Thursday, February 28, 2008

A God given opportunity!

I am still insanely busy, but God has been good in helping me complete the things that I need to finish. I have a physics quiz in the morning which I really don't have a good understanding on just yet. There was a malfunction in the computer system, so I ended up having to do four homework assignments tonight. I was able to finish my lab and write a paper yesterday afternoon. My computer teacher allowed us to work in the lab on our project instead of class which was a huge blessing. I have almost all of it done now... just some minor changes before debugging (fixing unknown problems). God gave me an incredible opportunity today. We had breakout worship today which is like chapel, but in a smaller group. The athletic director leads the one that I go to. Last time, he talked about what we mean when we say "I". Let's just say that it wasn't the most spiritually fulfilling topic I have ever listened to. Today's topic was about what it means when we say, "I am saved." So he went around the room and had each of us give an answer. It was very very sobering. There were about 35 of us or so, and I would say that all but three of us had something that was Biblical. This is a pretty good representation of the answers that other students said... I don't know what it means... I don't care what it means... it is a continual process... it is like when you almost get in a car accident, but you are saved from it... I don't think that God would send anyone to hell, so we shouldn't use that term... it is like having one day where you have absolutely no problems in life... it is where you go to heaven... it is a personal relationship with God. I was really happy to see that the last answer mentioned was from a guy on my team. Please pray for an opportunity to talk with him more about this. I think he is saved, but I would like to encourage him to stand firm. This whole thing gave me an awesome opportunity to share the gospel. We only had a few seconds to answer, so I crammed in as much as I could. I said that there are a couple kinds of salvation that we can think of... physical, and spiritual. Physical would be something like being saved from a car accident, but spiritual would be referring to being saved from sin. The payment for sin is death, so it requires a personal relationship with God who sent His Son to die on the cross to save us from our sin. I am praying that God will use this truth in the hearts of those in the room. A girl that spoke a few minutes later said that she really had no clue, but now she has a better idea of what it means. I don't know what she is leaning toward, but I am thankful for the opportunity to present the gospel when she is still searching. Not only was it a blessing to be able to share the gospel so openly with these other students, but I also got a survey of where people are at spiritually without having to do anything! :) Keep praying for opportunities! God is amazing!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I really don't have time to say much. We have 7 games from today to Sunday. It is a lot of fun, but very challenging on the academic side of life. I am supposed to read some 570 page book and get a summary of a character in it. I don't see that happening with everything else. I am getting the idea that I'll be skimming it rather than reading. I am supposed to have an exam in physics on Monday. I have four homework assignments for physics due this week. I am a bit stressed for sure. Prayers would be greatly appreciated in this area! My coach prayed with us before the game today! I was very excited. I also had a good opportunity to talk with a couple guys about relationship issues and why I am waiting this last week. Please pray that God would continue to give me opportunities like these... and the wisdom to respond correctly.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No more excitment needed

There has been too much excitement around here in these last couple weeks: my nephew being born, Christina having her little accident, me getting a black eye, and a little 911 call for mom. I am very thankful for God's grace in all of these situations. I played ultimate frisbee yesterday morning and was right behind a guy on my team. Let's just say that he was a bit uncoordinated. The frisbee was thrown pretty hard right to him and he missed it, but barely tipped it. This caused it to go up just enough to miss my hands and hit me solidly in the face. haha The good news is that there aren't a great deal of nerves in my face, so it didn't hurt too much. I figured it would be a black eye no matter if I continued to play or not, so I continued to play and had a great time anyway. :) It really isn't that bad either. Mom had an allergic reaction to something last night. We think it may have been salsa from Jack in the Box, but we don't know for sure. What we do know is that she was having a great deal of difficulty breathing, and had a horrible head ache. We ended up calling 911. The firemen arrived first and were very kind. They advised that she go in the ambulance to the hospital when it arrived. It arrived a few minutes later and they were very persistent in telling her that she should go to the hospital with them, but they said it was her choice. She started feeling a little better and couldn't decide. I decided it was time to speak up. I said something like, "Based on what I've seen in previous incidences, I think she is okay to go to the hospital in the car." Apparently, mom liked this idea as well. This was a big blessing because ambulances are not cheap, and we don't have a ton of money to throw around on 5 minute rides. Long story short, mom was able to come back home last night without any treatments. She obviously felt pretty horrible the entire time. She threw up once as well, but God was gracious! On a funnier note, the fireman said, "You are the worst respiratory patient I've seen all day." Mom (in the midst of distress) says, "Yeah, I'm probably the only one today." He said something like, "it's been a busy day", but he didn't deny it! haha

