125,600 minutes x 2

I have been hear for two years. I am currently entering my third summer and just finished my second winter. I was thinking about people that I have met since I've been here and how they have moved and gone to better neighborhoods (most of them) or bigger houses and then I started thinking about all the people that have come and gone to do ministry here in Charlotte and it's been much like the people in this hood. A lot of people have come in to do ministry, stayed for some time and then left somewhere else. Some people didn't have a choice in leaving, summer assignments don't last forever but even beside TWC students this has been a very transient neighborhood with very transient 614 leaders. The people that we ministered to when I first arrived are not at all the same people now. The first leaders of 614 (Rob and Heather) Charlotte are not the same leaders that now (Travis and Leo) and could be changing again after several months. That seems very peculiar to me. Your thoughts? Anyone...anyone...Beuller anyone...


I'm back...again

I’m back after a prolonged break but I have good reason for taking a break…actually it was a terrible reason but anyway the reason I haven’t blogged in over a month…again is because for some odd reason I couldn’t access my Google account and therefore couldn’t access my blog. I have wanted to comment on blogs and there has been things that have happened that I have wanted to blog about (but I probably don’t remember anymore) I just haven’t been able to. Obviously though on Thursday I had a breakthrough after a couple hours of going through all these different channels I got through.

The last thing I remember being on my mind to blog about was Youth Councils. That was fantastic. Youth Councils is always fun for everyone but I think the kids form our hood were definitely affected more than the others. I can’t say that as a fact but I do know that these kids left with more than just a T-shirt and a few memories of a fun weekend. At cell group that following Tuesday I asked them for their highs and low’s of Youth Councils. I thought I would hear the guys talk about how many girls numbers they got or who they were hollarin at or maybe they would say they liked dancing with Agape (or special guest rap artist) but they all really surprised me. Most of the kids remembered something from one of the speakers that affected them emotionally; it was something where they felt like it had a real meaning in their life. One of the kids told us (I was a witness to it) when Agape sang the song be my dad he just started to cry. He said it was awesome for him to realize that God is his father because he doesn’t know his biological dad and at Youth Councils he couldn’t say anything he just cried. I am still amazed when God can break down walls in a matter of seconds with one simple song that I hadn’t been able to get through for months. I had kids ask me to pray for them about issues in their home issues in their personal life and we had one guy who is a Muslim but at youth councils told Leo he wanted to be a Christian. That is supernatural to me. With everything happening like it was I couldn’t keep my composure anymore, after praying with a few of the guys I went back to my seat and I just started crying for them. After hearing their struggles and the things they were worried or scared of I couldn’t not cry; it was almost too much to handle, but God is bigger than that. Praise the Lord.


On the Shoulders of Giants

I'm reading a book called "Taking Our Cities For God" by John Dawson; I highly recommend it to anyone that has a love for your city and wants to break those spiritual strongholds and see it set free. As I was reading I decided I would share an excerpt from the book just to remind everyone of our spiritual heritage and a reminder of whose shoulders we are standing on. "The Father of urban missions is undoubtedly William Booth, 1829-1912. He and his Salvation Army pioneered ministry to almost every category of city dweller. They transformed the life of the cities of their day through compassionate attention to the poor, and they boldly confronted evil institutions until they crumbled. In London the age of consent was only thirteen, and eighty thousand prostitutes, many as young as ten, were sold in the streets or kept in brothels. Booth and his army confronted this evil with holy ferocity and fought until it was outlawed. They lifted a standard of blood and fire which is still the greatest challenge to the life of any urban missionary.
I just think it's amazing that The Salvation Army is recognized like that(I don't know how popular the book is) and that William Booth was called "The Father of Urban Missions". If that doesn't light a fire inside you I don't know what will. Be encouraged.


I'll stay and Fight...and blog...maybe

Well, I had made a new year’s resolution to blog more frequently but that one crashed and burned with in the first week. I am trying to be a little more frequent, but sometimes I forget or just can’t think of anything to write. I sometimes think that I shouldn’t really blog unless I have some deep insight into some scripture or some life issue or something like that. That’s actually funny for me to think about since my last blog was about relating Rice Krispies to the trinity. Then I was thinking about all the people that read my blog that I can’t or don’t really talk to often. They need to know about what’s happening in my life and more often that once a month. So here is a brief update of my life and some changes happening. I say brief now but we’ll see.

