Archive for January, 2009

Bite My Tounge

January 29, 2009

How many time do we say things too quick, just to look back on it what like, “what the heck bro?!” and feel like an idiot for letting that thing come out of our mouth?  That happens to me about 834794 times a day.  Listening to “Bite my tounge” by Relient K has given me a pretty good perspective on the subject.  The whole song is about not letting things out of your mouth that you would normally not.  I think we are so quick to speak that we don’t let our brains intercede, then we end up saying things we don’t mean.  For me, a great practical example this would be on the soccer field.  When I’m playing, my mouth isn’t thinking.  I’ll make a mistake or just be talking, organizing defenders, etc and something absolutely ridiculous will come out of my mouth.  For me, this is not representing Jesus in the way I should be.  Being in the heat of the moment is not a valid excuse for the words that come out of my mouth, just as well as school, alcohol, mean people, bad breaks, mistakes and so on are not good excused either to be not reppin’ JC with our words and speech.  The bible calls us “fools” who speak with unwholesome talk.  The last thing I would want to hear from God is “what up fool!” when I meet up with Him.  So basically its something I’ve been struggling with it, and if you are too, I hope this and this song helps ya out.  

 

 

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”-Proverbs 13:3   

 

Cheers, 

Brandon

Super Brandon

January 26, 2009

So lately I have been reading Rob Bell’s book “Velvet Elvis” and its been really good.  If you get a chance I would recommend reading it.  The chapter I just read made some really good points about how we live our lives in today’s society.  Rob makes a great point that it is so easy to be consumed in the everyday work and busy schedule that we become “Super people” like super pastor or super CEO or super accountant or super student.  We work so hard to please everybody else in our lives other than ourselves and ultimately God.  The reason this hit home with me is because I have been playing the role of “super Brandon” for the past two and half years of my life.  I have been working since I was 16, always lived for my job, or for soccer, or for my parents.  Every time something was required from any of those things I just dropped everything and sought after that goal until I had gotten it done, no matter who or what I ignored to get there.  I’ve been such a people pleaser and it has started to get the best of me.  I have some real trouble saying “no” to people just because I want to make them happy.  Thats not a good thing. I’ve lost sight of regular Brandon and have tried too hard to be super Brandon for too long.  Well after reading this and thinking about it, it is time to kill super Brandon.  I have spent too much time and effort trying to figure out how to live the way the world has created me to be as opposed to living the way God created me to be.  

 

School is starting again tomorrow and during the winter break I have played super Brandon because I took class, worked, and I honestly feel like the break was not a break. Now don’t get me wrong, I know in the “real world” there are no 5 week winter breaks and summer vacation, but I don’t think God is intending me to live my life like that NOW.  I think He wants me to see that this is the time that I need to take advantage of to have a good time, relax, fall in love with Him, and be molded into the man He wants me to be so when I “grow up” (very unlikely)  I will be where He wants me to be.  So I have decided to be more honest with the people I am living to please, and ultimately be more honest with God and give Him the time and devotion that He wants from me right now.  I can wake up every day excited about whats to come, not upset that I’m living to please others, and I think God will use this to mold me into His likeness.  So for those of you who read this, and interact with me on a regular basis, please feel free to ask me and challenge me to holding this commitment to God and myself, that I am killing off “super Brandon” and just being “Brandon, Lover of Jesus and people”.  Thanks for reading ya’ll!

 

Cheers, 

Brandon

Sometimes Keys Just Don’t Work

January 21, 2009

I just wanted to share a quick story.  My car does this thing every now and then where the key will lock and cannot be turned.  When it does this, it lasts for about 30 minutes and involves a lot of shaking and yelling the the car until it starts.  After about 10 minutes of that last night I figured it would not work, so I went into the McDonald’s and got a coke, because they always make everything better.  Then when I got back to the car I tried to figure out why it would not start.  And then I started thinking, maybe God is just using this time for me and Him.  Thinking about it i realized that I had not just sat in silence in the past couple days to just talk to God, let Him know whats going on.  So I spent about 15 min or so just praying out loud, not trying to even mess with the car.  I thanked Him for who He is, what He was doing in my life and just prayed for everyone and everything I could think of at the moment.  Then I realized that the car being stuck there for that 25 minutes was because God was using it to give Him time.  He knew that I had pre-occupied myself recently and not taken some time for Him, so He made some.  So I thanked Him for that, and about 2 minutes later, thats right, you guessed it, the key turned and I was on my way.  

I guess the point of all of this is to encourage you to always make time for God, because it is obvious how much He wants us to, because He loves us.  He wants us to grow in Him, fall more in love with Him, and do great things through Him.  God intervenes all the time, sometimes we’re just moving too fast to catch it.  

