Friday, December 21, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
I'll be back soon with some post semester commentary.
P.S. The T-Shirt sales were awesome and we're still working on raising funds for the Asbury for Darfur effort. If you didn't get one of the shirts and would like to get one just drop me an email or a comment.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
While I enjoy the conveniences and would LOVE to have an iPhone, there are a few down sides I've noticed. They certainly make us available all the time, whether work or fun, they can cut into what used to be times of rest; they allow us to more easily screen our calls (guilty); and they open the door to an increase in rudeness and decrease in personal skills (as if we needed help). I'm pretty sure these are only compounded by the invention of what I call the bionic ear - aka - blue tooth hands free device.
I was in the drive through just this past week and I was talking to my buddy Drew. As I ordered and then as I pulled up to the window I asked Drew to hold on (sorry Drew) so I could lay the phone down and have a conversation with the person working the drive through. Just as I was getting ready to pull away he thanked me for putting my phone down - I didn't even think he saw me. I was then convicted for all the times I had driven through or walked up to a counter while I was on the phone. The people in the drive throughs and behind the counters are offering a service that I (and probably we) have taken too much for granted.
Let's show our appreciation, whether in a store or a restaurant, when we're being served - put the phone down.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I give thanks to the Lord of All, the Author of Love, that He has entrusted me with this gift to love, nurture and protect.
I pray that we celebrate thousands more years walking hand in hand...and then, I'm reminded that in Christ we're blessed with an eternity!
All Praise, Glory, and Honor be His!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
You have known me from before my first breath.
My life has been selfish, greedy, gluttonous and lustful.
My sin is punishable by death...hopeless death.
But you...you loved me even in hopelessness.
Unworthy, broken, lost,condemned -
You made a way for me from the deepest, darkest places.
You are my redemption; death has died and I am free!
You are the redemption for all who come!
If you saved me, surely there is none without hope!
You are my salvation! You and you alone!
- Your Child, Justin
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Praise the Lord!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
... and we laughed a little, and wondered where one would come across such a piece of art... but then we saw this...
and then this...
...and behind these two were at least 3 more... so we thought it might be best to keep driving... but then just down the road, we see this...
Clearly, it was time to go home. For all of you reading this who DONT live in Jessamine County... feel free to let your imagination wander. For those of you who do, always travel with a buddy...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
"I guess you've all heard that Justin Michael finally made his arrival, although not exactly as planned. I had no intention of even going to the hospital in an ambulance, let alone having the baby in one! As it turned out, there wasn't much time for choices. For those of you who haven't heard the story, here's how it went: I started into labor about 7 p.m. The contractions were strong, and came every 1 to 3 1/2 minutes. They lasted from 31 to 57 seconds, but were never regular. Because they were irregular and started so quickly, I believed it was false labor. Luckily, my mother was with me, and she, "just knew" I was really in labor, and that the baby was closer than I thought. She called my doctor and told him we were on our way. She then called a friend at the ambulance base to tell her we were leaving for the hospital. When Mom told her how close the contractions were she wanted us to call Station 31 and let them take me to the hospital, but I was still determined I wasn't going in an ambulance. A few minutes later, the ambulance called to say they were on the way (my friend had called on her own), and wanted me to let them take me in. Mom wasn't sure the ambulance would get there in time. The ambulance arrived, they timed a few contractions, and then loaded me into the ambulance. They called the hospital and, after my next contraction, we began to move. We got out of the parking lot and into the road when the baby started coming. They stopped the ambulance and, with the next contraction, he was born. It happened so fast!! It was 8:09 p.m., and the labor lasted just over one hour. After the paramedics cleaned him up, I heard that wonderful first cry, and I got to hold him; he was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. We dimmed the lights in the back, and he opened his big dark blue eyes and looked around at everyone. I want to praise my friends and co-workers for safely delivering Justin. After the pediatrician saw him and assured us he was completely healthy, they told me the cord had been wrapped around his neck twice. They just took care of the problem without ever skipping a beat. If not for you all, I might not have my wonderful little boy."