Church was awesome today. A missionary from Kenya spoke today. Their testimony was awesome. They sold their house and left for Kenya with that money. God brought them back 5 months later because of health issues. They came back with nearly no money left, but it was amazing to hear how God provided for them. A lady basically gave them a house to live in for a year and paid their electric bill on top of that. They were given a car. A guy gave them free oil changes and even filled up their gas tank when he did it. They were given a truck and a 35 foot trailer to travel/live in until they leave for Kenya in August (Lord willing). It is just amazing to see how God provides for those that step out in faith and do what He has called them to do. I was really amazed by the openness of the people. It makes me want to go over there. I don't feel like overseas missions is a long-term calling for me, but I'd love to go on a short-term trip some time. I don't see it happening before I graduate in December, but if I'm not starting graduate school in January next year, maybe that would be a good time to do it. Pastor Tim always reminds me that once family happens, things like missions go to the back burner and never happen. This is not always the case, but it is true almost all the time. Because of this, it is likely that this would be my only real chance to do something like that. I know that God will use me no matter where I am if I am willing to serve Him. The thing that draws me toward going overseas is the fact that they are so ready to accept the gospel, but there is not enough time or people to tell them. It would also give me a good perspective on what God is doing in other places where life is not so modernized. It is something to at least consider and pray about.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Some events are good, and some are... scary

School went pretty well today. I think I did well on my quiz in music. I woke up this morning actually excited about the day. It is amazing what extra sleep can do for you. I got to school a bit early and was able to read some in Romans (I didn't feel like strugging with Jeremiah today). I probably should have read it anyway, but Romans 1 was a blessing to me. You may not find this encouraging, but check out these verses (20-21).

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I just find it so amazing that God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. He could have made us follow His will all the time, for His glory, and never reveal Himself to us. Instead, He gave us a free will, and made Himself known to us not only through Christ, but even in looking at what He has created. Let us honor Him and give thanks to Him for the freedom we have to love and serve Him with our own hearts.

Christina got rear ended today. I got the phone call, "Christina has been in an accident and she is hurt." This was not exactly the message that I wanted to hear. I was just starting to work on a large project that is due tomorrow. I found out that she was pretty close to school, so I litterally ran to the car and started driving over there. I'll be honest... I was going 10 mph over the speed limit wherever possible. I shouldn't have done this, but that is the truth. I called her and found out that she was okay, but her back and neck hurt. Somehow I got the picture of my little sister with pieces of glass from the windshield stuck in her face and everything. I was very relieved to hear this. I arrived and made sure that we got all of the guys information. I told her to call the police and get a police report because I wanted to make sure everything was done right. Poor girl.... she was crying off and on the whole time I was there. Dad, mom, and Jonathan came out and mom drove her home. She was definitely not ready to drive home after that. The car has very little damage, and that will all be taken care of by the insurance company. God is good! I am very thankful to still have my sister in one piece.

I got my sister this book called "Emotional Purity" for her birthday (which is tomorrow). I highly recommend it to anyone! It is Bible-filled, practical, and very insightful when it comes to relationships and staying completely pure for the lifetime spouse that God has for you. I am almost done reading it. I had to proof read it you know. ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The week continues

Believe it or not, I got 12 hours of sleep last night. I decided not to go to Awana since I am sick, so I was going to sleep for a few hours (6 - 9 pm or so) and then do some homework. Well, I didn't wake up until 4:30 am. It is a good thing that I did, because I didn't set an alarm. I remembered that when I woke up, set it for 6 am, and crashed for another couple hours. I woke up still a little sick, but very refreshed. This evening was very profitable. I got my physics homework done for Thursday and wrote three papers. God is good! I have a very large project due on Friday which I have barely started. Prayers to that end would be great. Honestly, I really don't know what I'm doing. I haven't got much out of Jeremiah in the last couple days, but 1 John has been a continual blessing to me. Pastor Tim reminded us on Sunday that we are not to be dependent on others. We must fully depend on Christ alone for everything. As soon as we start placing our dependence on others, we are placing undue expectations on them that are going to fail. We need to rely fully on God so that we are free to enjoy the great blessings that others bring to our lives without placing expectations on them that should be reserved for God, and God alone.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A little sick...

