Thursday, July 21, 2011

Urban Encounter

This summer I've had the opportunity to be involved with an outreach at our church called Urban Encounter.  Youth groups from around the country come and stay at our church and we share the gospel with people in the apartments surrounding our church.

During these weeks we connect with so many people, but mostly we connect with kids.  These kids we meet most of the time are unsupervised, probably haven't eaten and probably haven't had a bath in a while either.  We do crafts, songs, dance, and make PB&J's for them and most of all we love them and have a good time getting to know them and just being there for them even if it is just a few hours.

Today was my last day to do UE as I will be in Chicago next week, but I wanted to take some time and share this special picture with you.

This cuddly looking teddy bear was my special friend.  I met him just two weeks ago at our first outing to one of the apartments near by.  The first time we met, he was outside the small bounce house we rented, no parents around just his slightly older brother and sister.  Immediately he captured my heart, I asked him a few questions and to answer he simply nods his head.  And so I reached out my arms to him and without any hesitation he reaches out and is latched in my arms.  Today was no different, as soon as I saw him(he was swimming in the pool) and ran over and called his name and he knew who I was and reached out again and even though he was soaking wet I grabbed him up out of the water and got the biggest hug I've ever had.

I introduced him to some of the teens working with us today and right away everyone fell in love with him and his siblings.  And I have to say that when you come to this place of serving, where you say to God "Here I am, send me!"  it doesn't matter what happens to you, you will do anything for a child with such a sweet face.  He could have been covered in mud, but I still would have taken him up in my arms and held him.  It really didn't matter what happened to me I just wanted him to know that he is loved.

We sat on the side walk eating a snow cone and he sits in my lap, the teens have taught him how to eat the snow cone with the straw like a spoon(fast learner!) and I literally had to hold back tears.  How could anyone with the Spirit of God within them not have a heart for the lost and hurting?  How many of God's people really do the work of the kingdom? When did having a big house and expensive car and living "abundantly" become the goal of our lives?  What happened to having the heart and compassion of God for his people?

This little boy will always be in my heart and he will forever represent the aha moment where I understood that wherever God leads me I will do everything in His power, and that I will not care about silly things like getting wet or messy over a child.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters


Friday, June 24, 2011

I will rest when the work is done.

This summer I've undertaken some extreme responsibilities.  I took 13 teens to a youth camp without a lead Pastor, lead a group of them who I had no idea who they were or what they lives were like and yet still God showed me grace and gave me the words to say, the words they needed to hear.

Its amazing to realize that no matter who you are, what your back ground or what intelligence level you are at God can use you if you are ready and willing to be used.  Before this time I never really believed that God could give me a word like that so that I could share with others, it was truly a blessed time and I am so thankful that God made my heart receptive to his word.

Now comes another challenge: URBAN ENCOUNTER.  This is a summer program that my church holds every year allowing youth groups from around Texas and other states to come and stay with us, participating in work projects, ministering/praying with the people living in apartment complexes in the Fort Worth area and this year getting a much deeper into the presence of God.  At first I was a little apprehensive about participating, UE takes up a lot and I do mean A LOT of time.  You exhaust yourself until you have nothing left, you spend every moment that you have either at the church or on site somewhere working. When you get a free moment to relax, its usually spend sleeping stretched out on the chairs in the sanctuary or in one of the nursery rooms.  You spend all of your time with the same people and that can help bonds grow stronger, but it can also get on your nerves. You minister to those who maybe are there to truly hear what you have to say or might be using you for a free meal, either way you are called to love them as Christ loved you.  You meet people and children from completely different backgrounds, but somehow at that moment God brought you together for a purpose and you must learn how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that he may use you as he wills.

I was pondering all these things on one of my morning runs this week: God how am I going to handle all of this? Sometimes I just feel like I need a break because I am tired and I teach year round, this is summer I'm supposed to be relaxing etc... at this point I was about halfway through my run and I began to slow down, feel heavy and weary and in that moment God gently spoke these words to me:

You can rest when the work is done.

So I thought on this statement as I ran and continued to press forward to the finish line of my run, and a scripture came to mind.

[Acts 5:42]
Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

If you haven't read Acts, then you are missing out!  It gives us a picture of the early Christian church, the radical ways they lived and fellowshipped together and also how they functioned as the body and how they began fulfilling the great commission of Jesus Christ to "go and make disciples of all the nations."[Matthew 28:19] These men, these who followed God with all their hearts, forsaking anyone and anything else gave over and surrendered everything in their lives to do the work that God had set before them.  And so I must look at my own heart and understand that I must be willing to never stop teaching and witnessing and sharing the good news. This is not a call to only myself, but to everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

This can be a hard thing to swallow.  But it is truth, how can we go on with our lives knowing that Jesus devoted his life to teaching us, loving us, dying for us....and here we are some of us living as if we are unaware of the greatness and holiness that is his name in which he has authority over all creation.  And how can we live knowing that some people in our world have not yet heard of his wondrous love? Therefore who will God intrust to go, who will be willing to stand up and say "Here I am! Send me!"[Isaiah 6:8]?

And so this is a challenge not only for myself but you as well.  Live your life daily as if your work has not yet finished, live it so that others will know instantly that you are a son/daughter of God and see the love God has for you and them as well. Know the weight, the responsibility that you carry. This isn't a game, it isn't something you do on the weekends for fun, but it is the most important mission you will ever carry out in your life.  To proclaim to others the good news of Jesus Christ, Redeemer and Savior of our souls with how you live and what you say.

I hope that this has encouraged you in someway today, please let me know your thoughts.


Monday, June 20, 2011


Question: What does it mean to be a refugee?

Answer: This is someone that has been forced to flee his/her home country because of war, persecution or violence. Due to this they cannot return to their country.

Since meeting Everfound I've been doing a little research and since also today just happened to be World Refugee Day this seemed like the perfect moment to give you guys some information and websites about the topic.