As I read through this story, my heart is humbled. I am reminded of our human frailties and our dependence on God and others. I am grateful for God's faithfulness and His hand when I see that I may not have even been able to take my first breath.
Thank you for the paramedics that worked as your hand on this day, 26 years ago.
May each of them feel your presence in a special way today.
All praise be to your holy name. Amen
Friday, September 21, 2007
But why? Maybe it's because an angel freed them from prison? Maybe it's because they find joy in suffering? Maybe it is because God told them to teach the words of life? Yeah, maybe it's all of these things...
But what about me, what about us??? As Christians we have been set free from prison, we have been told to count ourselves blessed if we suffer as Christ did, and God has told us to Go - make disciples. Still, day in and day out I keep the message to myself. I'm afraid people will think I'm a freak for talking about Jesus, and I don't want to offend anyone. On top of that, I'm lazy. I'm not really even in danger of being beaten or imprisoned. What then...are any of these good excuses? I guess not.
Lord, I pray,for myself and anyone reading this, that today you may put someone in our paths that we may share the Gospel message with. Give me the eyes to recognize him or her. Give me the boldness to speak up and share the message and the the love that you've so willingly shared with me. It's all about you. In Jesus name, Amen.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
I'm on my way to bed, but I just had to write this down before I could sleep. Jeanine and I went to see TobyMac in concert tonight at Questapalooza. If you don't know what either of those things are, you can click on the word and check them out.
TobyMac gave two simple truths to the crowd...
(1) - God loves you! He is ready and willing to help you turn your life around. When you turn to Him there is Love and Forgiveness. All your past mistakes, they are washed away. And...
(2) - You were made to worship and adore the God who created you! Each of us has this very purpose at the center of our lives.
Two simple truths: Love centered - Life changing!
Here's definitely a shout out to Quest Community Church for a great, Christ honoring, fun-filled event!
Monday, September 03, 2007
Back to the baptism side of the weekend though. Kayley is 4 months old and was baptized in the United Methodist Church that I grew up in. Now, whether you believe in infant baptism or not let me tell you what I know from this experience. 1. On Sunday, I experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in that church like I never have before. As the light was ushered past me to the altar, my heart and mind were filled with joy in anticipation. He stirred in a number of hearts that morning. And, 2. when taken purely and seriously, the covenant of baptism written in the United Methodist Hymnal is such an amazingly deep commitment. It is a commitment for the congregation and family of the person being baptized. Too often we treat the covenant as words on a page. It seems to me that there is power and presence of the Holy Spirit in baptism whether received as an infant or an adult. Do I have a preference, sure, but however it is done, I'm not going to limit what the Lord can and cannot do (not that I really could anyway, but it's better not to even try :).
It was quite an honor to be apart of this baptism service and I am excited to see how Kayley continues to learn and grow. As someone who was a part of the her baptism service I feel a great responsibility to do my part in leading her to faith in Jesus Christ. May He be glorified through the life of this young child!
Monday, August 27, 2007
Abundant life is received. Not earned, not bought, simply received. When we go looking for the wrong things, in the wrong places, clawing our way through, I dare to say, we are still only existing. But, when we open ourselves to humbly receive, then, then we can live. To live we must simply receive what the One who created us did to redeem us. When we receive the redemption, the greatest love of all, a change takes place and each day we are compelled to be more like the one who saved us.
Are there still struggles? Everyday. See it is easier to go on existing; it is easier to give up. There are things in this world that try to de-rail those who are truly living - Believe me, I struggle quite often! But, each day we have the opportunity to decide what we will do with this life; Exist or Live. The more we choose to exist, the harder it is to live, but the more we decide to live, the harder it is to exist. In living, sometimes we stumble, but there is opportunity for repentance and forgiveness, even when we fall.
I want to encourage you to click play below (you may have to wait a minute for the player to finish loading). If you've ever struggled with living I think you can probably identify with this song. For me, it captures my struggle between existing and living. If you want to live - there is hope today.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Jeanine is already back in school teaching Freshman English again this year and I am trying to get re-adjusted to academic life here at Asbury. We are buckling up and settling in for our final year here in Wilmore.