I have a lot to say, but no time to say it at the moment. I think I did okay on my physics exam although the first problem required an educated guess. God was good though! I spent the majority of last night studying for that exam. Tonight, I am spending most of the night studying for my music appreciation exam tomorrow. This is not the ideal way of preparing for exams, but with everything that I need to do... one day in advance is about as much as I can do at the moment. I have way too much to do, but I know that God will provide the strength to get them done. It would be helpful if I got well soon, but regardless, I know God will give me strength. I am reminded in Jeremiah 45 that we need to be seeking the things that make God's glory known. It is easy to get caught in the trap of living for myself, but I need to take all that I am and use it to show God's glory.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Relaxing Saturday

I posted a picture of my nephew here. Isn't he a cutie? Today was a very relaxing day. I really didn't do too much. I worked on the video camera for a while trying to fix it. I think I just need to get a head cleaner for it, but Target didn't have one. This evening, I spent some time with a couple friends and had dinner at their house. It was quite a bit of fun. I am looking forward to church tomorrow. It is going to be slightly weird without my family being there, but I guess I'll survive. As I read Jeremiah 43 and 44, I was captivated by God's grace on my life. For some reason, it is easy for me to get the idea that these people are different from myself, and God isn't like that today. These people are normal people that are not living for God, and God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! The people are undergoing a lot of judgment, and yet God has been extremely gracious to me... especially considering that we all deserve death. It is essential that we are obedient to His Word. If we truly want God's best for us, we will get it by obedience! It's simple, but we make it complicated by throwing in things that we think is better than God's best. We cannot beat God's best!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Uncle Dan's team won a game!

It is true! I am an uncle now! Gabriel Alex was born at about 6:10 pm. If I'm not mistaken, he weighed 7.5 lbs and is 19 inches tall. Thank you for all your prayers. Deborah and baby Gabriel are doing very well. Mom, Christina, and Jonathan got the news at 3 am this morning that she was going into labor. They left the house at about 6 and their plane left at 8 am. Southwest has been very gracious in allowing us to change flights around as needed in order for them to get up there as soon as possible. Dad will fly up there tomorrow morning. Christina will fly back tomorrow afternoon (I think). It is also true that we got our first win of the season tonight (23-3 vs. Cal Tech). You would think that with such a high score that I hit well. Actually, it was by far my worst hitting day. The pitching wasn't even that great and I struck out twice in my 7 at bats. UGGG! I did manage to get one (maybe two) base hits. The clean hit brought in two runs, but overall, I hit very poorly. Life goes on. God has His way of keeping me humble. :) I am really worn out, so I'm going to hit the sack. I had a great time this morning playing basketball and going out to breakfast with Pastor Tim. He is a great encouragement to me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

He knows best!

Classes went well today. Actually, my last class was canceled. Although it was nice to not have class, it wasn't nice because that meant that I could go to baseball practice and I didn't have my baseball clothes with me. I ended up doing some homework and going over to my physics teacher's office to get some help before our quiz on Thursday. It was a fairly productive day. I am a bit swamped with studying and homework at the moment. I need God's strength right now.

God has been amazing in how He has blessed me and still keeping my humble. We have a baseball page on our website with all the latest news. It usually highlights the key player on each team. The other day, I pitched for four innings, and scored twice. I was expecting to be on there, but God didn't allow it. The other day, God blessed me with going 3 for 4 at the plate and bringing in two runs. Again, I expected to be on the baseball homepage, but God didn't allow it once again. I am thankful that He allowed me to see this. He keeps reminding me that He is the One in charge. I don't want the praise that He deserves. Thank You, God for taking that temptation away! I was encouraged by Jeremiah 42:2-6 today.

