Wisdom and a Father’s instruction

 

Wisdom is worth something do not forsake it. Make it a prize of your life, pray for to God daily that he would grant it to you. Humbly seek wisdom, humbly search out wisdom, make your aim to be wise. Seek it as your prize! Love the Lord

– Carson

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction

and be attentive that you may gain insight,

for i give you good precepts, 

do not forsake my teaching.

When  I was a son with my father, 

tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,

he taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words,

keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom; get insight;

Do not forget, and do not turn away

From the words of my mouth.

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you

Love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom

And whatever you get, get insight

Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;

she will honor you if you embrace her.

She will place on your head a graceful garland;

She will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”

– Proverbs 4:1-9 – 

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Transition

It always seems that life is constantly in transition…

Summer to fall

Fall winter

Winter to Spring

Spring to summer

(Repeat)

The fact is transition is inevitable. But transition is not bad. God uses transition to sharpen us and keep us on our toes. If we didn’t transition we become stationary, stagnate, and all too comfortable.

I say this on the heals of a massive transition in my life…

This fall is bringing with it so many new but exciting adventurs. Leaders transtioning out of the groups I lead. A new apartment, a new roommate… School starting again for my beloved high school and middle school students and finally friends I have know for years leaving and moving on to new adventures.

So what advice can I give as 24 year old man who is in yet another transition.

Here are somethings I am beginning to pray through and I think through to help with transitions.

1.) Don’t forget that God is unchanging.

Seasons come and go but the eternal remains he is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t go through changes or season he is who was at the foudnations of the earth and He is the same today. It always helps to have a solid foundation even when the tornado that is life whirls around you.

2.) Don’t forget why you do what you do.

Answer the question why I am I doing what I am doing. Look at your response. Think about it. If you know why you are in the season you are in and you can look forward and see something coming you can better embrace the change that is currently enclosing you. Do all for the glory of God…don’t become bitter at change or the methods of change. Keep you heart in state of bringing glory to God even in the midst of change.

3.) Know who you are.

Identity is the key. Often our seasons of change frustrate us because they are pulling away our beloved idol of comfort… or a different idol that is just as destructive. If you are not what you do then change can be embraced. Whether that is losing your job, or moving, or getting married, or staying single. If you know that you are not your job or relationship then when those things are removed you can embrace the change instead of growing bitter and discontented because you didn’t get what you wanted.

Finally,

4.) Rejoice

Make room in your prayers and your mind to acknowledge who God is. Don’t let requests be the only thing you say to God. Praise Him for who He is and what he promises you.

Life changes! God remains.

– Carson

“Lord you have been our dwelling place

in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth,

or ever you had formed the earth and the world

from EVERLASTING to EVERLASTING

You are God.”

– Psalm 90: 1-2 –

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I Love My Leaders

Over the past few years I have had the great pleasure to serve along side of many amazing individuals in the ministries God has graciously allowed me to lead. Specifically I think of the leaders I have lead with in the Youth ministries at Ekklesia Eugene. Truly these individuals bless me so much and many of you reading this blog will know them well but I would encourage you to read this post and get to know what really is amazing about each of them.

What makes a good team of leaders is not the amazing blend of gift and personalities although those are necessary things. What I believe make and amazing team is the ability to support each other and serve each other with grace and humility. What has blessed me the most about each of these leaders is not their giftings nor thier personalities; they have many and they bless me; but what really blesses me is their ability to serve with me as their leader with grace and consistency. Even while I learn lessons on leadership the hard way. Let be know I’m blessed by all of you! Thank you for how you serve and I pray that God would continue to give you wisdom as you lead.

Let start with the high school ministry at Ekklesia Eugene!

The Dudes!

Matt Kleman & Steve Bustrin

This is Matt he is an outstanding man of God! He was the first new guy leader we have had in a long time! He graduated from the 2011-2012 Ekklesia School of Ministry with flying colors and always gave his best effort with out complaining as he served and poured his life out. Matt’s initial start with the group was sort of short lived as soon after he started he let me know that he would have stop because he had just recieved a job that he had been waiting months to get. That saddness was short lived as just after he started the job they switched his hours allowing him to continue to serve the group! I was very blessed by this news! What I really respect about Matt is that he is real about what he wants to do meaning, he loves to do his best in what he can do. He doesn’t worry about trying to please everyone he just does his best with what is infront of him and I appreciate that. I also appreciate that Matt is faithful and his heart for the Lord and for the ministry is so genuine and real it makes it easy to serve with him. Matt’s humor with the kids is a great gift and all the kids or “students” always feel so loved by him because he is so genuine! You can always find Matt sitting the front row of the church service on Sundays and serving in hospitality flat billed Jordan hat and all! Matt is a great man and I look forward to seeing how the Lord uses him in the youth ministry and in his life! He is humble, loveable, and real! Love ya Matt! Keep working hard!

and then there is Steve…

Steve joined our team at the start of the summer. He is a point guard for Multnoma Bible College and honestly…one of the coolest most genuine dudes I have ever met! He is our summer intern with the high school ministry and college ministry…little does he know what he signed up for. In my short time of knowing Steve I have realize two very impacting things about him…he loves everyone equally and he really, really, really wants to know more about walking with Jesus! He is stud there is no doubt about that. He has also taught me many amazing things about social media some of which I wish I did not know but they are informative nonetheless. He knows what I am talking about! #toomuchinformation…. But Steve is a great guy he always give the boys in the group and honest ear and really wants to see them come to know Jesus! I am very greatful for Him and all of his hard work as he is one of the most devoted followers of Jesus I know! There are few people that right of the bat you feel completely comforable around and Steve is one of those people. He is always accepting and always loving as Christ is! Keep it up Steve thanks for all of your hard work…

Soon to come parts #2 and #3 with more great stories of our leaders! Stay tuned

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Faithfulness

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Faithfulness- That is being full of faith.

