My Birthday!!


So yesterday was my birthday. I started by sleeping in a bit, and then spending some time alone with God at Quarry Hill. After that I went to Famous Daves for lunch (my fave). Then off to Dunn Bros. and back home. At night my friends and I all met up at the Green Mill and partied. It was a blast! Afterward Joanna and I rented a movie (Firewall) and watched it at my house. Mike Culver stopped over as well.

Things that I learned or surprised me:

The amount of people that sent me e-mails and cards. I truly am loved and blessed!
I noticed some beautiful wild flowers at Quarry Hill. I noticed how when the wind blew they bent over easily, but then went back to their previous shape. I wondered how they could do that and noticed their sturdy, even rough stalk. God allowed that stalk to get hardened and weathered over time, and now the wind doesn’t phase it. huh.
I saw one flowering stalk that just had blossems coming out of EVERYWHERE. It was like it couldn’t WAIT to bring forth new life! This is how I want to be. I want buds and blossoms to cover every inch of my life, each one more eager than the next to show forth it’s glory!
At Quarry Hill, there is a wall of limestone that you can pick apart and look for fossils. I stood there looking at it and just was amazed. Here were layers of sediment deposited during Noah’s flood that have been waiting for 4-5000 years just so that I could come over and pick little pieces of it off the wall. I felt honored for some reason.
I want to give. Giving brings life to my soul.
I’ve got some awesome friends! The Zimmermans, Joanna, Rose, Mike, Marcus, Matt, Matt, on and on… I’m absolutely blessed!!!
I’m looking forward to the day when I am a multi-millionaire and can spend much of my time supporting ministries that God lays on my heart.
Joanna ROCKS!!! 🙂

I finally actually bought my Peru ticket!!! Yay!! Maccu Picchu here I come!!

I see God in the wind.

I’ve been struggling a slight bit lately with what I perceive as a lack of purpose. Really, I know this is just a result of not spending enough time just relaxing in the Lord’s presence. Life isn’t about what we do anyway. It’s about spending time with Jesus, and about other people. Yay God!

Finally ditched Outlook Express in favor of Thunderbird. I like it better. I couldn’t “uncompact” my messages in Outlook and it was driving me fricking nuts!!! Thunderbird has a KILLER junk mail filter!!

Try Pepsi Jazz Black Cherry French Vanilla. Diet Heaven!

I think that is all of my random thoughts for now. I’m going to sit here on my deck and enjoy the wind.

Seasons

It’s funny how life goes in seasons. Friends float in, they float away (sometimes forever). Same with hobbies, emotions, trials, victories, etc. Life is always changing.

And for that I am grateful. With every change, every new view around the bend of the road of my life, I am more excited, interested, eager to learn than before. I’ve got a great co-pilot who knows the road. Sometimes I just have to remember that.

May I give my life freely, passionately, and unabandoned to the One who truly excites me. Our adventure together is more exciting, passionate, and loving than any movie. More real than the fire that burns me. God, I love relationship!

It’s funny how we have a choice every day. We can start the day assuming that God loves us more passionately than anything in the universe, or we can not. I hate to admit that many days (if not most right now anyway) I don’t start with that assumption, that love. I’m back to it by the end of the day, but sometimes it takes a few hours to get there. I don’t know why. I think I have some growing to do. Of course, renewing our mind is an active task that must occur every new day. As I grow older (I turn 29 next Thursday) I believe that other than my prayers for other people, the biggest request I would have of God for this next year is that I can just feel him more as the Bridegroom in my life. That I would wake up knowing that I’m in God’s arms.

I’m trying to decide what I really want for my birthday. My parents are so great they always get me something, but I didn’t know what to tell them that I wanted. God has given me everything I need, and almost everything I’ve ever wanted. How He has blessed me.

One thing is more and more certain as I get older. The things that truly make me feel alive are passionate worship and travel/missions. I am looking forward to the day when I pack up and leave this country for an extended period. Not because I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m an American through and through. But nothing can express how I felt on this last missions trip. The freedom. The culture. The blessing I felt to be alive and part of what God was doing in that part of the earth. The blessing. The blessing. I wish you could feel it. It is like one of those cool summer days, you know? Where you just know there is something about the day that makes you feel incredibly blessed. It is like that.

Well, I’m going to go worship!

Peace and love to all who read this.
Justin.

Revelation, Poker, etc.

I just opened the Bible again today and realized that I have opened it to the same passage 2-3 times at least now. Zechariah chapter 11 (the first part). Today I realized why.

God has set me apart to minister to the oppressed and the abused. The “flock marked for slaughter,” “…particularly the oppressed of the flock”.

4 This is what the LORD my God says: “Pasture the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the LORD, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the LORD. “I will hand everyone over to his neighbor and his king. They will oppress the land, and I will not rescue them from their hands.”
7 So I pastured the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock.

Ignore the rest of the chapter if you read this, I know this is out of context a bit, but I am sure this is what God was saying to me. (He is more than able to use an example in His book in different ways!)

I have realized lately that I am called into the world to love the poor and broken hearted and poor in spirit. I am called to get my hands dirty. The filth of this world doesn’t scare me. (Indeed, many of the things that trap many people have no hold on me like porn, addictions, etc. But that’s for another blog). I have noticed a lot lately this especially in relationship to having a few glasses of wine with an unsaved person. I have had discussions with Christians I highly respect about the consequences of me drinking, even socially. The argument goes that I am a leader with or without a title, and the difference in views is that either our culture doesn’t support a Chrisitan in a church environment without it being construed wrong. I have thought and prayed about this at length, and the other day I was sitting having a glass of wine with a friend who has some homosexual issues and it occurred to me- GOD HAS ALLOWED me to drink in order to more easily minister to the poor and broken hearted. This was one of those “This is who God has created me to be” moments. I know that many people will not understand this one issue, but that is fine. I will answer to Jesus and that is good enough for me.

I played the best poker of my life last night. I played in one free tournament and 2 cash games. I place 25 of 79 in the tourney and only busted out on an incredibly long shot (333KX on the board and AK in my hand. What would you do?? She had pocket aces!! AAAAH!!!) Walked away from both cash games with money.

My poker reads are better than ever. This was the first time EVER that I really felt like I was a poker champion. All of the money and time I have invested is finally starting to come to fruition.

Beautiful night. May go to Austin to have a bonfire withi Joanna.

God bless!
Justin.