And said to Jeremiah the prophet, please let our petition come before you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, that is for all this remnant; because we are left but a few out of many, as your own eyes now see us, that the LORD your God may tell us the way in which we should walk and the thing that we should do. Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have heard you. Behold, I am going to pray to the LORD your God in accordance with your words; and I will tell you the whole message which the LORD will answer you I will not keep back a word from you. Then they said to Jeremiah, May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with the whole message with which the LORD your God will send you to us. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God.

I often pray for God's guidance, but I want His answer to be the answer that I want. I need to be obedient no matter if I like what He says or not. He knows what is best!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another day of school

School went well for the most part today. I didn't completely finish one of my homework assignments for this morning, so I ended up turning it in like 75% done. :( Life goes on. Homework and big projects are starting to pile up. I could definitely use some prayer as I try to stay on top of things. Thankfully, I only have a game on Friday during this week. Last week, having six games in five days really made school work hard. It was a lot of fun, but it makes for a lot of catching up from missed classes. I have not learned much from Jeremiah these last several days. It is not easy reading right now. I keep reminding myself that all of God's Word is profitable. I am continually amazed at how God blesses even when I am so undeserving of it. I am so unfaithful to Him, and yet He is always faithful. I am thankful for His mercy and overwhelming loving kindness.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More games... more fun.

Sorry about my posting being so sporadic these last few weeks. School and baseball has pretty much dominated my time. I got the opportunity to pitch on Friday against Redlands University. We lost by a lot, but I only gave up 2 runs in the first 3 innings (which isn't great, but isn't horrible). The 4th inning, we had 4 errors and they scored 6 runs. I did manage to score two times (half of our runs). I also stole third base on the pitcher. He wasn't watching me for a second and the third baseman was playing deeper than normal, so I decided to just go for it. I'm glad I made it, because I'm sure I would have heard about it if I didn't. After I pitched, I moved to right field. I didn't bat too well. I got on base two times, but they were by errors. Today, we had two games. I missed the first one due to church. I was reminded of the movie "Chariots of Fire." One of the runners hands Eric a note that says "God honors those who honor Him." I am definitely not deserving of any honor, but God blessed me with the opportunity to play left field again today. He also blessed in that I went 3 for 4 at the plate which puts my batting average back at .500. I thought that if you struck out and got on base anyway by means of the catcher dropping the ball, it didn't count against your batting average, but I guess that is not the case. Anyway, God was good! Several guys asked why I was late. Many of them said things like, "dude, you can't skip church for a game?" I am hoping that this will make some of the guys think more seriously about their relationship with the Lord (or the lack thereof). I don't feel that I can really address cussing because it is so widespread. It would be like spraying a forest fire with a water gun. It would make people upset, and wouldn't change anything. At the same time, I hope that by putting God first, and not cussing like the rest of the guys, I will have some opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. I'd guess that nearly all of them would claim to be Christians, but they don't live for Christ in any way, shape, or form. I am excited about what God is doing. We have a game a couple hours away on next Friday, so I may have some time to talk with some of the guys. Keep me in prayer for that. Church was great as usual. We covered some very foundational truths of Christianity which separate us from other religions. It was a very good study.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

I got to play!

Well, God was gracious in several ways today. I left a little late for school and caught some construction traffic which made me about 8 minutes late to physics class. When I walked in, everyone was taking a quiz. I had no idea that we had a quiz. I started working away, and then a couple minutes later, he turned it into a group discussion quiz. One of the guys was like, well... since you haven't had time to do all the problems, I'd recommend these answers (he told us that we could change answers). So, I ended up with 9/12 rather than probably 4/12. God is good! Another blessing was that I got to play left field today. I had prayed the other day that I would get to play, and God answered that by coach putting me as the designated hitter. I wasn't expecting to play today, I was hoping to be designated hitter again... but I got to play left field!!! I wasn't feeling too confident during warm ups... especially because the sun was really bright and exactly where most pop flys would go. I actually lost it in the sun and tipped it into my head as I ducked for cover. It was just way too bright. Thankfully, I didn't have any of those during the game; however, I was involved in a lot of plays. It was a blast! God also blessed in the area of batting. I went 3 for 4 with one double which raised my batting average to .500! :) We lost pretty badly, but it was a lot of fun. We play the University of Redlands tomorrow. I may have the opportunity to pitch because we have pretty much used up all of our pitchers in the three games these last two days. I haven't pitched in a long time, so we'll see how that goes (if it happens). Please continue to pray for opportunities to have serious conversations with other guys. Also, please pray that God would continue to cleanse my mind of the things that are not honoring to Him. I find that filling my mind with God honoring music, and with the Word really helps in this area. :)

Incredibly busy... but God is good!

