Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Journey


God always wants to take us on a journey. Each journey looks different. The starting point, departure, terrain, travel, conditions, and arrival of the journey will vary from person to person; but God knowing the past, present, and future of this realm and the next has a final product in mind for His creation and will do what is necessary to get us there. Philippians 1:6, "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

From the being of time, God created us for good. We were meant to bear His image, and in doing so, glorifying Him in harmony with His presence. Then, the Fall took place and created a veil between the harmony that once took place. A new journey started from that point on where God set out to reconcile His creation back to Himself through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.  I want to focus on the journey Jesus took while on this earth, what trials and tribulation he faces, how he overcame them, and how we can apply that to our own lives today.

Scripture tells us that God is carrying out a good work He started in us, until it is completed. This completion will come in the form of perfection, not in this age but in the age to come. God is calling us on a journey to perfection. He is restoring in us what He originally had intended for us to be and do. So the plan of God is to restore our perfection.

What does that mean for me today? My perfection only comes from Jesus Christ. That perfection is revealed through His Word, His Spirit, and His Kingdom. Perfection will never come from what I do, but from what Jesus has already done in His death and resurrection. I find my identity in who He is, what He has done and is doing, and what I have in Him. My life is now a reflection of God here on this earth. I, literally, am ushering in the kingdom of God to this earth with my life. We have much to do here, relationships to form, justice to carry out, spirituality to discover, and beauty to seek out and reveal. We are all on a journey. That journey starts now. That journey starts with me. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What's Occupying Your Space

The Lord delivered such a profound message at church this morning, and I'd really like to bless others who might be following my blog. Donna Crouch preached a message at Hillsong Church this morning on what is occupying our space. The main passage of scripture came from Paul's letter to Philippi in chapter 3 verses 12-14. It reads:
     "Not that I have obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do know: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
The illustration of a camping tent was used to symbolize our lives, and what we allow to fill that tent is what shapes our identities. Some things we choose to let fill our lives is Regret! Paul states that some things are just worth forgetting. Paul's former life as Saul is one past that would be hard to forget. Acts 8-9 recaps Saul's persecution of the New Testament church. Killing others for their faith is something that would be hard to forget, even after receiving a new life in Christ Jesus. But Paul was given a new name, a new identity and he says that he has to forget what lies behind. What are you holding on to, maybe regretting, that is occupying places in your life that need to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
A lot of times, we indulge in regret. We regret our past actions, the do's, and the inactions, the should have done's. I pray over you reading that grace would camp in those indulgences of regret. Replace what you don't have with what God has already given you, and forget what you've done, and replace it with, as verse 14 says, what lies ahead. God is calling you for something great. He does not condemn you, but has forgiven you. Now forgive yourself, and forget, in Christ Jesus!
Lastly, strain towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us how to do that. We must "...lay aside every encumbrance and sin that so easily entangles us, but instead run the race set before us with endurance. Always learn from your experiences. Life is a journey full of opportunities that never ends until our perfect day of completion in Christ Jesus. Take on those opportunities with boldness. I prophesy this over you now, I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying of my hands. For God has not given you a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and sound judgement. Be bold, be powerful, and be disciplined for the gospel of Jesus and the glory of the Father.
I hope this blessed you as it did me. Have a great week and feel free to pass this on as the Spirit leads. For all of you out there with regret, be strong in grace that is in Christ Jesus. Amen!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Australia-Week 2

Surreal! Probably one of the best words to describe my initial experience here. The country here is absolutely breath-taking! I still don't think I have realized that I'm actually in Australia. Some days hit me more than others. These two weeks have been a roller coaster of excitement, fatigue, boredom, and so many other emotions.

The plane ride was for smooth overall, other than a few delays in ATL. I arrived in LA for a 6 or so hour break, where I saw the sights, ate my last American meal, and got prepared for the long haul to down under. The 19 hour flight that proceeded was primarily slept on, but still prolonged. I got into the airport around 7 am Australia time and was met by a current student, John Hosmer, who took me around Sydney and also opened his house to me for the week. Might I add, that the drug dogs attacked my book bag which gave me somewhat of a fright. The fear was then relieved when they pulled out the bag of almond filled trail mix that I had in my bag. This was a customs no-no that I was unaware of. The almonds were cooked, so I was fine. Still not what you want to go through at the butt crack of dawn in a new country.

The week that followed was Hillsong Conference week. The energy and adrenaline curbed my jet-lag throughout most of the conference although I struggled here and there. I had to get up around 5:30 am to catch the bus to the city, which was not so bad since the time difference made me wake up around that time anyways. And I didn't really have time to be tired because the conference was packed full.  It was so amazing to participate in such a Spirit-filled, Jesus focused, Father blessed encounter. The blogs that follow will be primarily from the conference overflow.

After conference was over, I mainly caught up on sleep deprivation. It was much needed and long overdue. The week that followed was somewhat boring, but still good. I got a chance to hang out with other students from college, see the area, eat/drink new things, etc. Most of the days were spent hanging around the house watching movies, which got monotonous at times. The fellowship surrounded was what made it great. The nights that we went out to dinner also gave me the opportunity to job search. I still don't have a job (please pray for that) but I have some leads Father is opening. All the while,  I was just counting the days until college orientation.