This spread sheet is from the UNHCR --> The UN Refugee Agency.  It gives you the number of refugees living in the United States from different countries around the world from 2000-2009.  The numbers are staggering, but it also makes me wonder how many people out there are still in need of refuge from the violence and persecution that they experience every single day.  Do we really know how many there are? No, but we can pray and trust God knowing that he has it all in his hands.

This is my prayer for all the refugees in the world:

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Please keep those who are refugees in your prayers on this day, and for those who are facing war, persecution and violence in their countries now let us pray that God would give them strength and courage to face what is in front of them with confident hearts in our Jesus.

Mosaic Family Services Inc. is another excellent source for more information about refugee's and what you can do to help.  Please check out their website and inform yourself and others as much as possible.

Martyrs: Contemporary Writers on Modern Lives of Faith
On a side note, recently a friend and I went to a public library book sale these were books that were withdrawn from the shelves for one reason or another. I picked up a falling apart book called:

Martyrs: Contemporary Writers on Modern Lives of Faith edited by Susan Bergman.

I have to say that I am not even through the first writer and I've already been brought to tears several times, because of the fact that 1. These people deserve so much better than what they've suffered and 2. I realize that the way I live is not enough and I am unworthy to even speak the name Jesus Christ.

This first chapter is written in such a wonderful way, it is not only highly informative, intelligent(I've had to read it over and over again just to get what Bergman is explaining), but it is also poetic and captures my heart with every word. And at one point after describing several instances of martyrdom she simply says: "How to draw close to them?" She is speaking of when Paul wrote to the Corinthians "When one member suffers, all the members suffer..."

How can we, how can I, live with this knowledge of persecution and violence towards my own people and live life so non-chalantly? How can I take the Word of God so half heartedly and make light of what people are WILLING TO DIE FOR?  So today I encourage you who are reading, take a stand for what is right and pray for those who seem so far away, but share in the same inheritance that we have through Jesus Christ the one and only Savior of our souls and rightful recipient of all the honor and glory in the world.

Tell me, how do you feel about this?


Friday, June 17, 2011

We are a Kingdom people.

What do you get when you have hundreds of teens + a handful of youth sponsors + a secluded spot in the country + worship + a powerful Word?


To describe my experience in a few words I would have to say I was stretched to the brink of myself, but also that I found a new humility and a new found appreciation for anyone who leads a youth ministry.  

To be placed in a position of authority is a huge step for me, to be in charge of 14 people takes a lot of strength of which the only way I was going to have any was to rely on God one day at a time. I found myself thrown into a group of teens that I didn't know, dealing with boy crazy girls and girl crazy boys, unorganized chaos of a youth camp and I suffered hours upon hours of burning hot Texas weather. 

However I also found myself being filled up by Christ in the morning through quiet times, receiving an awesome Word from Jay McPherson, encouraging teens and seeing them transform and open up about their lives/hardships/dreams/prayers, had an amazing time of truly abandoned praise and worship with a band called Everfound, took a lot of pictures with my camera and I got to have a lot of interesting conversations that inspire me to keep pursuing my calling as well.

Jay McPherson really brought the Word to the teens this week.  His main message was about being a Kingdom Worker.  That how we live our lives, how we carry ourselves shows who we are as a people in Christ.  He brought in some staggering information like:
"Out of 1,000 non-Christians asked to choose one word to describe Christians the top three answers were: 1. Hypocritical, 2. Judgmental, and 3. Anti-Gay."
And so he questioned the silent crowd: I wonder if we asked people what they thought about Jesus if they would say those same things? No, they wouldn't. They'd say that he was sinless, honest and true.  That he had compassion and forgiveness abounding, and that he loved all people no matter what.  And he challenged us to take what we'd learned and show those in our sphere of influence who Jesus really is and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

And so in this one of the main themes this week was edification of fellow believers.  We are constantly as a people tearing each other down and as the body of Christ we should be building each other up, leaning on each other when we need help and we should be able to be vulnerable enough to ask for prayer when we need it. I shared this passage with my small group ( TEAM PINK!) one morning as it seemed like they needed a glimpse of what the kingdom of God should look like:
[Acts 2:42-47]
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
This is a radical idea.  They fellowshipped together, broke bread together, they had everything in common.  This is what I imagine the kingdom of God should be like if it were established on earth with sincere and glad hearts we would serve one another and devote ourselves to the teachings of God and live our lives as living sacrifices[Romans 12:1-2].

Jay often left us with a question to respond to or a statement that really impressed upon my heart, here are just a few:
  • God loves and calls all people unto himself and desires all people to actively respond to that love through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The kingdom of God is the way of the SERVANT.
  • What does it mean to be citizens of Gods kingdom?
  • Jesus is more interested in the interior of a persons heart(the internal condition) than the exterior appearance.
  • God doesn't say to us, "I'm content with 60% of your heart/life." He wants it all.
  • God uses broken people to do the work of the church.
These are just a handful, but I really feel as if I let God use me in a way to inspire some teens at this camp.  I saw many transformations even in some young people that weren't from my church, to see it was phenomenal and I am so blessed to have been able to witness something so heart changing. This small glimpse gives me hope for the next generation that will rise up and take their place as world changers.  I am filled with joy.

Another interesting thing about this years camp was the band.  Everfound is made up of four brothers from Russia who's family was forced to leave because of religious and political persecution.  I am going to see if I can perhaps get one of them to do an email Q&A to enlighten us about their testimony and also about the state of the church and about persecution of Christians in Russia currently.  I talked to a few of the band members and it was just so amazing to see how God has brought them through so much and how they use their gifts to glorify God.

© A. Quinn Photography
I took a ton of pictures and they will be posted after I sort through them on my facebook page.