May you feel the presence of the Lord in a special way today!
-Justin & Jeanine
Sunday, August 05, 2007
If I lived closer I could definitely learn to love this whitewater park. There is a lot of volume in a little area making the water a little pushy, and in constant motion. Just about every single eddy on the river is so strong that it actually has upstream flow to it. The rapids are really continuous. We really enjoyed exploring the park and watching all the rafts. The number of hard boaters was pretty low. We were able to demo some of the boats they have there, you just have to bring your own equipment. I think my favorite part was getting to ride the conveyor belt from the bottom pool to the top pool.
If you get the chance, definitely check this place out!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
We just returned from our very first cruise. If you've ever been, you know what we mean...It was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. If you love food, if you love seeing new things, if you love the beach or if you love the beauty of creation, you would love taking a cruise.
The cruise itself was so amazing, but even better were our cruising partners, Matt & Sarah. Even on a rainy walk in a foreign land, we had a great time! It's always an adventure :)
We could go on for hours! If you want to see more pictures from our trip, just click on the big picture below. It'll take you to our album online. If you're thinking about cruising, we highly recommend Royal Caribbean. As they say on the ship--"Get out there!"
Friday, June 29, 2007
We call it Alumni II. Seriously, it's about the same size as ol' Alumni Manor... except our neighbors don't have wild parties.
Pastor Justin, hard at work. (Actually, he's playing solitaire, but doesn't he look good??) Posh office space.
You can take the boy out of Wilmore, but you can't take the Wilmore out of the boy. We're finally sleeping in a place where you can't hear the trains, and look who has to go seek them out again...
The view from the driveway... and outlining Justin's long walk to work. So, why'd the chicken cross the road???
Contrary to appearances, Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church is not located on the side of a mountain. This is just a testament to Justin's stellar (or epileptic) photography skills!
Hard to believe this summer is half over already! We're headed to the Bahamas next week so we'll be posting more after that. See ya and Happy Summer.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
What??? Yeah, I asked the same thing. That was the role I played in last night's VBS. It's a doctor that treats people with Leprosy. I don't know if it's a real doctor, but I know I had a great time teaching the fourth graders about Naaman.
In 2 Kings 5, Naaman, the strongest man in King Aram's army is diagnosed with Leprosy - a flesh eating disease with no known cure. Even in his disbelief, his obedience to the Lord healed him after washing seven times in the Jordan River. I am blessed by this story. If you have a minute, stop in 2 Kings 5 - it's a quick read.
We used an onion to simulate the smell of Leprosy...It was pretty gross! But, who knew water and a stainless steel spoon would take the smell away...In Naaman's case, and ours - even when it doesn't make sense, obedience to the Lord is the sweetest smell of all!
Things are going well here in NC. Bible School has been a lot of fun! I will post again soon with some pictures of our living accommodations and the church.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
“Until the burden for others is greater than the burden for yourself, you will never fully know the Power of Christ.”
These words just resonate in my heart and remind me that there is always room for growth. It is the journey of Holiness. Is Holiness what you long for? I’ve recently read that Holiness is like a bird… It must have two wings to fly… One wing is personal holiness, the other is social holiness. Without one or the other the bird is grounded.
Is your pursuit of Holiness soaring or grounded?
How are you seeing growth in your life?
Philippians 3:10-11 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
As for me, I'm going to be interning with Mt. Zion Wesleyan Church for the Summer. So Jeanine and I will be down in Thomasville, NC. We are excited to see how the Lord works and moves in this place and time, not only in our lives, but in the lives of this community.
Sorry to be so short again, but HAPPY SUMMER!!!
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
In Love and Prayer,
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
The group that I am apart of recently set out on a little adventure. Let's just say it involved 6 guys, a truck, holding hands, and some blind folds. You may at this point be questioning what I am learning in seminary...but click on the pictures below to find out more about this adventure: