truth

October 5, 2009

This is the truth.  I saw this video and felt the need to share.

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September 28, 2009

Such a sick video. Who our King is, pretty sweet right. ya.

new blog site!

September 17, 2009

so I have a new blog website, a little more attractive! also, you can follow it, so do it!

http://brandonhavas.blogspot.com/

enjoy and thanks for reading!

-Brandon

Running the Race

September 14, 2009

Okay….for those of you who read this a lot and know me well, you probably know that I am in the beginning stages of training for a marathon, which I hope to run at Disney in January.  As I go through this training I’m starting to see more and more the way my relationship with God is exemplified through out my life.

I feel like I treat my relationship with God like I do my marathon training.  I feel like I have every day as a “training” day and as long as I complete the training, them I’m good for that day.  But after week one I’m starting to see that running is not the only thing that is part of training.  Everything from what I eat to my rest habits to the way I spend my time when I’m not “training” all plays a part in the role up to race day.  The same goes for us and our relationship with God.  We all try to put “God’s training” in a box.  We make it a check list of do’s and dont’s every day.  I fail to realize that everything I do exemplifies and portrays Christ, weather or not people can see me do it.  So everything I am doing is either beneficial to my relationship with Him or detrimental.  We feel that if we just can finish that check list of things every day, that we are doing our “Christian Duty.”  I’ve come to realize that one, I don’t even do all the check list things with God on a daily basis and two, even when I do, it feels forced and ultimately draws me farther away from Him because I’m trying to earn something or impress an unimpressable God.  It’s like I have this attitude that if I can do enough “God” things per day, that God will be happy with what I have accomplished.

As I train I start to realize that there are days that I honestly don’t feel like training.  There are days where I struggle to put on my shoes and run out the door.  Then as I complete it, I start to feel better and I start to feel good about what I have accomplished.  Not because I can check it off my list, but because I feel more prepared after doing the training.  I even feel better about the 26 mile run that is coming up in a couple months.  I say this because I see that this is how God and our relationship is run.  There are days where we don’t want to spend time with Him, we might even think that it would be a waste of time to read or pray, yet God calls us to do it I believe.  He talks about those who love Him will do what He commands.  Also, I feel that just like any relationship, yours and Gods will be rocky.  Just as much as I know that mine and God’s is rocky.  And I know, it sucks to hear that.  If you believe that every day in your relationship with God should be perfect, you’re sadly mistaken, and I also think if you use this as a justification for why your relationship with Him is not great, I would recommend taking a look at what has priority in your life.

In Acts 20:24, Paul says, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Jesus has given us a task to complete, and every day we go on living and being in relationship with Him on this earth is “training.”  I believe that God is preparing us for things we can’t even imagine.  I also believe that He is preparing us for things here on Earth that we don’t realize.  We “train” to be ready to compete.  In case you haven’t noticed, life is a battle, a competition if you will, with sin.  It tries to come between us and God.  If we’re not training constantly and ready to go, we will lose these battles, I’ve been seeing it way too often in my life lately.

So as I continue to train for this marathon, I will have to keep in mind that there are greater things out there that I am training for, and that it is all possible by a God who loves us so much that He is willing to give us the ability to compete even when we are so unworthy.  I’ll leave you with this, from 1 Corinthians 9:23-25.  “I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Cheers,

Brandon

More Beautiful You

September 4, 2009

Sooo, the school has gotten off to a rough start.  Surprise surprise.  I’m already getting senioritis and its only 4 days into my last semester. This does not boad well for the rest of it.  I just wanted to share a bit about the transition back into the “real” world and life after summer staff and some things I’ve noticed and some little insights God has shown me.

It’s so obvious that the world dictates so much about how we view things.  Like for instance, how we look.  As I come back to College Park and the weather is amazing, people tend to dress “their best”.  In other words, when its hot, and you got a body to match, you show it off.  The funny part to me isn’t that girls and guys dress in these ways to show off their bodies, it’s the fact that they feel that they have to, to be accepted into the world we live in, to be “beautiful”.  The world defines what is beautiful and whats not.  Does that sound messed up to anyone else?  People go from putting on loads of make up, to taking steroids to look ripped and huge, to getting fake boobs, to getting clothes that show off everything that is legal and so on.  I’m not hating on these people, nor do I think that I am better than them in any way, so please don’t think this is a “hater sesh”, because it’s not.  I’m just saying it’s crazy to do these things because we are pressured to believe that this is whats beautiful, that true beauty comes from how many heads turn as you walk into a bar or classroom, or how many people stop while walking past you on the sidewalk to take a second look.

I heard a song a while back and fell in love with it, but recently have really been listening to it a lot and really taking in the message and words of the song.  The song talks about what this girl has to compare herself to.  As she “flips through a magazine” and sees all these “perfect” women and wants to be just like them.  She says she doesn’t though because her body doesn’t look like that and shes always been called overweight.  Then later it goes on to say that shes now 21 and done some things to feel beautiful.  She has given herself away, found her identity in men, and so forth.  Then the chorus of the song really got to me.  It says , “There could never be a more beautiful you, don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through, you were made to fill a purpose, that only you could do, so there could never be a more beautiful you.”