Prayer Requests:
1. Everfound left late last night to travel for more than 12 hours to their next show and have to be on the road again for another camp starting on Monday. Please pray for rest and strength as they keep using their gifts and talents for God.
2. Pray for the teens from CRAVE Camp 2011, that the fire they experienced on the camp grounds would continue and not die out as the summer goes on.
3. Pray for all the youth leaders and Pastors that volunteered their week for these teens, they need rest and rejuvenation after this amazing yet long week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lead as He leads.

Youth Camp.

It's the thing that most church going teens look forward to all year long.  It's a chance to catch up with last years friends, a chance to make some new friends, a chance to get away from the city, but most importantly its a chance to get a fresh encounter with God.

This year, as our youth pastor is away for a family wedding, I have the opportunity to be one of only two sponsors that take our teens to this camp(did I mention I'm the only one who has been to youth camp with our church before?).  I'm a bundle full of nerves and excitement all at the same time.  Typically I'm more of a behind the scenes type leader, but now God has put me in this position as a leader for a reason.  I am praying that God gives me strength and wisdom during this week.  I want my heart to be open to what he wants to teach me and how he wants me to guide these 14 young people through His Word this week.

I want to lead as Christ leads, to know when to inquire and to know when to let others speak. To hear His Spirit prompt me in a certain direction and to know when the Spirit is prompting the youth and to let them hear and to let them respond as He directs.

[John 12:49-50]
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

I pray that this week my lips would not speak out of my own mind, but out of my mouth would flow the words and wisdom of my Father, and my Savior.

Prayer Requests:
1. Wisdom and Patience for this youth camp
2. Gordon Griffith is currently in the States gathering some footage for another short documentary, pray for wisdom and hope to get the job done to the best of his ability.
3. A few friends of mine returned from a month long ministry trip to Japan, pray for rest and recovery.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This season.

I am in a season of training. A season of breaking down and building up. I am in a season of continual surrender and although it seems hard, I know that this is God's way of giving me what is best.

Things tend to happen to me while I'm driving in my car.  For instance there is a particular road that I drive every single morning on my way to work.  It goes through some industrial buildings, nothing really special about it, it winds and curves and ends up where I need to be.  Most mornings when I drive I'm a little zoned out only focusing on the road, the stop signs and the stop lights any traffic around etc...but on one particular morning I looked up into the sky and noticed something that I had not noticed before.


Just above the horizon in front of me was the Dallas skyline.  How beautiful it was when I looked up as the sun was just rising and shining just enough to make a slight silhouette of the buildings.  I wondered how could I have missed this?  I've been driving this way to work for a year now and had never noticed it before.

In that moment God began speaking to my heart.  Its our typical human response to, instead of seeing the destination and keeping our eyes and hearts focused on that, only focus on the path in front of our feet.  How long it seems, how at certain times the scenery isn't as pretty as we'd hoped, when we find obstacles in our way or have to take a detour, or when we try and take a short cut it doesn't exactly go as we plan and we have to back track....and we do this very often, all the time in fact.

Its really the same as our journey with God.  We are so focused on the path and trying to figure out how to get to where we need to be, we forget where it is we are going, WHO it is we are running to.

Seeing that Dallas skyline, that I had no idea was right in front of me or how I would even get to it from where I was, but that didn't matter.  In the same way we see where God wants us to be right in front of us and we have no clue how God is going to get us there, but that is why we have faith.

[Hebrews 11:1]
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

It doesn't matter if we can see the whole picture, the entire journey, the map of it all, but what matters is that through Jesus Christ we have that blessed assurance and faith that He knows what is best for us and will guide us there if we just keep our eyes on Him.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You have called me to stand at the edge of the world...

...but where does the world end?

I feel as if I am at a point in my life where this poem seems very relevant to me, and not in an high school english class sense of relevant either.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

The page where I found it also had this to say:

Robert Frost on his own poetry:
"One stanza of 'The Road Not Taken' was written while I was sitting on a sofa in the middle of England: Was found three or four years later, and I couldn't bear not to finish it. I wasn't thinking about myself there, but about a friend who had gone off to war, a person who, whichever road he went, would be sorry he didn't go the other. He was hard on himself that way."
Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 23 Aug. 1953

I am at a road, I feel as if God is calling me to much more than this and its frightening to say the least. So many things have been changing around me lately and I think I have been in this shocked "I can't believe it" state.  And these are not bad things happening, just new and uncertain things, events that will force me into probably uncomfortable and scary situations which I don't know if I can handle.  Well, I do know I can't handle it on my own that is for sure.  That is why I really need God's hand to guide me to lift me up and support me in this time.  Its about to be a whole new world and not matter my anxiousness about it, I am ready.

Lately I have found myself dreaming of the day that I might be out in the world using my camera as a tool for God's kingdom.  But I have also been feeling the urge of the Holy Spirit that there is more to it than that.  I would like nothing more than to just go, RIGHT NOW.  But I also have been realizing that I need training.  I need a good solid foundation to work from and while I love the sermons and Bible studies every so often at church I feel as if it is not enough and I alone do not have the ability to attempt any in depth rigorous study of the Bible without proper guidance, and tutelage.  And so I am praying and asking God for direction in this area, although I have not and will not make any decisions until I am given a clear answer from God on what my next step should be. I just know that I cannot go and do Gods will unequipped in an age where so many Christians do not understand or even know what they believe let alone are able to actually explain or discuss it without misguiding others.  I do not want to stand infront of God and know that in my ignorance of His Word I misrepresented Him to another person.

I just think about the things that I pour my time into: reading novels, watching movies/tv, sitting at home doing absolutely nothing....where does any of that get me in the kingdom of God? Nowhere.  I want/need to make some changes in my life, cutting out somethings(reading novels etc...) and adding others in their place(more prayer time, reading the Word etc...). How can I know what pleases God if I do not know His Word? And how can I stand up to the enemys tactics if I do not know how to counter him with scripture just as Jesus did in the desert?  And how will I survive when I am the only follower of Jesus where I am and I cannot simply be content with sitting in God's presence and drinking in His Word when I am in need of company or nurishment?