 

Cheers,

-Brandon

Influence

January 19, 2009

Today at church Pastor D laid down a sick message.  We started a new series about influence and leading ourselves to follow Jesus, even in the heat of the world.  Today was especially something I needed to hear.  Lately it feels like I have been falling off the bandwagon a bit spiritually because I haven’t been plugged in.  Being at home I have a church but thats pretty much it, and a couple solid friends but I was really missin’ Mosaic, (check it out at Mosaicland.org), because that is really where I feel like I learn, grow and am challenged.  Tonight the main message was about “leading myself”.  Pastor D really focused on how God is using us to be Kingdom growers, but that will only happen if we are willing to drop what we have and follow Him.  Sometimes that can be easy, but most of the time that can be hard.  We all have things that are “ours” and we like to think that God is just cool with us having them.  It can be a struggle with sin, an idol, etc….PD challenged us with 4 commitments we should make to help us in being a Kingdom influencer.  They are 1) ask God to grow us daily through prayer and bible study. 2)participating in connection groups 3) Honoring God in our finances, being good stewards. 4) Sharing our faith with others and taking initiative to invite them out to church.  I believe if I could follow these commitments God would really start to use me in ways that I never thought possible.  One thing he said tonight really hit me hard, and I can’t shake it out of my head.  He basically said that if we are not following Jesus closely, He will not be able to use us as effectively. It took me a while to comprehend that but then I realized how true that is even in my own life.  When I am completely fixed on Jesus, I have a passion to share Him with others, strive for purity, and just be more loving, but when I drift away from Him and have to keep trying to find a path it’s hard to be effective, loving, caring and aware of Him being present in my life.  He closed tonight by giving us three characteristics of an influencer; they are that they seek to please God and not people, they live with an undivided heart and their life reflects the favor of God.  It would be my encouragement to you to take these challenges and characteristics so we can give our selves a true examination. Are we the hypocrites who say one thing with our mouth and do another with our actions, or are we being Kingdom influencers in which our life is reflecting that of God?  The reason I ask is because when I’m honest, I have been the first, the hypocrite and I pretty much think its time that stopped because I want to see God do amazing things in and through me, just like He could and will do in you, if you let Him.  

 

Cheers,

Brandon

Anxious

January 15, 2009

I think trusting God to do what He does is one of the hardest things we are called to do.  Lately I have been catching myself worrying about so many things.  Do you ever sit in class and just wonder about life? Where you’re going to work, who you will marry, what will you name your kids, what kind of church will you go to, will you get involved, how does God work in my life when I get out of college, will I even graduate college and so on and so forth.  The reason I ask is because I have caught myself day dreaming in my winter class, which is poetry and lasts for 3hrs a day, so you can see I have plenty of time to think about many different things.  I worry about where I will get a job when I graduate.  I try to make plans for my life without even letting God put in His two cents.  I worry about weather or not I will even find a physical education job or a coaching job.  But lately I’ve been asking myself, “WHY?”  It is so easy to just make our own plans, and leave out God.  That transcends into our lives also.  When we are so focused on ourselves we tend to lose focus of the God who wants to be a part of every aspect of our lives.  So when I catch myself doing this, I can take some time to let Him in.  Then all of a sudden things start to make a bit more sense.  If we are struggling with something, weather its sin, guilt, worry, anxiety, or life, God asks us to come to Him so He can take those burdens off our backs.  Time and time again I have to constantly relearn this lesson, but every time I do I can see why God does what He does.  The pressures I seem to have become less and I have that, “everything’s going to be okay” feeling.  I think God allows us to have things back-up in our lives so we can stop and take time to let Him in.  

 

Cheers,

Brandon

 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”-1 Peter 5:7

 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 4:6-7

Even When Your Hope is Gone

January 12, 2009

Matt Wertz just recently (in the last 6 months) put out a new album with some of his new songs on there.  One of his songs called “keep faith” is great and I just wanted to share it with you.  Have you ever heard the Dane Cook bit about the person who cant stop crying because it feels like everythings going wrong, and someone taps you on the shoulder and its the world? haha well if you havent then that wont make any sense but if you had, this will.  Lately its been like that for me.  No i haven’t been uncontrollably crying or anything, but it feels like the world is winning, like my life has taken a big downward spirial.  But after listening to this song for a while, I really started to get the message.  That message being that “even when our faith is gone, even if you’re barley holding on, even if you start to break, keep faith”.  Ya it feels like crap to know that your life isn’t necessarily where you want it to be, but thats life.  God never promised us a perfect effortless life but He does promise us life to the full.  But the point where we miss out on that full abundant life is when we lose faith, when we give up.  So this song was just really encouraging to me to not give up.  That the world makes it easy to lose faith.  People let us down, school never goes according to plan, relationships fail, food doesn’t taste good sometimes, we make stupid mistakes, we lose people that are important in our lives, we see terror in the world, we see lying, stealing, rape, murder, lust, drugs, and hate.  But there’s grass thats always greener on the other side.  All of that crap that tears us apart is trumped by Jesus willing to hang on a cross for us and die in our place.  So this stuff that makes us “lose faith” has no hold on our lives any longer.  That no matter what goes wrong, no matter how many times he or she will disappoint you, or how many times you screw things up, God doesn’t make mistakes.  He doesn’t give up on us, He doesn’t lose His faith in is no matter how many times we lose our faith in Him.  I hope this post and this song is an encouragement to you no matter where you stand with God right now, and just know that no matter what, God doesn’t fail, so keep faith.  