July 21st, 2011 is here and so is college orientation. The walk from my house to school (which is within Hillsong Church) is around a 30 minute walk, but I learned today that it is not much fun to do in the rain. I still rejoiced in the day that the Lord had made, with a little help from Jesus Culture playing in my ear buds. Day after day, Father is affirming my calling here. I know this is where my equipping will continue to mature. I am excitied to share with my readers what all Father has to teach and indwell into me for His glory! Tomorrow is registration and enrollment, where I will get my class schedule. Amazing!!! I can not believe I am this excited about school. I wish I had this during Uni. There is just a sense of joy and peace when we do God's will and calling on our lives. My heart is to preach the Gospel to the nations and that is what I am going to learn to do here.

Lastly, I want to thank all of my supporters! Your generosity, faithfulness, and blessings are the reason I am here, and for that I am so grateful! I am hoping this reaches everyone involved in me getting here. If you are reading this, please pass it along to other you know. After reading this, if you feel called to support me financially then there are giving options on the blog homepage. All blessings are needed and much appreciated! As I continue in my classes, I will be passing the knowledge along through my blog. I want to pass my blessing on to those who are blessing me.

God is good, faithful, and His lovingkindness is among the people of His covenant in Christ Jesus. Delight in Him as He pours into your life, so you can pour into others...All for the glory of His name. Be blessed!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reminder of Father's faithfulness

Job 42:2, "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

For those reading this for the first time, know that God has called me to Hillsong College to study pastoral leadership in Castle Hill, Australia. Those who know me, probably see this as a likely move for me, given my nomadic nature. You might not know that this is surpassing my comfort zone daily. I have never contemplated moving to another continent, let alone be called to another one, but Father is preparing me for something great.

As I have said before, the Gospel has changed my life, and now I want to present it to others so that the Gospel will change them! This next step has created this abandonment for Jesus, of which I have never experienced before. You might be asking, 'Blake, where are you going with this?' Well, here it is:

You're reading this for a reason. That reason is that Father wanted you to hear, well read, this. If you have felt called by Father to pursue something out of your comfort zone, then you need to do it. When we, as sons and daughters of the High King, pursue avenues that are impossible in our eyes, as well as the worlds,  but are divinely appointed, then two things happen: a. God performs miracles that He can only perform, and then He receives glory for it, and b. That purpose will not, and can not be thwarted or prevented. Let me provide you with an example.

As I have continued in faith towards my calling to bible college, my Father has provided ever need I have had. I have not once been in need for anything. People are stepping up and supporting me, my plane tickets are taken care of, and this Holy Spirit peace has overcome me. Proverbs says that "the fear of man is a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted." Do not let the enemy trap you with the snare of fear. Trust in the Lord, and He will exalt you! Please be praying this over me as the Spirit puts it on your heart.

Take this as your sign and wonder. God has a purpose for you and He loves you! He desires to know you more and more. He wants to take care of you. He sent His Son for you...now let Him in and let Him work. Whatever He is calling you to, follow it! Pick up your nets and follow Him! Glory to the Father forever and ever!

Let this be encouragement to my brothers and sisters! God has been faithful to me, even when I remain unfaithful at times. Remind God of His faithfulness. Let that be your prayer this week. Father loves being reminded of His promises. My prayer for those reading this is that we would receive Peter-like faith, walking on water faith!  I hope this truth and prophesy has impacted you as it has me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Quick Update

Hey friends,

Everyone be on the lookout for a letter heading your way. I wanted to inform those outside of the cyber world about my trip to Hillsong International Leadership College.  The letter will give more details about the extent of my schooling.
This post goes out to those in the Facebook world. If you would like to receive information about my trip, please send me a message with your address. I would love to mail a letter out to you! Letters are going out this week, so if you do not receive on next week, please send me your address.
In recent news, I have sent in my Offer of Place Letter which seals my place in the school. Also, within the next week, I will be applying for my student visa. Please lift me up in prayer! I'm still in need of finances as well as a student visa. Proverbs tells us to, "commit our works to the Lord and He will establish our plans," and I will remain steadfast and faithful in that proclamation. God is so faithful, even through our unfaithfulness. He is in control!
Thanks for your interest and prayers! God bless.

Blake

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Call to Hillsong International Leadership College


As you know, I am still pursuing God's calling on my life to spread the good news of Jesus to the world.  The Lord has led me on a journey to the Charleston area, where I served in the student ministry at Summerville Baptist Church.  During that time, I had been praying through ministry training schools nationally and internationally.  It was during that time that I felt God calling me to Hillsong International Leadership College (HILC).  HILC is a bible college located in Sydney, Australia.  The school has branched from Hillsong Church which is one of the fastest growing churches in the Australia area as well as internationally.  (HILC) exists to train Christian leaders for ministry in every sphere of the church and community life. The College operates in a symbiotic relationship with Hillsong Church, which provides a wide and diverse number of resources and opportunities for the theoretical and practical aspects of College's educational processes. The College operates as part of the ministry of Hillsong Church, and thus works to further the vision and mission of the Church, which is to reach and influence the world by building a large, Bible-based church, changing mindsets, and empowering people to lead and impact in every sphere of life. I plan to do just that, not only with myself but with others around me. Thank you all for your prayers and support.