foot and begin to think. My foot has been really swollen and honestly gross. I wondered how a machine could look past so much swollenness to see my bones. The thought seemed unreal to me and I just didn’t think it could be done. After completing the x-rays, we went to the screen and a perfect picture of my foot bones appeared. I was amazed, because technology had actually made this happen. I looked at my bones, and nothing was wrong with them. There was no infection there and I could see each one in a very clear state. The x-ray tech actually told me I had very “pretty bones”. I enjoyed receiving a nice compliment.
As I left the x-ray office, I began to think long and hard about what had just taken place. Yeah, it was just a simple procedure that I had done, but I realized real quick that God was teaching me something about Him. My life is just like my foot has been—nasty, gross, disgusting—my sin makes me that way. The cool thing is though that God can look beyond that stuff and see me just for who I am. He can see me perfectly clear and see the person he has shaped me to become. That’s how great my God is. He’s just like an x-ray.
This is something I think about all the time now. It just amazes me that God is so big and so great that He chooses to do that for me. Think about that today and know that, just like my foot, our lives are full of sin that make us gross. But God looks beyond that and sees us in a different way. He has forgiven us of our sin, so He doesn’t see that. He sees us in a way that we can’t see ourselves. So, to God, we are His pretty bones.
Holding Open His Door,

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Big Dreams. BIGGER GOD.

Before telling my adventures this took place in Haiti, it is only fair that I give praise to my Father for what He did so that I could go. While God did a lot in my life while I was there, He had also done big things to allow it all to happen. For quite a while, my dream has been to be able to go on a foreign mission trip. I just never had the opportunity or felt the Lord leading me in that direction. This past year, God really taught me a lot about dreams. And what I remember, specifically from a message by Louie Giglio, is that it’s a great thing to dream in God, BUT, you have to let Him decide when and how He wants to make those come true. It was really hard for me to take that in, and it took a lot of faith for me to say, God, here’s my dream, its now fully Yours.
Ever since the earthquake took place in Haiti, the country has been a huge passion of mine. Its been my burden and my heart has broken for what they have had to go through. God had really given me a love for the people, and I wasn’t sure how He would use that love he developed in me. My immediate thoughts were of things that I could do here at home to help the people of Haiti. Little did I know, God had other plans.
This summer, I worked CentriKid for my third summer and we do eight weeks of camp. Our last week was really small and we did not need a staff of 24. Our coordinator called some of us and asked if we could go home a week early, and my first response was…yes. I thought I could use an extra week of vacation and just some extra time to get ready for school. I had no set plans of leaving a week early from camp.
Two weeks later, I got a Facebook message. The subject line read…Free Trip to Haiti. My jaw dropped open and I was confused for a few minutes. Most of you probably know that when you go on a mission trip, it’s not usually free, so this was a big shock for me. As I read on, I learned that they wanted eight people from our local colleges to venture to Haiti to do VBS and camps for kids. Anyone that knows me knows that this was right up my alley. I instantly replied to the email and said yes, I would love to go. I didn’t know at that time if I would be selected or not and just gave it over to God.
I don’t have to tell the end of the story, because everyone knows what happened! I was one of the eight selected and went to Haiti last week. As childish as it seems, dreams do come true. I gave my dream over to God and He took care of everything. I could have never planned it out the way He did, but He took care of that. I am so thankful to Christ for having blessed me with this opportunity that I will never forget. This was just the beginning of an incredible journey, and I cant wait to tell you guys all about it!

Holding Open His Door,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Never Have I Ever...

I used to be the pro at this game. Because to be honest, there's a lot of things that I just haven't done. My first one I would always say was "Never have I ever...been to another country." It would immediatley knock out the majority of the people that were playing. I realized today that I can not say that anymore. I have taken a trip outside of the United States, to what felt like a completely different world.

As most of you know, the country of Haiti went through an earthquake about seven months ago. Ever since that day, my heart has broken for the country and the people have become my passion. I had thought of things I could do to help them from here, and that seemed to be going well. Little did I know, that I would get to help them in a bigger way.

This past week I spent the week in the country of Haiti, ministering to the children and working on other various projects. As my first foreign mission trip, I knew it would mean a lot, but I don't think I realized just how much it would change my life. Check back later through the week as I tell you about my experience and how the Lord worked in BIG ways in and through me.