If you have keeping up with Rob and Heathers blog this won’t be new news to you. They are beginning a new season of ministry and that will not be in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 614 ministries in Charlotte will continue with me as the director. Our Area Commander and Divisional Secretary have asked me to be the interim urban outpost director and Leo is the assistant director. This does mean I will have to leave my wonderful job at Starbucks (I think I might cry), but I can always visit and maybe try to scam a free drink or two or three. It actually was really surprising to me because I figured that after Rob and Heather left the ministry here would be over, but yesterday I was reminded by Aurora (a close friend, comrade and fellow Martyr) that Rob once said that he dreamed of one day leaving all of this in my hands. At that time I looked around and wasn’t to impressed with what I saw. It was a neighborhood with drugs dealers, addicts, crack houses, prostitutes and families with more issues that a comic book. I knew changes would take place and I wanted to see changes and I worked along side Jesus to see those changes take place and I praised the Lord when I saw them happening. The issues aren’t all solved and all of them may never be solved, but that’s what makes this place so amazing, and now this is a neighborhood with a few less drugs and dealers, less addicts, prostitutes, zero crack houses, families with less issues, and new families with new issues. I love this neighborhood and everything that comes with it and I love that this is what I inherited from Rob and Heather. As they move on to a new phase in their life I will be moving on to a different phase too, but it’s in the same place just a different position. I don’t believe God is prepared (and neither am I) to let the enemy take back the land that is rightfully ours. We have spent two years fighting for souls and for territory and Leo and I won’t let that go with out a fight. "We will wage war with love because love never fails."(Hat Tip MC) Corporal Travis Roberts out.


I'm still here

I'm going to try to start blogging again...regularly. PRAISE THE LORD!!! WOOHOO!!!


The Trinity and Cereal

I was thinking a few days ago about The Trinity (The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) and how some people have a difficult time explaining it and other people have a difficult time understanding, but after some pondering and breakfast, I think I figured it out. Rice Krispies has the answer. The Snap, Crackle, Pop is all coming from the exact same source, but in three distinct different sounds. One sound is not greater than the other and they all work together to create a beautiful symphony. As I remember when I was younger, and I would be eating my bowl of Rice Krispies, it was always said (in commercials and by other people) that the cereal was (anyone else remember that or is it just me) talking to me with those sounds (dramatic pause and waiting for it to sink in). That’s right I don’t sound so crazy now do I? So we don’t have to get into these big theological discussions and debates, and you don’t have to go get a degree to understand it; you just have to simply go to your cereal cabinet and take a look and or listen (which could lead to Schizophrenia so be careful). Rice Krispie Treats on the other hand are way out there in left field I haven’t worked them into my line of thinking yet. Does this make sense to anyone else or is it just blasphemy to compare the Trinity to a bowl of cereal.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost-Trinity
Snap, Crackle, Pop-Rice Krispies

We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
Maybe doctrine three could be explained a little better if it was worded this way:
We believe that there are three notes in the cereal bowl - the Snap, the Crackle, and the Pop, undivided in essence and co-equal in sound and taste.

This could be a genius idea or it could be the one thing that will forever keep me out of the College For Officers Training.


My Little Runaway

This past Sunday at Charlotte Temple we had the privilege of hearing two cadets from the training college, in Atlanta, share with us what the Holy Spirit was saying to them. One of the cadets was a good friend of mine and a former co-counselor at Camp Keystone (Cabin #5) Justin Caldwell. I hadn’t seen this guy in five years and then he shows up one day in Charlotte of all places the last place I expected to see him…well, maybe not the last place, and not second to last, but certainly not the first place I expected to see him. It just proved again that you can always just say see you later when TSA is involved because it is always the truth. It was great seeing him again and having camp memories come to mind again… (I’m lost in thought right now)… Justin didn’t deliver the sermon to us but he did share with us his testimony and when and how he was called to become an officer.

It might just be me, but I have heard a number of testimonies from officers and cadets and one thing many of them seem to say is that they ran when they were called. Why do we do that? Why run from the destiny God has for us? It seems like we say God I’ll do whatever you want except that…isn’t that a song “I would do anything for love but I won’t do that” Are we constantly singing that song when we ask God what he wants from us and what he has planned for our lives? We say, “I’ll do anything you want, but this thing over here I won’t do that, but anything else is great,” and then when he calls us to do that one thing we run away. Are we scared, or dumb, or do we really think that God is going to change his mind if we ask again some other time? God isn’t going to change his mind just because we’re stubborn. He eventually reels us back in and tries again and we can either listen or run…again. I don’t know if that’s the way it is for most people, but it seems to be a common theme is TSA. I know that the enemy gets to us, but what does he show us that would make us bolt. I can’t seem to figure it out. Do we not see any glamour in the lifestyle (duh!!)? Do we want more money (what would you do with it)? Do we see a lack of joy in the Army (they’re doing it wrong and that person obviously hasn’t heard our song).

Here’s a thought, it’s not about us. It never has been about us; it’s about the people we need to reach, and we can’t run from it. We have been called and equipped and we can’t fail. It’s seriously impossible for us to fail. If our God is for us how could we fail…honestly how? We can’t. I wonder sometimes how many men and women have run away and not returned. We need to get them back. Think about how much more amazing this army would be if everyone called decided not to run, but they decided to stay and fight. That’s intense.