God has given us this purpose, but not only that, He CREATED US.  In Genesis 1:27 it talks about God creating us in His own image.  If we were created in His image, why are we trying so hard to live up to this image that world has set out.  In Romans 12:2 it says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  We were made for a purpose, and God has created us especially for it, so we are perfect just the way we are.  We don’t have to live up to expectations.  We don’t have to dress or act a certain way to be accepted and loved by God.  That’s a pretty amazing feeling and I feel that this song does a great job of explaining it.  Hope you enjoy.

Cheers,

-Brandon

Little Ivan and Big Ivan

August 29, 2009

Like I said in my last post I learned tons of things from working the ropes course at Champion this past summer.  I wanted to tell you a story about one of the Urban Weeks we hosted.  There was a leader named Ivan who was probably about in his mid 30’s and brought his son, little Ivan, to camp to hang out with the big kids for the week.  Little Ivan was about 8.  This kid was such a trooper and was hanging out with all the older kids through out the week.  When it was that cabin’s time to come to the ropes course, little Ivan, wanted to be with all the other kids and do the course as well.  He was too small to do it by himself so his father offered to walk through with him.  It took the Ivans about a half hour to get through the  course.  I was working the exit of the course (a crazy swing from about 70 feet in the air) so I got to watch them complete it.  As I’m watching I see little Ivan just working his tail off trying to do all of the elements.  He was constantly falling and hanging from his lobster claws but every time he did, his dad would help him get back up and keep walking.  At no point did big Ivan do anything for little Ivan until he needed help.  He allowed him to take all his own steps and make his own mistakes and do it himself, but then he was right there when little Ivan fell and couldn’t do it on his own.  Tears were streaming down my face at they made their way up the course to the swing.  It was just a good thing I was wearing sunglasses so I didn’t look like a big girl when they rolled up.  This was so special to me not because we got an 8 year old through the ropes course.  This was special because God used this experience to paint a perfect picture of our relationship with Him.  He never leaves our side but He gives us the freedom to make our own choices, take our own steps, and even fall, but is ALWAYS there when we need help back up to start walking and finish the course.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”-Deuteronomy 31:6

Fear is such a real thing not just on a 70-foot high ropes course but in life, because we fall, make mistakes, do things we regret, turn our back on God, and so on.  But God doesn’t leave us or let us go.  He is always “holding the rope” and is always there walking with us, even when He feels so distant, or I should say when we make Him seem so distant.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world .”-John 16:33

Cheers,

-Brandon

Let Me Tell You About CJ

August 24, 2009

Okay so I’m back from Lake Champion, and I cannot even begin to express in words the experience.  But however, I did want to share a couple stories, starting with one about a camper named CJ.

Working on the ropes course, we get to see kids face their fear every day.  We also see fear ruin what could be an amazing experience for that camper.  But what I really got to see was my life expressed on the ropes, and God using my time at Champion as a ropes summer staffer to teach me more and more about my relationship with Him.  At the ropes course we have whats called the pamper pole.  I don’t know why its called that but I personally think its because once you get to the top you feel like you’re going to crap yourself.  But the way this thing works is it is a 40 foot telephone pole with staples for climbing and at the top there is a about a 1×1 foot platform.  Here the campers climb up and then eventually stand up on the platform as the pole continues to wiggle and sway with the persons body wight shaking it.  Then once standing, the camper is to jump off and try to hit these hanging frisbees which are about 8 feet away from the pole, a very daunting task.  Once they jump off the belayer catches them and lets em down slowly to the ground, allowing the camper to feel as if they were free falling for a second.  Very spider man meets flying squirrel type maneuver.  So this camper CJ goes up and makes it almost to the top.  This guy is a pretty tough little 8th grader, from in inner city, talking about how easy it will be to this.  Right before he stands up he freezes and hugs the pole at the top.  He refuses to move or to get on top of the platform.  For about 45 minutes, me and a couple other ropes people try to talk him through it but he is not budging.  It got to a point where the only way he was coming down was if he could climb down backwards, which is not allowed because of danger reasons, so he just hung out up there for a good hour.  I’m belaying him and starting to get pretty tired of holding this kid up.  All he has to do is let go of the pole so he will swing away from it and we can let him down, but he doesn’t.  His reasoning is that the rope will not hold, and he’ll fall and die.  CJ at one point had both feet off, and one arm, but REFUSED TO LET GO. His only fear, the strength of the rope, was now being proven that its safe and yet he still doesn’t let go.  Him holding on at this point is literally doing nothing at this point to support his weight, and all of his weight is being supported by this “incapable rope.”  Eventually one of our ropes interns went and did a rescue on CJ, and was able to let him down.  CJ who had been in tears for the past half hour and now curled up in his leaders arms sobbing.  The cool part of this story wasn’t CJ making it down.  The amazing part is that God used CJ to show me what MY life is like.  What i was able to realize is that I AM CJ.  Everything in my heart knows that I can trust God, His will for my life, and His ability to hold me up, but I still refuse to trust Him.  I always need the security of something else, which makes no sense, because us like in CJ’s case, that thing we hold on to is really HOLDING US BACK.  I keep thinking of what it must have been like for the disciples every time Jesus asked them to trust Him.  They argued and didn’t believe but Jesus proved reliable and faithful each and every time, just like that rope.  Once they “made it down safely”, I wonder how many found themselves in tears needing to be held.