So many questions, but only one answer.  COMPLETE SURRENDER. To forsake everything else and live a life totally set apart for God.  This is the path that I choose and I am glad.


Prayer Requests:
1. I have a friend that will attend Ellerslie a school founded by Eric & Leslie Ludy in Colorado for the summer.  She will be in an intense program and will need plenty of strength to endure and be filled during this time.
2. So many disasters have happened recently with tornados and many other things, please keep these effected areas in your prayers.
3. Please pray that God would give clear direction on the next step I should take in my journey.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Every revolution starts with ONE act of defiance." [Josh Mayo]


The most dreaded acronym in the public school system these days.(until of course they change it AGAIN)

Yesterday I was stationed outside a lovely(yuk) bathroom in which I had to monitor children as they would steal away from tests just to get a minute to breathe. At least thats what I would do. And today was going to be no different, except that last night changed everything.

A friend and I ditched our typical routines and went after God. You know you have those moments where you are just so excited to enter into a house where the main thing is worship and letting the Holy Spirit lead and its spontaneous and God inspired? Yeah thats where we were! I can't remember the last time I felt the presence of God so near to my heart that I was literally shaking and crying, and I saw people just randomly walk up to others and begin praying over them because they were listening to the voice of God speak.

It was amazing. Add onto the fact that the speaker they had come was real, gave it to us straight. After the service was over we talked for a couple of hours about the Word he brought and its sad to say that I haven't gushed over a sermon like that in a while.

"Do you believe that God has a purpose for you in this life? That you are meant to be more, apart of something bigger than yourself?" Everyone in the sanctuary raises their hands in a room of young adults, most of which attend theological institute we are visiting.

"I DON'T CARE." DEAD SILENCE ENSUES. And then he continues: "I don't care because everyone believes it but very few ACT ON IT. I DARE YOU to stop talking and start living."

He talked about so many things, that we are a people motivated not by faith but by feelings/emotions and circumstances. That when we cry out "God I want to be a living sacrifice, I lay my life on the altar! USE ME!" we tend to forget that when God begins to use us/change us pain is usually involved and then we say "Woah...uh that hurts, thats uncomfortable..." and we slip ourselves back off the altar. And then we get back on an emotional rush and do it over and over again...a spiritual cycle of take backs. "Oh yeah I remember when I said I'd devote my life to God, but its really hard." or "Oh yeah I remember when I asked God for direction and he told me I'd be a missionary, but I got really lonely..."


I remember when God told me that in order to do the things that I was called to do it would take much more than what I had thought, and I remember weeping before him bowing at his feet saying "Yes LORD, I am ready and willing to do it for You." But along the way, it got hard, I've been feeling tired drained and, yes, lonely. One thing that John Mayo said that really touched my heart was this:


What a powerful statement, it was like he was speaking to me. He WAS speaking to me. And not just about that aspect, but every point he hit upon seemed to related directly to something in my current life situation. Thats when you know you've just met up with a divine God given appointment. I was leaning forward in my chair, I was drinking in every word of the message that God had meant me to hear.

"There are a lot of great starters in the kingdom of God, but very few FINISHERS."

I do that a lot, I start something so passionately and then WHOMP WHOMP it was just a passing faze that gathers dust on the shelf. Lord I want to finish it, I want our relationship to last until I walk into your arms, help me to be a finisher.

He talked about Jacob wrestling with God, he was alone. Its easy to believe/follow God in a crowd, but when you're alone, when it really matters its truly hard. And when you fight a battle with God, struggle there with Him about something it'll change you, it'll mark you up, it'll MESS you up but we have to realize that GODS VICTORY DOESN'T COME AT DISCOUNT PRICES. The very thing you curse might be the thing that God allows to change you forever.

Another thing he said about Jacob is that he knew what he wanted, God's blessing. "When was the last time you knew exactly what you wanted? GET SPECIFIC!" God answers specific prayers. So instead of just crying out "Oh Lord touch me, touch my heart, heal my soul..." get specific. Tackle the real thing/situation in your life and tell God, "Lord I really need you to keep me from gossiping because its like verbal pornography coming out of my mouth." And so at the end of this sermon God gave Jacob a new name Israel. This one act or defiance, this wrestling with God brought about an entire nation of God.

And so I sit back and I look at my life and I look at how stagnant it has been and I ask myself, do I know what I want? Do I spend enough time with my God? Do I know what endurance is to continue running the race that the Lord has set before me? Am I willing to lay everything down for the sake of His kingdom and forsake all else? Am I ready to devote myself like the early church to the NEVER CEASING proclamation of God's kingdom? YES. I AM READY.

So today I am sitting infront of the bathroom, and I am reading deeper into this book by John Piper Let the Nations be glad! and I am reading about the sacrifices and the suffering that the first missionaries went through and it gave me such joy to know that they too had a passion for Him, and that there are others that have gone before me, others who are there with me now, and others that will follow me that know exactly how I feel now.

Henry Martyn once wrote these words:

"Whether life or death be mine, may Christ be magnified in me! If he has work for me to do, I cannot die."

I want to life my life like this, willing to do the work set before me and unwilling to let even death make me hesitant to take a step out in faith and trust in my God for all of my needs. Either way he will be glorified in me.

Now I leave you with these final words:



Prayer requests:
1. I just heard that David Wilkerson (writer of the Cross and the Switchblade) was killed in a car accident today. Pray for his family and loved ones in this time of mourning.(Matthew 5:4)
2. Changes are happening, big changes pray that there would be continued unity in the body of Christ no matter circumstance or situation.
3. I am seeking the Lord about what I am to do this summer, take some photography classes or go another route please pray for guidance.
4. Also my friend and I are taking a trip to Chicago for the AWAKENING CONFERENCE put on by Jesus Culture, it is going to be an amazing experience. Please pray for the right doors to be open for financial provision for transportation and such. []

Praise Reports:
1. Easter services this weekend were awesome, our church did a Friday night out reach called Rock the Block and the turn out was amazing. Many seeds were planted so I praise God for that.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where did the love go?