If we were to describe someone who is faithful many images and characteristics would arise. They show up consistently to appointments or scheduled times to serve in the church. They work hard and don’t waste time, but most of all, over time they have proven that what they do is not for themselves but to bring glory to God. As a leader and shepherd faithfulness is the greatest requirement and thus our gauge of our own faithfulness should not come from man but from the Lord.

How do you arrive at that conclusion?

The reality is only two people know if you are truly being faithful…yourself and God. If character is what happens when nobody is looking than faithfulness is outward manifestation of an internal conviction. Nobody does anything great without first being faithful. 

Yet faithfulness is one of the hardest parts of the Christian life to maintain, ney the hardest part of life to maintain.

We live in a culture that tells us faithfulness is not a quality to live by. Rather it is good and important for us to move on when we don’t enjoy something or when our initial plucky, fluttery, warm fuzzy emotions wear off. Look at marriage. Is faithfulness really a value in our culture? Clearly with the rapidity and brevity by which marriages arrive in divorce we are lead to believe that faithfulness is not something you continue in over time but rather move on from when emotional sparks and glammor fade.

Yet for the Christian Christ call us to be faithful. In Revelation 2:10 Christ urges the church at Smyrna to “be faithful unto death…” a command few of us would ever embrace.

I mean death…yikes!

If my faithfulness leads me to death…was it really worth it to be faithful if all I did was die in the end.

The reality of it all is God does something great when His people are faithful. See Hebrews 11-12:1&2. What characterizes these great men and woman of faith is not their cunning, eleoquence, or stature rather it is simply the fact that they are faithful with what God put in front of them. For some it was leading a nation to freedom (moses) for others it was simply doing what was right in the sight of the Lord (Able) regardless each is characterized by their faith.

Everything begins and ends with this question…are you going to be faithful?

Or are you, to put it bluntly, a quitter. Running away when personal fame and fortune are not guaranteed or when adversity arises and requires a tough decision. Although I have only been in pastoral ministry for a year and half or so I have realized that faithfulness is the greatest requirement of a shepherd of God’s people. Because apart from being faithful we are left to function only off of public affirmation or personal commendation neither of which get us through the tough times, tough decisions or internal realizations of shortcomings that plague many of us whom God has put as leaders.

But faithfulness is so much more than going through the motions routinely.

It is our demeanor when faced with a tough decision. It is our stability when dreams begin to crumble before our vary eyes. It is our decision to remain consistent when the enemy is putting every stumbling bock before you he can. Here are some ways that faithfulness is realized as leaders…Please not these are lessons from my own life. Also please not these are not calls to endure just simple day-to-day ways we allow ourselves to be faithful.

1.)  Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

– Refrain from making promises to individuals or even yourself that you know you cannot do. Faithful sometimes requires us to say no to good things so that we may do great things.

2.) Follow through on your commitments.

– I know simple right, but believe it or not this probably the most externally noticeable way that we see someone even ourselves as being faithful. For me this means making sure I can actually give a good amout of time to my appointments and constantly consult my schedule so I know that in that block of time that person or practical task has my attention.

3.) Know when it is pride and know when weakness.

– Let me clarify this one. Sometimes we feel as though faithfulness requires us to carry all the burdens on our shoulders. The reality is a lot of times we just need help but our pride or our insecurities hinder us from raising leaders and or stepping back so that someone else who is more gifted can use their gifts. But also know when it is just a weakness that we need to grown in. I am not in place in my life that requires me to have a secretary for my appointments. When that day does come I will cry with many joyous reverent tears. However until that time I know that God is calling me to grow in my ability to schedule my life in such that I am effective with my time. Believe me I am the master of the double book. Sometimes I wonder why I even have an iphone with ical if I am not going to consult it.

The reality is faithfulness is just being responsible with what God has put in front of us. If we really believe God has called us to it. For some this means being faithful to your spouse. And for others this means being faithful with time and energy God has given you. Whatever it we as believers are to be full of faith and show that in the way we handle the day to day.

Be Christ-like, be humble, be faithful

Love you all have a great day!

– Carson

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How To Keep Your Blog from dying

Check out this video post from champion christian blogger Jon Acuff!

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Truth and Emotion

I once heard it said that the human spirit is complicated and in recent years I have realized how true that really is. Continue reading

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Watch Our High School Retreat Video on V

Watch Our High School Retreat Video on Vimeo! http://vimeo.com/28294954

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