Holding Open His Door,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Answered Prayer: Matt

I don't think I have ever believed in answered prayer more than I have after I met Matt Weaver. It's cool that God has used him to make a huge impact on my life. It's crazy to think back to when the week in Tifton started because in the beginning, me and Matt honestly just didn't connect. But by the end of the week, that definitley changed and I am so grateful that God allowed that to happen.

The week in Tifton began and me and my teammates all got along great. I felt like we really worked well together and together we were a good group. While I loved everyone, I just felt like some people I just didn't click with. Matt just happened to be one of those people. We didn't fight or not like each other, we just didn't click immediatley. As the week went on, that never really changed and I began to think a lot about that. Near the end, I thought more and more about it and I got myself upset. My thought was here's this great godly guy who I could learn so much from, but yet I'm not allowing myself to build that friendship with him. This was the turning point. From then on, I figured out what I could do to ensure that I could build a relationship with him. I began to put myself in positions that would allow for good conversations between the two of us. More and more, that connection was made and we began to become good friends.

I really feel like the true connection was made on Saturday night. The girls had a girls day event at a local church all day and the guys spent the evening hanging out at our leader's house. Matt loves to fish and he really wanted to do that, as our leader has four ponds in her front yard. So, Matt goes to fish. So God opens up this great door for me to really have some bonding time with Matt. Did I want to go outside and sit in the grass with bugs? Not really. But I knew that God had opened this door and blessed me with this opportunity and that I had to take it. A lof of my past with guy friendships has left me with rejection, and this was my fear once again. I didn't think Matt would reject me, but it was all I had ever know. I forgot about my past, stepped out of my comfort zone, and headed for the pond. I will say that I feel like I had one of the best conversations that I have ever had in my whole life. We both got to share our stories, talk about things were dealing with, encourage each other, and just get to know one another. We had finally made that connection and built a friendship.

It was truly an honor to serve alongside Matt all week. It didn't matter where we were or what we were doing, Matt was giving 100% and doing so with a positive attitude. I feel like I've never saw Matt stop or give up and I that is something that I admire about him. It was also very evident to me how big his heart for the Lord is. We labeled him the "people person" and Matt will rock out in whatever ministry he does in life. I also learned a lot about relationships from Matt. It is very clear that he knows what a godly relationship is supposed to look like and he is not going to settle for anything less. I look up to Matt is so many ways and he is someone I strive to be like.

For those of you who don't know my story: growing up I dealt with a lot of rejection, especially from guy friends. I have never really had good guy friends and its been something that I have prayed for every day of my life. If you don't think God answers prayer, here's your proof. He has answered that prayer in my life. God has blessed me with some amazing guy friendships and I could not pick more godly, down to earth guys. So like Jonathan, Matt was a huge answer to prayer in my life.

To Matt-I simply would like to say thank you. Thank you for the lasting impact that you have and will make on my life. You will never know how big that impact is, but I am so thankful that God has placed you in my life. Know that the Lord has gifted you in some incredible ways and you are going to go so far and do so many great things for His kingdom. Thank you for simply being an answer to prayer in my life and I look forward to growing our friendship even more. I love you man!

Epically Legit: Beth

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective." --Colossians 3:1-2 (The Message)

I chose to start this blog post off with those verses, because they are some of Beth's favorite in all of the Bible. It was when she was helping me plan my closer for our youth service that she introduced me to this scripture. And I have to say that it has become some of my favorite as well. It was very clear to me how grounded in her faith Beth really is. She has a love for scripture and a passion to reach the lost that you just dont find in most people. Beth struck me as such a real person and she wasn't afraid to be who God has made her to be. I love that about her.

It's funny to think about our friendship because it didn't really seem to happen until midweek. I remember working with Beth at Ruth's Cottage. We packed boxes together and I will never forget making fun of the outfits we packed and labeling the boxes. I will especially never forget packing one box labeled as: The Cosby's Wardrobe. Great times. It was after that day that we really got to know each other and really developed a true friendship.

Like Kelli, something I will never forget about Beth was our "heart to heart" conversation. We were supposed to simply split into pairs and pray for one another, but me and Beth started talking and we just couldn't stop. It was for sure a conversation that I will never forget. We just talked about life, what we had been through, and where we currently were. It was crazy that we had been through some of the same exact things in our lives and that we were able to relate to each other about that. We're also both kind of at the same point in life so it was great to be able to encourage each other about those things. We could not stop talking and everyone wasn't happy with us because we took so long to come back to the group. We got to pray for each other and promised each other that if we ever needed to come to each other school's with a 2X4, then we would.

