Posts Tagged With: married

Drunk in church & reflecting on my fast

Sunday – 9:00am – In the back seat of the old gray missionary van on the way to communion services in the ranchos – middle of nowhere, Coahuila, Mexico

Trying to write a journal entry in this van is like trying to build a house of cards during an earthquake. Very difficult to do. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it is kinda difficult. 🙂 But as you can see from the title of today’s entry, I got some pretty interesting stuff to talk about and didn’t want it to slip my mind. It also felt really strange yesterday not writing in my journal after having written everyday for the past 40 days. I can kinda see now how writing is therapeutic and can help you make sense of things a little better.

Now just to clear things up, I was not drunk in church, at least not on alcohol. But there was a drunk guy that wandered into Mass. I’m assuming he was a by-product of the concert last night at the Presidencia. Thankfully he was a very quiet and respectful drunk. You could definitely tell he was drunk though. His breathing was loud and labored. His walk and stance were a little bit wobbly. He weaved in and out of the pews a couple of times and had a couple of different seats before he finally settled on the same one for the rest of Mass. He also stomped his foot on the kneeler a few times. Oh, and at the end of Mass he walked up to the front pew and did a little dance too. To the credit of everyone there, they didn’t seem bothered or overly curious, with the exception of some stares by a few kids. What I felt kinda bad about was my initial reaction. I was worried that he’d be a distraction and that he shouldn’t be in Church. Wasn’t it Jesus that said he came to save the lost? Isn’t that one stray sheep just as important as the other 99? So for the rest of Mass I tried to pray for him instead of keeping an eye on him. Figured he could use my prayers more than my judgment.

Now that I’m a couple days removed from my fast I can also do a little bit of looking back on the experience. At this point I’m thinkin’ mainly of two things: guarding my growth and following my heart. When I think about the fast and all the graces I got during the fast, I’m amazed. The graces of chastity, patience, and perseverance are just a few that come to mind. I’m also thinking how awesome it was to have that sacrifice (hunger) to offer up. Now I’m realizing that I have to guard those graces. I have to continue to look to develop them. I’ve got to continue to look for sacrifices to offer up so that I have ammo against my weaknesses and temptations. Maintain the momentum. Yeah, that’s a good way to sum it up.

I’m also thinkin’ about the whole clarity thing, in regards to my mission post. When I started my fast, I was under the assumption that “clarity” meant figuring out which country I wanted to go to. Never did I think  when I started my fast that it might actually mean figuring out whether or not I would even go back into the mission field. What does seem clearer is that I don’t think I’m at peace with going back out into the foreign mission field, at least not at this point in my life. Maybe later in life, once I’m married? Who knows…. My heart is ready to pursue friendship and see what develops. That’s alot easier to do if I’m stateside. Plain and simple, it’s what I want for my life. I believe it’s my calling and so not only do I want to pursue it, I HAVE to pursue it. I also don’t think it would be fair to mission partners and people that we’d be serving if I had a heart divided between missions and marriage. It seems wise to pursue the vocation of marriage with a single, undivided heart, and then whatever else is next will fall into place.

That being said, I pray for those of you who are also discerning your vocation in life, that you would be patient, persevere, and receive clarity and peace. Please pray for me too as I pursue friendship and ultimately marriage. Till next time, take care and God Bless!

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epiphany in the shower………

10-22-10 – On the swing facing the pasture, back porch of the big house @ Big Woods Mission Base

When I was cleaning up after my morning jog, I was doing some reflecting on things I’ve been going through and thinking about lately. It felt like such an amazing epiphany that I praise God that I remembered it until now. Seems like so many times I’ve had great ideas and things to share but I always forget them and forget to write them down. I hope that I can maybe share this with everybody at High Praise tonight.

By now I’m sure you’re thinking “Get to the point!” so here goes. As I stared going to Mission Formation last year, the Intake missionaries told me that no matter who you are, Intake will change your life. They were not lying, I can assure you. I have to admit that I was not even close to being saintly before Intake started and I still am not. However, I thought I was doin ok. Mostly small issues are what I felt I was dealing with. Boy oh boy, how big the small things turn out to be. Since Intake is an intense journey further towards the Lord, you learn alot about yourself. It’s like being under a microscope and REALLY getting to know yourself and your faults.