I figured that I should post something lest someone think I have fallen off the face of this planet. I had lab today which I finished about half of because I had to run off to my baseball game. We played twice against San Diego Christian College again. I didn't play the first game at all and we lost 20-4 (ouch)! The second game was much better. Coach put me as the DH (designated hitter)! I was very happy about this because it is a lot more fun than not playing! My first at bat, I hit a lined drive right at the shortstops feet. It was one of those hits where it was a good hit, but just bad location. My second at bat, I hit a line drive into center field for a base hit. I got walked with four straight balls in my third at bat (maybe they were scared... okay, not really). My last at bat, I popped out to the right fielder. We ended up losing 8-5, so it was a decent game. We have another game tomorrow against Bethany University (they are from Santa Cruz I believe). I am guessing that they are on a baseball tour or something because that is a long drive for one game. I need to get this computer architecture homework finished. If you would keep me in your prayers as I try to be a good witness to the other guys on my team, that would be great. Also, with all these games and missing classes, it is hard to keep up, so prayer in that regard would be awesome as well.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Busy Saturday

My parents were able to go to the marriage tune up conference thing that our church was putting on. I like to see them get out because they don't get to do it very often. Jonathan had Awana Games and Bible Quiz practice this morning. Christina and I did a lot of cleaning because my grandparents were coming over this afternoon. After we finished cleaning, we went to Cal Baptist and played ultimate frisbee. It was a lot of fun. On the way back, we had to pick up Jonathan, but we were a bit early, so we were forced to go to Baskin Robbins and have some ice cream. :) My grandparents got here at about 1:30, so we talked for a bit and then headed over to our favorite Mexican restaurant (La Fogata in Hemet). I ate way too much, but it was good! The salsa was unusually hot, so they brought out some chunky mild salsa for us as well. Well, I put a bunch of it in a buttered corn tortilla, and was eating it (to be honest, it was almost like tomatoes... it was very mild). Well, my grandma did the same, and she said her mouth was burning up and that it was more hot than the "hot" salsa. Apparently, she was the lucky one that got the hot part. I got a really hot part later on, but it was really funny because mom and I were really confused as to why she thought it was hot. Haha Passages like Jeremiah 38 are difficult for me to understand. Unless I am mistaken, the king told Jeremiah to lie so that he wouldn't be killed. God's Word is clear that lying is always sin, but there are examples such as this one and Rahab that seem "okay." I think that in both of these cases, God would have taken care of them if they told the truth or refused to answer. I struggle a bit in understanding things like this.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Long practice

God was gracious in the fact that I didn't get all my homework done last night and couldn't figure out a problem that was due today. My teacher said that we could turn it in anytime today, so that was very very helpful. God is good! We were not supposed to have baseball practice today, but we wanted to practice one more time before our games on Sunday. We started at 1 pm, and I thought it would be the usual 2 hour practice. I was definitely wrong. We practiced for 4 hours! We did a lot of running today. I was pretty happy... in our 90 foot (the distance between bases) sprints, I was the fastest. :) I hit pretty well today too. Other than the length, and having that "almost throwing up" feeling for a while, it was a good practice. It reminds me of the disipline that we should have in our relationship with the Lord. We must work hard at it! I really need the kind of "washing of the Word" that Paul talks about in Ephesians 5:26. The filth of not only the language that they guys use, but also what they talk about needs to be replaced by meditation on the Word. It is really important that I am continually letting God's Word penetrate and cleanse my heart and my mind. If you would pray for that, it would be much appreciated. Also, please pray for my witness on Sunday. I am missing the first game because of church, and pretty much everyone knows that or will know it soon. This may open doors of opportunity to talk about it, because this shows them that I take it seriously.