When did the relationship between church and artist go sour?

I've been pondering this recently and while I was at the bookstore today just happened upon a clearance book that I just had to get.

Churches and Cathedrals: 1700 years of Sacred Architecture.

This book literally sent me back to my first years in college.  I took four or five art history classes, three of which were not required.  One of my best friends at the time and I took such pride in our knowledge and discussions of art history. I remember never missing that class, always sitting in the front row, talking to our professor after class about a particular slide, lingering after finals to discuss our 10 page paper comparing/contrasting a tomb sculpture and a black-figured amphora.  We had numerous conversations that would last for hours about the thought behind a painting, the slant of light that was brought in.  Or even the unbelievable realism found within a marble sculpture.  I was so full of myself. I think for me if felt good to know something, something that only I really knew and could go on and on about.  I even remember clearly thinking that if I ever went for my masters it would be in art history.  There was even an instant in one of my modern art history classes in which my professor had just handed me back an essay I had written about some piece of art and he said to me "You write about art very well, and articulate yourself clearly. You could have a future in it."

At the time I guess I was flattered because after quitting softball and pretty much giving up on any ambition I had, it was nice to hear affirmation from someone, about something, anything.

Bernini sculptures
I remember the last essay I wrote for art history that I truly enjoyed.  It was of Gianlorenzo Bernini's(1598–1680) sculptures Angel with the Superscription and Angel with the Crown of Thorns(1668) in Terra cotta clay.  Something so simple, so small and unfinished and yet so powerful so breathtaking.  Sometimes I think I choose those to give myself a challenge, but looking back I think even then I was searching for God in my life.  I had known God before, but if you've ben a freshmen/sophomore in college God can easily slip through your fingers.  

It seems strange to me now looking back that through all of my studies in art history how the church began to push artists away, by the way they continuously abused them, used them for the gifts God had bestowed upon them.  And I think its happened to all artists at sometime or another...maybe not specifically by the church, but all artists have been used in some form or fashion.  

Michelangelo, Pieta. (Mary holding Jesus' body.)
I just question myself.  What was I thinking as I studied these inspired men of art, men of God?  I mean how can you create something as marvelous as the Pietà by Michelangelo and not be standing in awe and rapture of God?  How could these men create something so beautiful and powerful without the Holy Spirit guiding their hands and whispering the mysteries of the heavens in their ears?  And yet as I studied I did not see divine inspiration, I did not see hours of work and perhaps maybe prayer?  I did not see sweat, life and passion poured out on their creations...I saw the history.  I saw another grade to be made.

Now as I set this book of wonderfully inspired creations down, I wonder to myself...when did the artist and the churches relationship fall apart?  Art was how people knew of the Word of God before they could read, sculptures and stained glass depicted the stories of Moses, Noah, David, Daniel, Solomon, John the Baptist, Mary, Jesus the Christ and his Passion for our souls....when did the church misuse their power over artists and push them away? When did artists become selfish and soulless forsaking the one who gave them their talents? Making art about themselves and leaving God out?

I don't know. But what I do know is that in all my days I will seek to restore the glory of God into the art world, to use my gifts to magnify his Holy Name. 

1 Corinthians 15:57-58(ESV)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Just found this quote:

"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better." 
-Andre Gide, French writer.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

These small moments...

Today I took a day off from work.  I've been so exhausted and drained, I felt like I was getting sick and so its just seemed like the right course of action.  The day past uneventful really, I was able to unpack from the youth trip, clean a bit and get some groceries which I was in need of desperately.  I opened up the blinds to the patio and realized that Spring is upon us.  I took a walk around the apartment, and down by the pool, it was very nice and refreshing I think I'll be going down there to read more.

As I was resting on the couch of my apartment today I noticed how peaceful I suddenly felt in the presence of God. The blinds gently swaying back and forth as the sun began to set.  It stuck me beautiful how much detail God puts into the little things, like the way the shadows and light changed ever so slightly as the movement allowed or prevented light from hitting the blinds.

I love having these small moments with God.

[Acts 9:31]
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace.  It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.


Monday, March 21, 2011

SLAVE: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity In Christ (new book I'm reading)

So recently I've been really burdened by the Holy Spirit with the idea of being bound to Christ and being a slave to him.(You've probably noticed from my reoccurring references to Pauls confession in [Acts 21:13] that he is "not only ready to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."   And through my reading the bible I haven't seen that many references to us being slaves to Christ other than a few here: [Romans 6:15-23] and here: [1 Corinthians 7:21-23].  I was just so pulled in by this verse in Acts and his resilience to do God's work whatever the cost I had to make something to express what I couldn't say which you've also seen in a previous post. So when I happened to come upon this book at a Christian book store recently you can probably guess how excited I was to see it.

[On Amazon]
As I read the inside cover I knew that this book was exactly what I had been looking for. So far I've only read the first few pages of chapter one and I can already say that John MacArthur is really digging deep and giving solid references to the statements he makes.  I had to put the book down because it was late and it was just so overwhelming to take in all the information, every other sentence I was saying "WOW!" (as in wow I can't believe that and that is so true, crazy, insane!)

I will definitely be keeping you guys up to date on how good this book gets.  In the mean time check out the book on You can read through some of the book there if you want to check it out for yourself, let me know what you think about it if you do!

Prayer Updates:
1.  Our youth trip was a success! The speaker Steve Grant was amazing he really brought the Word to the teens in an understandable and applicable way and the worship was truly anointed!  Check out the band Caste that lead our worship here at their facebook page.  I especially loved when the lead singer/guitarist pulled out his bible in the middle of worship and read [Micah 7:8]! PURE AWESOME.