At this point, I’ve discerned that my 3 primary struggles are 1.) Laziness, 2.) Impatience, or in other words, failing to live in the present moment and receive it’s blessings without being too focused on the future, & 3.) Letting go of relationships and the desire for them. I already knew that laziness and impatience would give me problems, but I really felt like with out one year singles commitment that #3 would not be a struggle. I was wrong. It continues to be a great struggle for me. Besides the whole weakness of “being in love with Being in Love”, the wonderful missionaries I’m surrounded by make it really difficult too. What I mean is that I’m surrounded by amazing married, engaged, and dating couples. I see how the Lord blesses them through that and it makes me really want that. And then I see the amazing females that God called to FMC and it makes me want it even more. I mean, How can you NOT be enamored with a woman whose inner beauty far exceeds her outer beauty? (though to be fair, I should qualify that statement and say that the outer beauty is still TOTALLY righteous) :]

What makes me really ashamed is when my petty insecurity and jealousy raises its ugly head. When I see people that I admire sharing their genuine love and Christ-like affection with others, I don’t know how to handle it, except by maybe keeping silent and bringing it to prayer. It’s as if they owe their affection to me and me alone. I also seem to have a greater desire for human companionship than I do for companionship with Jesus. How could I do this? Why would I want to be this way? In light of the grace that God offers us, I have no answers to these questions and my selfishness is non-sense. Only thing I can say is that somehow/someway God’s grace will get me through this.

Recently, I was reading a book that Mrs. Genie passed on to me. It’s titled “Prison to Praise”, and it’s a pastor’s testimony of God’s saving grace in his life. But beyond that, what really struck me was what he viewed as the solution to our problems. Let me begin with a key bible verse he used to make his point: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the spirit…” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

As I’m sure many others have been, I was really confused by this. Sure, praise God for the good, but for the BAD too? That’s ridiculous. That’s insane. That’s being a glutton for punishment. But the more and more I read & thought about it, the more and more it made perfect sense. If I don’t praise God in all things, then I lose my faith and confidence in Him, and start to give power to my circumstances. As soon as I do that, I do exactly what The Bible verse told me not to do. I begin to quench the Spirit. However, if I praise God for everything, it gives him glory, it helps me to realize that he has the power to overcome anything, and thus I begin to unlock his healing power in my life. This is such an amazing revelation to me and I praise God for it.

Another reason I feel blessed to realize this is it will help me to continue to strengthen myself and especially others. If I can’t allow myself to trust God in these “smaller” matters that I’m dealing with, then how can I trust him in bigger things? If HE can’t trust ME  to be faithful to him in these smaller matters, then how will HE be able to trust ME with bigger tasks? What really strikes me is that if I can’t trust God and praise him so that he can get me through this, then how can I possibly go to Mexico next month and minister to God’s children there, whose problems are much worse than mine? I feel like doing that would make me a liar and would diminish the power of my witness.

It would be so much easier to not trust God and not praise him for even the bad circumstances. At least that way things would make a little more sense and I’d at least have a little power I could call my own. But, I know that’s not what I’m called to do. I pray that by God’s grace I can praise him in all things, so that his healing power can flow freely in my soul. I pray that I can humbly receive the grace to “Let Go and Let God”. Lord, walking the straight and narrow path to holiness and salvation isn’t easy, but I know it’s worth it. Praise You Lord Jesus. Amen.

p.s. – It just occurred to me after all this talk of praising and thanking God, that the word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving”. Thank God I’m Catholic! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

STILL AT 30,000 FEET

I was also blessed and inspired by my fellow short term missionaries. The energy of the university students re-energized me. They jumped right into the mission and were a good example to me. The married couples who were among the group of short term missionaries were also wonderful people who helped me to learn and grow alot. And as someone who aspires to be married one day (God willing), I was particularly drawn to the beautiful, holy, Catholic young women in our group. In a perfect mix of inner and outer beauty, I saw all the things that I hope God blesses me with in a spouse. I saw a love for others, a love for missions, joie-de-vivre, and so many other things. **To be continued later today….. we’re approaching Dallas for our landing and i gotta put my stuff away.**