 

 

cheers, 

Brandon

I’m not religious, I just really really love Jesus

January 8, 2009

I’ve really been thinking about what it means to live a life worth living.  Also I’ve been trying to figure out what that looks like in both my life and the lives of others.  One of the main things I’ve found is that this “life worth living” looks different for every single person.  The one thing that I think holds us back is guilt.  I’ve caught myself trying to live too much out of a rule book as opposed to living totally in love with Jesus.  The one thing I always hear is, “wait can you do that? because aren’t you really religious?”  And I hate that because its become clear that we as Christians have made being one boring and undesirable.  We make it look like being a Christian means living by the no-fun rule book set out by God.  So my answer to that question is, “no, I’m not religious, by any means, I’m just very very in love with Jesus.”   I think even now its so easy to concentrate on where I fall short of God’s standard, and then get down on myself and dwelling on it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that God has not designed our lives to be lived in guilt and shame, but freedom and in a relationship with Him.  Even though I do have that relationship with Him I still always catch myself just trying to follow rules.  It seems like all my prayers are “God please help me not do this or that” or “God I’m sorry”.  I think God does want us to confess and ask for His strength, so those prayers aren’t bad, but He also wants us to include Him in everything in our lives.  So throwing up prayers like, “God, just wanted to let you know you’re amazing” or “God I just want You to use me tonight when I’m at the bar to influence someone positively”.  So maybe if I lived my life more concentrated on Him instead of concentrated on “rule breaking”, I would find myself more alive in God than I have ever been.  The last point I wanted to hit on, is that we cant compare ourselves to others.  Everyone’s Christian life will look different.  If we compare ourselves to others we will have a tendency to judge them, envy, or think of ourselves as lesser or worse off.  Their living a life totally in love with Jesus can look completely different from ours.  Comparing myself to others has been really easy for me to do lately and thats not a good trend to get in to.  

 

cheers,

Brandon 

 

“because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”-Romans 8:2

 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”-Galatians 5:1

road trip doneski

January 5, 2009

So we finished our roadtrip and it ended up pretty sweet.  We spent new years eve in south beach.  That was insane, expensive and so much fun.  If you are looking to spend $9 a beer with your homies, check out ocean’s 10 bar on ocean drive.  Anyways besides the money spending, the chance to be with my boys for new years was awesome, we met some cool people and at midnight we all ran out on to the beach to watch some pretty intense fireworks. We made it home around 3:30 that morning.  We were able to bargain with a taxi driver to drive us back to our condo for $40, which is $10 cheaper than we paid to get there. Side note: the taxi we took from key biscayne to south beach was the craziest experience ever.  I honestly thought we were going to die either from a crash or from making the wrong comment and our driver going ape nuts on us.  He was irrate to say the least, but we didnt really have a choice.  o the next day we headed to key west and made it out that night to downtown.  We found a pretty sweet venue called sloppy joe’s and saw a pretty good cover band and again made some new friends.  The trip continued the next day to palm beach but before leaving key west we were able to go bridge jumping.  That was really exciting and one of the best parts of the day.  In palm beach we had the opportunity to stay with a mutual friend’s friend at this sick complex/house/condo.  The night was pretty chilled, we went to some little restaurant all night and played pool.  We woke up the next morning and our trip was over as we headed back to my house in Charlotte then back to College Park.  If you’ve ever roadtripped you know how easy it can be to get mad at the people you are with.  Well that happened to me a little bit on the ride home and again I think God was working on my pride issues this whole trip as well as patience and understanding.  So go God for pointing those things out to me.  After almost 2000 miles, alot of gas, sweet free places to stay, and a whole lotta fun we made it back and today I started my winter class, which I am already dreading after one day.  Hope these two posts gave you a small glimpse of our trip.  Look for pictures/videos on facebook for a better idea of everything else that went down.  

 

cheers,

Brandon