Favorite worship song from the trip:

"I may be down, but I will rise,
it may be dark, but God is light.

I may be down, but I will rise,
it may be dark, but God is light.

I once was fatherless
A stranger with no hope
Your kindness wakened me
Awakened me, from my sleep

Your love it beckons deeply
A call to come and die
By grace now I will come
And take this life, take Your life

Sin has lost it's power
Death has lost it's sting
From the grave You've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross You are the truth
You are the life, You are the way

My dead heart now is beating
My deepest stains now clean
Your breath fills up my lungs
Now I'm free, now I'm free

Sin has lost it's power
Death has lost it's sting
From the grave You've risen

Into marvelous light I'm running
Out of darkness, out of shame
By the cross You are the truth
You are the life, You are the way."

Prayer Requests:

1. My friend and I are working on something together, pray that God gives direction and wisdom in everything surrounding this project.  More details to come when God releases me to tell. :)
2. Pray for those suffering in Japan, there is a long road to recovery. Just recently found out through the church that I attend that one of our missionaries there had thought to be missing and the church that was just built there thought to be destroyed. But Pastor Shoei Abe was found alive and the church has little damage, it has electricity and Internet and is being used as a location for relief work.  Japan is a country in which less than 2% are following Christ so pray for salvation to come in a time where hope seems lost.
3. Gordon Griffith is in need of a round trip plane ticket to visit his family and then go back to Thailand so pray that God would be his provider in a miraculous way.
4. Lastly, please pray for rest and strength for myself. I am just feeling very tired and worn down.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Updates...I feel....

A few updates here:

The Work of Art-Remixed! facebook competition is over and I came in second place. It was fun, got some really great artwork out of it too.

The ArtistsWanted contest was also a bust so no money for my future trip to Cambodia just I'm actually not really that surprised because the content of my work was all about Jesus really.  And you know how the world feels about Him.

In other news God opened a door for a few of my photographs to be published!  Dr. T.L. Grover emailed me and asked for some pictures of her presentation for a publication.  Check out the website she is affiliated with On the front page she has this video:

If you don't know much about human trafficking, start with this video.  Its fairly basic, but it'll get you started.  Find more information on the new tab at the top of the blog: Anti-Human Trafficking Info.  
Thats all I have for today, I think I'm too tired from open house at my school.  

Many blessings to you.


Prayer Requests:
1. Our youth is taking a trip out to west Texas for Youth-A-Rama, pray for safety and strength.
2. Pray for our education system, if the proposed budget cuts are approved thousands of teachers will lose their jobs including possibly me.
3. Pray for my friend Drew who was pulled from his teaching placement because of his mentor teacher, he has to wait till next semester for a new placement.
4. Pray for Gordon Griffith that he will have strength to continue doing the Lord's work in Thailand.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Words from my heart.

bound to you.

"What does it mean to be bound to someone? This question has been on my mind for sometime now.  is it a piece of paper or certificate? is it a ring that signifies belonging to someone or ownership of another, is it a vow taken in front of witnesses? Somehow these things seem inadequate, they are not enough.  To be bound to someone goes much deeper than the skin, it seeps into the soul, the spirit, the very essence of who you are, a seal is placed upon the depth of my heart, an unquenchable fire placed upon the center of my being. To be bound is a pure unadulterated devotion to someone, they consume your every thought, you long to be at their side, your hearts become so intertwined they begin to beat as one, you desire to do anything and everything they ask of you not matter the cost, no matter the sacrifice required.  Perhaps this is why I find myself here in this place now, my heart has been captured...I can no longer ignore the pull on my soul, the intense burning of my heart, the passion that has been awakened inside cannot be contained, it is overflowing and over taking me.

I must give myself over to my one and only love. Only he can calm the storm that rages in my chest, only he can find peace amidst this battle, clashing swords that ravage my soul. I surrender it all to Him. He is my shelter, my fortress, my strong tower, my strength and satisfaction and non can take him away from me, no one can break the bonds that have permanently stitched us together. How can I ignore the calls of the deep? How can I forsake the one that would not forsake me? I cannot. I will not. My heart has been forever sealed by his everlasting love.  I am marked.  His very words set my heart ablaze, burning with bright white hot fire, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  No longer will my heart be a slave to men, but I shall unshackle myself and be yoked to Him. I make myself a slave to this commandment so that my life should reflect the heart of my beloved. I do so not out of strict obedience, but out of love and out of a desire to see the Lover of my sound exalted and glorified in all the earth. I submit myself for I love the bridegroom of my heart. I love his heart which holds compassion and sorrow for the state of his people and nation - this resonates in my chest, it vibrates with such intensity, I cannot rest, I  cannot sleep until the will of the Father is carried out, this is my joy.

I can no longer uphold the lies of the enemy and of the world, I will toss them aside, leaving all behind for the sake of my beloved. I make myself a living sacrifice unto Him who holds all things within his grasp, He who with only a spoken word created all that is before me, and all that will come after what my human eyes will see.  How could I deny the glory of my creator? Even the trees and the heavens speak of his greatness in all the earth. There is no denying this truth.  Now my hands are tied, I cannot escape the truth that I have seen, I cannot forget the mercy that has been imprinted on my heart. To do so would mean true death, an eternity without Him. 