This story was such an amazing encouragement and conviction to me this summer.  I can’t even start to fathom what God will be able to do with me when I finally start letting go!

Hope you enjoyed it, and got something out of it.  More to come.

Cheers,

-Brandon

Gone for a month!

July 24, 2009

Hey Guys!

I’m gone for a month serving at Young Life’s Lake Champion in NY!  I’m sure I will be posting as soon as I get back around August 22nd.  I look forward to seeing what this month brings! Feel free to send letters or cool care packages!

Brandon Havas
Summer Staff
Young Life Lake Champion
247 Mohican Lake Rd
Glen Spey, NY 12737

Check back in a month!

Cheers,

Brandon

Random Thoughts

July 21, 2009

Okay so Its 1:30 a.m. North Carolina time, but my body is still on California time, and I can’t sleep at all right now.  I feel like that is partly due to the major God-events that have occurred for me over the past couple days, and I cannot stop thinking about the awesomeness of them.  Long story short, the first half of my summer was a total drag.  I was in summer school, living alone, for 6 weeks, and basically no-one was around.  All of that was basically an equation for depression.  Because of all this, my relationship with God had folded.  It was to the point that I didn’t wanna even pick up my bible, because I felt that I wouldn’t even get anything out of reading it (sad I know).  This kind of state obviously led to just a real real real crappy 6 weeks.  I know/knew that the summer would get intensely better soon because I was leaving Maryland, going to California, then heading up to NY to do summer staff at Lake Champion.  The other night, I was really able to open up with details and all of this baggage to someone I could trust, and it made all these feelings and sadness disappear.  It reassured me of God’s love and purpose in my life.  She reminded me that it is these times like these that made it possible and necessary for Jesus to come down, to be on our level, and to go through what we do, and would have to. (Romans 5)  Coming home today I felt a hundred percent more energized, encouraged and ready to take on the next part of my summer as God gets to use what I considered a “useless sinner” for the past month and a half, to help make His name known to thousands of young teens for the next month.  I am convinced God just loves to prove His love by throwing “cherrys on top” if you will.  On my way home on the plane, I ended up getting seated with my pastor from high school, the guy who baptized me, who I haven’t seen or heard speak for probably over 4 years.  The chances of this happening would have to about 993908 to 1.  Now as I write this and see the significance of that moment, I can see that this is God’s way of telling me that I am made new no matter how many times I blow it or turn away from Him.  In a way the same symbolism of baptism if you will.  Not to mention I spent about half of the flight just staring out at the sky.  Have you ever just spent 10 minutes on an airplane and stared out at your surroundings as your are cruising at 35000 feet? It is absolutely astonishing to see what God can do.  Like I said, I think God has a bit of a sense of humor and loves to just keep surprising us day in a day out, just to show how much He loves us.

“We love because he first loved us.”-1 John 4:19

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”-Romans 5:3-4

Cheers,

Brandon

El Bucket List

June 28, 2009

So lately I have awkwardly been thinking a lot about death, but more about HOW I live life before that happens, which hopefully won’t be for a long, long time.  So I made a “bucket list” to put my life in order, so make sure I’m “living like I was dying”.  You know the song, it’s sick.  In John 10:10 it talks about how Jesus has come so they can “have life, and have it to the full.”  Basically I just wanted to make sure my short time on earth was not being wasted.  So I just wanted to share my bucket list with you, and if you have any way to help me complete it or want to add to it, please let me know.

1) Run a marathon

2) Own a 4runner and/or motorcycle

3) Get another tattoo

4) Run/Complete a triathlon

5) Travel to every continent

6) Make a cross country road trip

7) Run a 5:30 mile

8 ) Get married to the most beautiful girl in the world

9) Go skydiving

10) Be a best man at a wedding

11) See a best friend come to know Jesus

12) Qualify and play in a U.S. Open

13) Play a “professional” golf course

14) Own my own business or company

15) Get a college diploma

16) Record a song

17) Complete a 7-day fast

18) Help in starting a church

19) See an EPL game live

20) Go to a world cup final

21) Have dinner with a celebrity

22) Perform on stage with a big band

23) Hike a 17,000 foot mountain

24) Get a hole-in-one

let me know your thoughts! please feel free to add

Cheers,

Brandon