two thousand and fifteen and stuff.

im not too sure if i was suppose to make a post in the beginning of the year or not. so I'm going to do that right about...meow.

dudes. two thousand and fourteen was such a blur to me. i honestly do not know what happened or who all i have met. all i know is that i was busy with work and just wasn't living it the way i wanted. i traveled a lot to huntsville to see my girlfriend at the time, and well..that was it. my niece was growing up and i got to see her every single day and tried to make her love me. lol.

i mean all that was cool and stuff but i was lacking my relationship with God. i struggled to stay focus on him and his word. i wore a mask in front of everyone. and needless to say..it wasn't that great of a year but its cool.

#newyearnewme

its twenty fifteen ya'll. seriously i am super excited for this year. it started off pretty solid with travels to chicago and lots of pizza and donuts. while being up there i got this crazy feeling to just move up to chicago. but who knows maybe i will ;] this year i vowed to myself that i would travel a lot more and focus on getting every state under my belt. i want to go EVERYWHERE. here are some places i have in mind.

1)  chicago 2) seattle 3) portland 4) austin 5) new york 6) los angeles

a lot of places i know, but hey a man can dream.

I'm just trying to figure myself out this year man. like work is cool and what not but i sure don't want to do this my whole life. ha. but whatever God throws at me I'm going to accept it and keep going with it. 'I'm whit it'

one thing that i am super super excited about is finding myself in my art. videography and photography to be exact. recently i did an engagement video for my friend's megan and noah and i feel like it turned out alright! so I'm going to venture out and get a little bit more comfortable with that. also i get to shoot a model in march so thats cool and something I've never did before. i mean yeah i guess.

anyway i have no point to this blog. i just wanted to talk about life and i just kinda did it. I'm sitting at The Well Coffeehouse taking up a three person table cause all the other tables are pretty much full. and its MLK day so i am grateful i get to sit in this coffee shop with out segregation and judgement. also I'm trying to take a cool instagram picture without getting caught. yeah this sums up my life right now.

talk to you later my peeps.

INVEST IN PLACES & PEOPLE THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY.

DSC_8441Spending time around those who you look up to or places that you enjoy will only open more doors to finding a purpose. The old saying, "You are who you surround yourself with" holds true to both of these because they bring out what you're good at. Whether it's living a healthy lifestyle by working out, or cooking because it's soothing, or being outdoors because you love nature, all have opportunities where you could invest energy into that might lead to a deeper purpose. Just a random thought i had while figuring out what my purpose in life is. lol.

it ain't easy when a heart breaks

listen to this song:http://youtu.be/oHCrFA2X26I

What does this song truly mean? How is it applied to my life? The more I searched for answers in the depth of these lyrics, the more I fell in love with God. Here is what I found God lead me to:

In this song, Ben Rector is talking about facing trials. You know, the kind of trials that leave a devastating impact on your life. When you wake up and find out horrible news; when your life is flipped upside down from one phone call; when your heart shatters, and you’re left with nothing to do but to pick up the pieces. In those moments, when we have nothing left and fall to our knees–that’s when we look for Jesus because God is the only person who can provide comfort. In fact, a friend once said that he prays for people to have their “boil moment”. God is usually the last resort for people because it’s not until a heartbreak strikes that people need Jesus.

Most people only look to God in times of trouble. Despite our misuse of God’s love, He still comes through and shows us grace and mercy, “the confusion and the doubts you had up and walk away, they walk away.”. This is what brings me in awe of Jesus. Too many times we keep Him nailed to the cross out of convenience or shame or whatever else that hinders us from reaching out to Him, but when it’s our time to carry our burdens Jesus doesn’t nail us to them. He doesn’t look at us in spite. He doesn’t bind us to our heartbreak. What amazes me is instead Jesus walks over to us, helps us carry the cross of our burdens, and loves us.

What Does it Really Mean to “Guard Your Heart”?

It has been a challenging week of just craziness, but I've been digging deep and was reminded of something today. And I want to share it with you guys.. I keep coming back to the same verse: “… and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”. There’s so much meat in this verse, but today, I want to talk about a particular piece – “guard your heart”.

It seems to me, the best way to protect ourselves in this world, in relationships, jobs, dreams, whatever, is to keep our expectations in check. We’re told to “guard our hearts”. But are we perceiving this in a scripturally accurate fashion?

There are two verses people often quote with regard to guarding one’s heart. The first is Proverbs 4:23. In the NIV it reads “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life”. The King James and the NASB, however, choose a slightly different word than “guard”. NASB says “watch” and KJV says “keep”. And we must remember that in the Hebrew, “heart” actually means far more than the seat of our emotions. It’s our mind, our soul, our inclinations, etc. When we consider this, and look at the verse in context, it’s not telling us to guard, in the sense of how we might use this word in modern English. It’s not to tell us to clamp down, be closed off, walled apart… it’s just telling us to be wise. Solomon is imparting wisdom to his son and is telling him to remember his words, embed them in his heart and try to keep himself from going astray. It means that we should pursue the truth of scripture, such as that God loves us, is trustworthy, and is for our good, so we make wise decisions. I don’t believe it means we’re to tense up in self-protection.