So this I will do: raise my hands to heaven, submit myself to the will of the Father, for his ways are wiser than my own. I will forsake the world as it has forsaken my first love, for while the world may hate me, the world hated Him first. I must obey my beloved, my savior, my Lord, my God above man and for this I will endure much. Through the world will slander my name and bring false testimony against me, I will endure it for his namesake. Though they take what they think is mine and bring shame to me, I will endure it for his namesake.  Thought they strip me of title, status and influence, I will endure it for his namesake.  Thought they beat me, torture and enslave my body, though they persecute me and bring me to the brink of death, I will endure it for His namesake.  In all hardships I will rejoice because in this I have been considered worth to suffer for His name. For as the Word of God says : "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."(Romans 8:35-39) 

Therefore even though many people will laugh and mock, doubt and rise against the Word of my God I will not shrink back or fade into nothing, they cannot silence the truth with their remarks, the voice of my beloved rings true among their shouts.  I will worship and follow Him relentlessly to the end of eternity and I will do it with reckless abandon, all that is in my heart replaced by all that he is, for the remarkable love he has shown me, a sinner, unworthy of his heart. And when nay sayers question my devotion, and seek to cause doubt, confusion and even guilt in my heart and mind I will close my eyes and hear his still small voice, I will feel his warm embrace and comfort, a peace that surpasses all understanding, this love that he has for me that no human mind can comprehend - it is there I find my rest and know my love is always at my side.  And when they say that the mission before me is impossible beyond all reason and they seek to derail me from the path You have chosen I will remember the words Paul spoke and make them an offering to my Lord, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." Let this be my final prayer: "Here I am Lord, send me."

February 7, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm ready now...

Priscilla Ahn - Dream

I came across this song, and just listening to it made me cry.

A life has been lost in my church she has returned to her maker and though I did not know her well her legacy will endure.

Every fiber of my being hurts, I feel like if one more person tells me to wait, tells me that I can't go where God has called me that I will snap.  I feel like I'm suffocating here now, the walls are closing in and it physically, and emotionally hurts to not be doing what I'm called to do.  I know that God will make a way, I know that it is his path I follow it just gets so foggy with other people giving me their opinions...I know their intentions are good, but if you are constantly pointing issues out at me, trying to be constructive....but on some occasions its really been discouraging.  I feel like Paul when he said:

“Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

[Acts 21:13]

This verse just keeps ringing in my ears and it seems that no one is listening.

I did a recent piece of artwork called bound to you. 14 x 20in, Mixed Media. I will type the text out another time, its too late now but it pretty much says everything that has been going through my mind lately.

On a side note I was able to chat a little bit with Gordon Griffith on skype and his advice was basically don't think, don't question, just do it.  All of the preaching I've been hearing says the same thing, everything  I'm reading in the Bible and other books says the same thing, but then what is holding me back?

Maybe thats what I am supposed to find out.

"Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be. 

The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep. 
I had a dream  
That I could fly from the highest tree. 
I had a dream. 

I'm ready now, I'm ready now...."


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stand Firm.

[1 Corinthians 15:58]
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Tonight my Pastor talk preached about standing firm.  A lot of times when we begin a task we start fully in the Spirit of God, but something comes along and it throws us off. So instead of finishing strong we finish in our flesh.  One of my many prayers this year is to not let this fire inside fade, but to press on and finish strong in Christ.

[Matthew 10:22 ]

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 
Jesus himself placed a significance on those who stand till the end.  My heart this year is that we should all stand firm in our faith, that we finish the race and do the work that God has called us to do without reservation.  

I hope that everyone remembers Egypt in their prayers during this time, also pray for safety of all foreign reporters I've read a few articles of many being detained or arrested just for being from out of the country.

Many Blessings to you.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Jesus made people uncomfortable.

Its true, thats why so many people hated him, why the Pharisees and the high priests and the Sadducees wanted him killed.  He talked about things that people didn't want to hear about, they didn't want to acknowledge that they were sinful, that they were wrong.

I've found very recently that this was revealed to me.  I'm not afraid to post beautiful scriptures from Psalms or other verses that I have found that encourage me on Facebook or any other site.  And everyone is fine with it, because everyone likes a great "feel good" scripture that they can say "Oh, that sounds so sweet." or "Amen that is beautiful." But when you begin to post things that make them squirm in their seats or question their own conscience, they become defensive and make comment about it.  Often times resorting to throwing insults and using language unbefitting any normal conversation.

But I take it in stride I guess, as I am coming to this place of complete surrender to God it is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable and I'm sure a lot of people will have much to say about it.  Ah well.

I am not afraid of them anymore.

[Matthew 10:22] 

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Just some thoughts on this second day of being iced in, also I've been working on the final piece for my entry in the final of the Facebook contest Work Of Art-Remixed. Check in on Feb. 8th to see the both of us finalists work.

God Bless and prayers of safety for those who are snowed in.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Not everyone gets you, but God does.

This was made apparent to me as I shared my newest revelation from God to a few people.  The reaction was not "Oh wow that is so amazing! God is gonna do an amazing work for his kingdom!"  but rather a lot of awkward stares that felt like "Okay this chick is CRAZY."  But God knows my heart better than any person on this earth and so I take comfort in that.

This first month of 2011 has been amazing.  It just goes to show when you really devote your time to the things of God rather than the things of this world he will reveal unimaginable things to you.  I have just been burdened with a new found passion and hunger for his word, God has already done such a great work in me, I just can't wait to see what he does next.  I'm just so ready and for the first time I feel that I am sincerely willing to let God use me it really is the sweetest feeling in the world.

I am just reminded today that here in America we know nothing about what it really means to be a Christian and to truly be persecuted.

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman in Pakistan, has been sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Pray that this woman be released unharmed, and that her faith and love of God be strengthened in this time.

Oh God how far we have fallen, Lord give us a passion for what burdens your heart.

[Revelation 2:4-5]

   4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

ARTISTS WANTED 2010 Please Support by Voting

I have the wonderful opportunity to be in this contest ArtistsWanted 2010.  I am hoping this will help me in my journey to reach my calling of being a missionary photographer.  Please help me out by voting every 24 hours until Feb. 4th. Here is the link:

Alexandria Quinn Artists Wanted Portfolio

Please also pray that God would use this opportunity for the glory of his kingdom in the days to come.  If you like my work, or have questions please feel free to comment or ask me.  You can also find me on facebook at A. Quinn Photography.

[Mark 9:35]

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Lord, let me be your servant.