Getting to know and learn about Beth was a priviledge to me. I believe that there are some people in life that you are just supposed to meet, and for me, Beth is one of those people. She taught me things I needed to learn and told me things that I needed to hear. I really believe that I am a different person after meeting Beth and I look forward to the places that our friendship will take us. It's crazy to think that I really didn't have any huge expectations for making friends on the trip, but I walked away with a best friend after encountering Beth. It was all in God's plan and I thank Him for placing Beth in my life.

Thank you Beth for coming into my life. You have been such a huge encouragement to me and I thank you so much for that. It was such an honor to serve with you and to see your heart for Jesus spill out in everything that you did during the week! You are going to do great things for the Lord in such big ways and I look forward to being able to say...I am her best friend. Thanks for what you mean to me in my life. I can't wait to see you again soon! Love you best friend.

PS: You are so epically legit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

That's What She Said: Jonathan

Oh, Jonathan Herndon, so many things I can say about him. Our relationship is cool because we actually met embarked on this journey together. We both go to the same school and were really great friends before we went to Tifton. I guess I thought this was just something else we would be doing together and whatever. But God had other plans. He decided he would bring us closer together as brothers in Christ.

Jonathan definitley rocked out during the week. Every time I saw him, he was working hard. He never gave up on anything he had been assigned and he did anything asked of him with a positive attitude. I really admired this about him because he truly showed what it meant to have a servant's heart. Jonathan's personality was also a huge part of the reason I loved working with him. If you don't know Jonathan, he has a very loud personality. His personality was always alive wherever we were serving. There wasn't a moment were Jonathan wasn't saying something funny or doing something absolutley ridiculous. On days when we were tired and lacking in energy, this was crucial and definitley needed. Jonathan gave with everything that he had that week and it was a true blessing to get a glimpse of how he operates at camp. I will say that CK SWAT is one lucky team to have him aboard.
I guess the memory I remember the most with Jonathan was the night everything blew up at the guy's house and we kind of had to take control. One of our team members seemed to be struggling with some stuff and Jonathan, at 1AM in the morning, took him into the office and sat him down and talked this kid through his hard times. I was able to join that conversation and it was incredible to watch Jonathan do this and just to watch his heart for this person and to see that he really wanted to help him. Jonathan has a huge heart for missions and ministry and I feel like its evident in everything that he does.

I met Jonathan this past January after finding out we both worked camp and lived near each other. We instantly hit it off as friends and our relationship has continued to grow. I feel like God put Jonathan in my life as an answer to prayer and I believe He put us together on the Tifton Team for an exact reason as well. Its been cool to see God open doors in both of our lives and how were able to encourage each other through those times. I will definitley say that Jonathan has become a best friend to me. Something he told me that I will never forget is this: "JB, you are a rockstar for the kingdom."
To Jonathan I say-thanks man for what you have meant to me in my life. Thank you for being my brother in Christ, and for being my best friend. You have so many things to offer this life and I know that you are going to make an increidble pastor one day. I look forward to continuing and growing our friendship. I cant wait to see where God leads us next! I love you man!

Find the Water: Sunday in Tifton

My mission trip to Tifton was beyond amazing. It is really hard to put it into words, but I am going to do my best. We all arrived in Tifton on Sunday night and began preparing for the week. The highlight of Sunday night would definitley have to be "finding the water". We read the story of Jesus meeting the woman at the well and learned that Jesus had a powerful conversation with the woman because He found what he had in common with her: the water. I have read this story over and over but never realized the importance of it and the meaning behind it.