Okay, I’m back. At gate B-10 in Dallas waiting to board my flight to Lafayette. I didn’t realize it at first, but when I arrived here, the time change had gone into effect. That meant instead of arriving in Dallas at 5:15 and boarding my plane at 6:45, I landed at 6:15. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any checked bags to slow me down. Got through customs very quickly and arrived at the gate with two minutes to spare. **Gotta go. boarding the plane**

BAck again….. waiting on the flight to depart from the gate. As I was saying, I was blessed with great young women to fellowship with. Whether one of these women is my future wife, or whether it’s someone else, I was most blessed by their presence. Next on my mind is what is gonna happen now that I’m going back home. One part of me has no idea how I will survive the next few months until Missionary Intake 2010 with FMC in September. I want to be in missions so badly and it’s something I really feel like I’m called to.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WRAP UP AT 30,000 FEET ABOVE SEA LEVEL

Sunday 3/14/10 – Approx. 30000 feet in the air, aboard American Airlines flight from Monterrey, Mexico to Dallas, TX

We’d need to go back into my journal to verify, but i think this is the first journal I’ve ever done while flying on a plane. The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and all is good. It’s a bittersweet happiness though as I head home after a week of amazing mission work in General Cepeda, Mexico. The realization that I may never see the people I encountered this week until we get to heaven, is, well, a little tough. I fell even more in love with the people of General Cepeda. I feel in love with and was inspired by my fellow missionaries.

**random side story: As I was boarding the plane, I saw that a pilot was among the passengers. A question I had always wondered came to mind. Wouldn’t distance travelled be less if planes flew at a lower altitude? The answer is yes and no (according to the answers he gave me). If planes lifted straight into the air like a helicopter, the distance would be greater as the altitude increased. However, planes ascend and descend at a gradual rate, changing the actual distance travelled. Another aspect of the equation is that at higher altitudes the air is thinner and provides less resistance, ergo, less gas is burned.**

Back to my regular entry: Of particular inspiration to me among the people of General Cepeda were the native missionary families like Tonio and Mari. In spite of their relative poverty, they give of themselves and their family as missionaries to their own people. They are generous and supportive as co-laborers with the FMC missionaries. Their example as missionaries and as a married couple was very inspiring. I kow, without a doubt that God has blessed them and is using them in a powerful way.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

MISSIONARY JOURNAL – I NEED TO GO SO I CAN GROW

Wed. 12-2-09 / 1:50pm @ my desk @ work (Awardmaster)

So monday, my dad said the oft-repeated quip from many people who encounter someone who wants to go into missions: “Well you know there’s alot of need here in the States.” Let me begin by saying that I agree, there IS alot of need. And we do need people to be domestic missionaries. However, I cannot do what I think I want to do. I have to do what God calls me to do, since this is the only way I’ll find the fulfillment I desire. My way of finding this fulfillment has been to investigate different paths. Up until recently, I had not found that thing, that “calling” which fulfills me. Had tried lots of different things, to no avail. I’ve had opportunities (5 times before the Mexico mission) to go on short term mission trips. I enjoyed all of them b/c I love to travel and see the world. Perhaps the deeper goal of bringing people closer to Jesus was what made it so special.But not even at those times did I feel like “Ah! I’ve found my heart’s desire.” I was probably not at a point yet where I was ready to feel that.

Fast forward to the present day. I’ve since tried college (graduated), the family business, and the seminary. All great experiences, but none of them ever really grabbed me. There were also a few relationships that I was in. All of them were great blessings b/c of what I learned from them. And while I do feel called and feel a strong desire for the married life, I don’t think at any point during those relationships that I was really ready for it. Whether it’s getting married, or evangelizing all whom I encounter, I just don’t have the skills I need. I think with marriage and relationships, I need to be in love with the Lord in order for the one whom God has chosen for me to be able to fall in love with me and me with her.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.