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Carissa Kay's Day!

Today at half past noon in St. Cloud, Minnesota my high school friend, Carissa Goertz became Carissa Kay Allen. It was so surreal and great at the same time. I had never met her husband, Jeff, until today and so was a bit concerned. After hearing his family and friends talk of him there is no doubt in my mind. He’s a solid man of God that Carissa deserves and needs in her life. It was as if she was in a dream and the reality that she would wake up next to Jeff hadn’t completely set in. SO exciting for her and him! May your love and zeal for Christ spill over unto one another until you are with Him.
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So… GOD ROCKS!

This has been the most amazing end of a semester to date. I’m watching lofty prayers answered harder and more firmly then I actually believed they would have been. However I’ll be the first to admit how surreal it seems, how it is as though amidst some of my doubts God is shining so stinking brightly. As though the tradition and reason are gone, and I’m left waiting and watching God work through me. I can’t help but sing (and how glorious will the days be when there is nothing left to do but sing praises to him!!!!)!

Ok, from the top and in no particular order! Watching someone step up to lead the Evangelism team, someone with such a heart to reach the lost. To see the need and desire for them to be in heaven, to have everything God has promised them. It’s the calling on all of our lives as Christians, it comes with knowing God so intimately. AH I’m amped up about that and to see how Abba moves through that plethora of outreaches next year!

Tonight I got to share my testimony with one of my fellow RA’s and it was so awesome to watch her respond to it and to be able to share spiritual and biblical truth with her. To watch her crank through it and process it, to watch it make sense to her. Jehovah you are amazing.

To watch my friend sarah (who the last entry was for) seeking God, even if I am having a hard time keeping up with her for follow up. It?s so great to know that she is resting in God’s hands after something so hard and heart wrenching that I cried when she told me what had happened. My sister how God loves you and wants you to grow and be healed. Healer comfort her.

It’s just been amazing to watch the Defender stand up and move in my through my lack of submission to him. It’s only in the strength of Adequacy that any of this is happening. How I missed You, how I have so often pushed You aside, how You’ve never forgotten me and even when I felt unable You show me You are. Mighty God do not stop shaking the walls till every brick and every ounce of mortar has felt your Hope. Thank you Lord for changing me, for living in me, and showing me more then my eyes could ever see.

May the Restorer of Our Souls bless you as you seek His face,
~paul

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Lost so soon…

I’m sorry this hurts, that sometimes it feels as though it hurts to much to even cry. To imagine a pain that feels so indescribable it is nearly unbearable is beyond me. Loosing someone you have so much love for, so much heart for, so many memories with, someone who was your best friend. I’m envious that you were able to have a best friend, that you had someone to share life with so richly. Yet I fail to be able to understand the hurt because it’s more then I’ve ever tried to comprehend.

For the phone call you forgot to make I’m pained, for when you told me of the news you heard i wept. I see so much of who I was in him now, I had no idea what I was doing when I wanted to end my life. Please trust me when I say that it’s nothing you did or could have done, that he didn’t even know who was there and that love seemed fictitious and emptiness real. Know that nothing in this world that can fill that emptiness that burned at his heart and pulled the trigger.

That emptiness is forever burned in my mind, as the opposite of the fullness of Christ who is now in my life. No love could fill that void, only mask over it until I would fall back in. Believe me, I tried to mask it over and to cover it’s expanse with success and any love I could find. The emptiness would only increase until it all fell in leaving me lower than before. Desiring death over life and leaving a void that only God could fill. If I could let him in.

I sat in awe of your compassion for him as you wept, jealous of your emotions next to my compliancy, and desiring to want those around me in heaven as much as you wanted him to be there now (knowing he wasn’t). It’s hard to find the lining in this, to even grasp a hint as to why God wrote this as his life story, to die so young, and to hurt so much. Now let God be your strength, let Him feel and hear of your pain, pour out your anger onto your Father, and do all this so that you may feel His love even more. Oh my sister, let Christ be your strength and your comfort in this time of pain, disbelief, hurt, and confusion. Let Christ be your strength by being nothing before Him, pour your self out to him.

It is the times when we feel the most pain that God desires us the most if we would only hear his voice whispering to us between the tears. Whispers telling us it will be alright, that his divine love will fill the void and emptiness in our lives if we would only spend more time with Him. Sister you are in my prayers, my heart is burdened for you, Oh how God desires to be the center of your life. Praise the Lord for the commitment you’ve made to put him back upon your throne and to live your life for Him. Sleep well and know that he’ll never give you more then you can handle and that you’re never alone.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

May you all seek Gods face,
~paul

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“And I suddenly turn and see… Your fabulous face”

This has been an awesome weekend. It all started off Thursday night with a really great speaker at cru, who we actually talked into coming to our mock-house party afterwards. He was actually a motivational speaker, Blaine I believe was his name. Gave a great talk about PEP (Passion, Enthusiasm, and Purpose) and how they all interact and give us our strength and drive to get anything done. Was pretty sweet to as I was reading in James today about faith and deeds, how because of faith we live our lives differently and that is represented by the deeds we do. Also how that is tied into salvation, kind of makes me wonder how many people are truly saved. Not that it is for me to know either way. I must only do the work the Lord places before me and keep the faith.

The rest of the weekend has gone by really fast. Had dinner and ballroom dancing in the cities on Friday night, so much fun. Learned a couple different, more basic dances. We could have used some more guys there, but it was a good time nonetheless. I only hope that everyone who went got to have some fun dancing. That had to be one of the best days I?ve had so far, possibly ever. I also found out earlier that day that the Eva the STINTERs in Toulouse had been writing about was the girl that Catherine and I had met just outside the courtyard under the trees at Arsanult. She went on the Agape France retreat this past weekend, and also went to church the Sunday before at the Evangelic-Eglese with her friend, who also brought a believing friend! It?s so amazing to see how my prayers for her are unfolding.

By the time Saturday morning rolled around I was thoroughly danced out, had dancing for like 6 hours in the previous two days, so it was time for some floor soccer. It was the first time I had every played soccer. Seriously, I had only kicked around a soccer ball one night and almost got hit by a police car because I chased the ball into the street (ok, so it was more me stepping onto the ball to stop it as it rolled off the curb into the street and me practically diving headlong into a squad car driving past). This summer, however, I really got the bug for soccer watching so much of the Euro Cup 2004 in Toulouse. I had a pretty good game all considering. Got to play some offence and some goally. It was 4v4, our team won.

Saw the movie ‘The Incredibles’ and highly recommend it to everyone. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing it again. So funny. I’ll agree with my brother when he says it’s the best pixar film to date. If you want to know more about it check out his journal, he did a really good review of it.

As for the rest of the day, we stopped at best buy in eau claire, and I got a new uv filter for my SLR since I broke the last one at fall retreat a couple weeks back. Went and chilled with some of the north hall cru gang. Also picked up a new mono-pod and the movie Elephant which is really well done. Little disturbing but at the same time the subject can’t be done without that. Gus van Sant did an amazing job with a very difficult subject. Some of the overlapping and perspectives are so beautifully rendered you barely notice that it wasn’t all filmed at the exact same time.

Not it’s Sunday and I’m avoiding more homework by writing this out listening to some franky blue eyes (kind of funny because it?s been about a year to the date since I listened to him last).

Praise the Lord for an amazing weekend! I feel as though the last couple weeks of mine have been so blessed, it’s unreal.

Keep seeking out God’s grace,
~paul