Me and Darby were paired up for food groups, so we got to do our shopping together. We were then given the task of finding the water. Our assignment was to find two people and simply have a conversation with them. Sounds easy right? It was actually a bit scary and intimidating. Before we went in, I had my night planned out. I knew the areas of Wal-Mart we could go to that would be easy to have conversations at. Little did I know, God had other plans. We tried to have conversations with different people, and it just never worked. I began to pray that God would put the people that we were supposed to talk to in our path and of course, He did just that. For some strange reason, we found ourselves on the baby aisle and began a conversation with a young couple. Me and Darby were mistaken for expecting parents and they gave both us quite the laugh. It was very clear that there was tension between the couple and we learned they have just had a baby which was not planned. We just spent time getting to know them and showing them the love of Christ. We ended the conversation by asking how we could pray for them and they requested we pray for their family's health. As we were walking off the girl said these words that I will never forget: " Thanks for talking to us. You just don't find nice people in the world anymore." It was great to find the water with them and to feel like we made a small impact in their life. We then got to speak to a family with children, which I loved. They were also dealing with a lot and we spent the time encouraging them. We left them, ensuring them we would be praying for them.

So, finding the water. Sounds pretty scary, but is pretty incredible. I've learned that finding the water is what we are called to do every day. I was given that assignment on Sunday night, but that is how I should approach every day of my life. When I go to school, I should seek to find the water. When I go to work, I should seek to find the water. When I am in public, I should seek to find the water. Point blank: we are all to find the water. It's my new assignment every day.

Sunday night definitley made an impact on me. The mission work hadn't even officially started, but really it had. It was the way to start out the week, and was a perfect teaching moment of what we were supposed to do all week long. If you think Sunday night was good, just wait til you hear what else the Lord did through the week. Check back tomorrow as I reflect on Monday and tell you about another incredible person I got to work with!

Enjoy these pictures from Sunday! We all had a blast "finding the water" and shopping for the massive amounts of food we would consume in the following week!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Take That Step: Kelli

Where do I even begin when talking about the friendship I made with Kelli during the week?When I first met Kelli, I thought she's cool, I'd love to get to know her. We were friends throughout the week, but near the end of our time together, we really began to connect. When I think about the many memories together, my mind immediatley jumps to the "heart to heart" we had one night. During the day, we were asked to spend an hour of God and to ask Him to reveal to us what He would have us take back home. That night, we are asked to pick an accountability partner and to go and spend some time with them in prayer. Me and Kelli were sitting right beside each other and we both looked at each other and knew we were meant to be partners. We took some time to share some things we had learned through the week and discussed where we were in life. Little did we know, we were both at the same point in life. We were both waiting to take that next big step in life. It was awesome to be able to encourage each other through our talk. I will never forget our conversation because Kelli spoke so many encouraging words to me and truly impacted my life. We both ended in prayer and it was awesome to be able to pray for her future and to thank God for the students that she will impact throughout her lifetime. There was no other way to end the night than with a hug and we came back to meet the rest of the group.
I was blown away by the things Kelli was able to teach me throughout the week! She is someone that I truly admire and strive to be more like each day. I loved watching Kelli teach the students at one of our youth services because she was in her element and it was so evident that this was her heart and her passion. I loved being able to witness that.
I really feel like Kelli was a blessing that happened in my life that I really needed. It was an honor to serve with her throughout the week and she rocked out with any task that she was given. I didn't expect to meet a best friend during the week, but that quickly changed when I met Kelli.
Thank you Kelli for changing my life. Thank you for making me feel like I matter. I appreciate the friendship you built with me and love the fact that its not over, its just beginning! Know that you have made a huge impact on my life and continue to inspire me daily. Pursue your passion for students-it's your ministry and the Lord is going to use you in magnificent ways in your life. You are talented, incredible, encouraing, and one of the nicest people that I have ever meet! I love you BFF!

A Legit Group of People

As I said, the Lord has done some HUGE things in my life lately. A lot of that has been through the people He has blessed me with in my life. This past week, I had the opportunity to serve with ten other people in Tifton, Ga doing home missions. I know everyone's thinking you did missions in Tifton? Yes, I did! There will definitley be more posts to come about the experiences I had and the ways that I got to see the Lord work. A big part of the way I got to see work was through the people that I got to work with. Never have I ever been with college students who were more on fire for Christ, loving, encouraging, and just plain awesome than these guys. Each person made a huge impact on my life, and they all did it in different ways. I feel like they deserve a shout out, so thats what I am going to do. Each day, I will talk about a different person, what there relationship meant to me, and how I got to see the Lord work through them. I'm just warning you...some good stuff is coming. Get excited friends!

Starting Again

I've done this whole blogging thing before, and stopped. So I am now determined to start again and to keep it going. The Lord is doing some incredible things in my life and I look forward to sharing them with you!