Friday, January 28, 2011

God breaks your heart to build you up.

I've been reading through the book of Acts for the past two weeks.  I'm only on Chapter 7.

You really can't begin to understand how much you don't know until you start digging in deep.  I am so amazed at the words I am reading and its just so surprising to me that I didn't know, and no one told me.  Growing up my parents didn't really teach me about God, what I knew was from friends and the occasional church camp I went to.  Even church camps didn't really teach me what I needed to know.  And in high school when I was old enough to drive myself or have someone drive me to church, the teachings I sat under were really all surface stuff, no depth, no meat.  Do people just think teenagers can't handle it? Weren't the disciples young too? And they were the ones that Jesus called, the ones who went after him.

I'm working on a new piece of work, a painting that I've been slaving over for the past three days and I have to say that it has literally brought me to tears.  At one point God was just showing me how many souls are lost forever...I saw their faces, heard their silent yet deafening cries of anguish, painted their anonymous faces, frozen forever in pain and fire rising...and I wept.  I have never cried over my artwork before, I have never felt such a heaviness emanate from something I've made.  It just goes to show what happens when you seek out God's voice and wait for his gentle voice to whisper to you.

Everyday God is breaking my heart again and again, bringing a deeper love for his people.

I feel like the 21 day fast that I took part in at the beginning of the year has really made me sensitive to His Holy Spirit since I constantly seem to be crying now.

Flyleaf - Circle
I was listening to this song in the car and it just made me teary.  This Flyleaf album has really made a huge impact, it is so outspoken about their faith in Jesus Christ.  I just love that they are taking their own talents to a new level, the lyrics and allegory of their songs are amazing.

Work Of Art-Remixed
This is a facebook group challenge that I have been in since August 2010.  Its based loosely on the actual reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist.  I am in the final two and the deadline to submit our final pieces is coming up so check it out.  I will be uploading a photograph of the painting I mentioned above on Feb. 8th.

I leave you with this:

[Psalm 51:17]

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

You can't ignore true reality...

...once you've sen the light.

Last night while speaking with a friend she mentioned that there was a show on TBN about some missionaries who travel around the world.  The show was called Travel the Road, and the particular episode that was playing is from right after the earth quake in Haiti.

It was chaotic, people scavenging for food, things to build shelter out of, people being gunned down in the streets by police men who are supposed to be keeping the peace, buildings on fire, gunshots ringing in the air...I could go on, but I don't think I need to.

I am amazed, simply at the fact that today the biggest news on our minds consists of the latest movie starts outfit at the red carpet or how much money a movie brought in this past weekend, or even the adorable squirrel who surfs on the water! Is this really what we want to know, are we so comfortable that seeing the truth has become obsolete to us?  These two missionaries were right in the thick of it, but I never saw anything like this on ABC, CBS, NBC....where is the truth?  That is why we have to do what God calls us to do, and do it without shame without worry about what others think.

Hebrews 12:1-3

  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We must know that in this world we are strangers and that our true purpose is to bring God glory and show the world the truth of his name sake Jesus Christ.  I know the road seems long and hard, and impossible, but we know that through Christ's strength we are unstoppable.

Be encouraged today in your journey with God and continue to pray for those of us who are out there in the world, bringing the truth to those who are blind.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've called DO IT.

Last night I was sitting in our churches weekly prayer meeting as the worship music started.  I couldn't help myself but to just fall down on my face and weep.  How can so many people in america enter the house of God and not feel his presence? How can so many Christians live life daily knowing what is happening to our brothers and sisters in other countries? Here I am in a nice air-conditioned building where somewhere around the world groups meet in secret under a twinkling black sky to worship, how sweet and wonderful would it be to meet those who worship God under such terms? How faithful their hearts must truly be.

And then I think about my calling, I think about what God has asked me to do and I am fearful.  Thoughts creep into my mind..."What will others say?" "What will your parents think?" "What if they don't agree?" What if? What if? WHAT IF? But then I think: SO WHAT? I want to attend to the bridegroom not the world.

FYI: I am currently reading a book called Let the Nations be Glad!: The Supremacy of God in Missions by John Piper.(linked to a webpage with A LOT of his sermons with notes and MP3's and get this there are even notes that date back to GASP! 1970!)  I am barely on page 60 and I can feel that my passion for this calling has increased a hundredfold. I am just excited by what God is doing in my life, as I have been fasting he has increased my awareness of His presence and my sensitivity to his heart. This passage really touched me this week:

[Acts 21:13-14]
13 Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14 When he would not be dissuaded, we gave up and said, “The Lord’s will be done.”

It just made the calling I have more solid for me and also revealed that I need to be prepared for whatever God has in store for me no matter what and should be glad in doing it. After all the Bible also warns that we will be persecuted and insulted, but we should know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

i am a target, i am not afraid. [Matthew 10:28, Romans 8:35-39], 16" x 20", 2009. (copyright A. Quinn Photography, do not use without permission)

I recently was searching "missionary photography" and "Cambodia" online, I was curious to see if there were others like me that God had lit a fire inside of and I just happened to find this article about Gordon Griffith. A young man about my age who is doing exactly what I want to do, but he has taken it to a level that I have never dreamed.  My heart is encouraged through his images and words in the article. I searched to see if I could find any other information and just happened upon his blog.  Even with only a few entries my heart further burns to do exactly what he is doing. So many factors are coming into play now and I ask God so many questions in this moment: How? When? Am I ready? Do I know enough? Am I strong enough?  That is why until the day God releases me from my current place in life I find that I am craving his word and his still small voice even more than food or entertainment.  He is cleaning me out and I welcome it because it means I am that much closer to doing his will and as my Pastor quoted Jesus last night at prayer meeting I take on these words:

[John 4:34-35]
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

I hope this has encouraged you in some way or at least made you think about the passion you have for your own calling. Also please pray for the work that Gordon Griffith is doing and his fellow missionaries as well.