If we only consider this first verse, we may be inclined to actually forget the truth of God’s ways, his sovereignty, and his love, and take too much into our own hands. We’ll try to desperately control our environment, and every thought and emotion, thinking we’re doing the right thing. We are told to take every thought captive, but here’s where that, in excess, falls apart and ceases to be of God… How much angst and stress are you putting into trying to figure out how to guard your heart? How crazy are you making yourself trying to figure out what to do and not do, so that you won’t get disappointed or disappoint someone else? That is not God’s will for you. God wants you to trust him, be in the moment, and seek his wisdom and guidance ALONG the way… not build a fortress around you so you can’t experience anything! Do you realize that if you guard your heart too much… you may actually miss what God has for you? You may entirely sideline his will and plan because you’re too busy protecting yourself. We need to learn to be ok with uncertainty and just go with it, maybe even open our hearts up a little, remembering that God is good no matter which way things go.

This is where we bring in the second verse. Philippians 4:6-7… reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” This is a little different than in the first verse and they have to be taken together. Here, it is God’s peace that guards your heart. It is a work of God… not a work of you. God doesn’t want us to live in anxiety and worry. And uncertainty sure causes this, doesn’t it? But instead, God wants us to lay our requests at his feet, thank him for who he is and what he’s already done… and leave it at that, knowing he’ll continue to be good in the future. We don’t pick it up again. We let the peace of laying it down, guard our hearts. This submission is based on that constant insistence that God loves us and is for our good. I’ll say it 1000 times, because it IS the most important thing for us to EVER understand. God loves us with an unmeasurable love. God loves us so much in fact, that we may not get our way, because he knows better. He will do what is for our good. Pray this deeply into your heart. Confess and release all your fears that are keeping you from this truth in the wholeness of your life. That is where you’ll find peace and how your heart will be guarded in a way that you can experience all God has for you, in wisdom, joy, and grace.

You see… the enemy wants us to miss out on all the good things God has by getting us to worry and doubt. Some times we need to sit in uncertainty when we want to RUN!!!! But if we run, we will miss God. We will miss what he wants to show us in the situation, things he wants to teach us, ways he wants to bless us, and ways he wants to use us to bless others. God just wants us to believe him and go with it. He wants us to have the freedom to experience what he has for us without fear. That may mean living in a lot of uncertainty, but don’t wall yourself up to avoid getting hurt. Just be at peace, let God be God, and take it all one day at a time.

Where might you be wrestling with expectations today? Is it a struggle at work? A living situation? A family situation? A relationship that you just don’t know which way it’s going to go? Release it. It’s going to work out exactly as God has planned and it WILL be good, any which way. Just enjoy today. Enjoy God. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the uncertainty with great expectations of what God will do through it. Submit to trusting God, ask him for discernment in wise actions, and leave the rest to him. Remember, his ways our not our ways, so we probably won’t be able to figure it out anyway.

Pray that I just give it all to Him but just don't stop there. Pray for the poor and powerless. The missionaries who are fulfilling his will.

Thank you guys for reading.

He is slow to anger and rich in love

This morning I didn't wake up a happy camper. I drove to work and clocked in and ignore anyone and everyone that came up to me. I was the guy that no one wanted to talk to this morning. why? because what upset me made me become angry with my co-workers. I was just upset.. How does this affect my Christian faith? Badly. I will tell you that now. Throughout the Bible is says that the Lord is slow to anger and abounding in love (Exodus 34:6, Psalm 86:15, Psalm 103:8 and lots more), so how can I be an effective Christian if I am not looking at the Lord's example but letting my flesh take over.

I am not saying I must never get angry - but there is a difference between righteous anger and sinful anger.

Had a breakthrough this afternoon. Things which make me angry - I shouldn't be a part of! Wow - simple! If it is going to affect my Christian faith, I am not putting God above all else. If I am letting anger come between my relationship with the Lord, then I must examine myself.

Thank God He is slow to anger and abounding in love. Next time I get angry, I am going to think of all the times the Lord could have destroyed me because He was so angry at me (which is in His right), but instead, He forgave me because He loves me so much.

disclaimer: if you are upset with someone tell them. relax. take a break. vent. forget and forgive. show love.

namaste

faith and not by sight.

I used to think that the most difficult decision I would have to make would be to decide on a college and a major, or perhaps what shoes I would be wearing today (haha), not paying any thought to the black fog that would be mysterious life.
 
Over the past year, my prayer life has strongly revolved around two key points: (1) That God would strategically place me where He wants me to be, especially in terms of school and job(s), and (2) Exodus 33:15, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring [me] up from here.” 
 
A.W. Tozer wrote, “Outside the will of God, there’s nothing I want. Inside the will of God, there’s nothing I fear.”  This has been a vital anthem to my spirit in this season of figuring out life as something other than a student.  It has so much to do with trust- trusting that the choices and places God calls me to are for His glory and my good, even when those choices and people and places don’t glitter and glow.  It’s easy to make decisions in our flesh about what choices seem right, seem good, seem logical.  But so often, God calls us to choose paths that are seemingly crazy to the logical mind. Build an ark. Find a way through the sea.  Take two years off. Take the job with the pay cut. Live in this neighborhood, or this city, or this country.
 
Because here’s the thing- at His core, God delights in turning ashes to beauty, turning the Valleys of Achor in our lives into Doors of Hope (read: Hosea 2:15).  He is enamored by opportunities to transform, to make whole, to make new.  How often do we own that same perspective? I know I often struggle to maintain it.  Looking at my piling bills, the traffic, the slow progress, etc- sometimes I forget to see beneath the dirt and malaise of day to day life to see the glimmer of change, the consistent, quiet breath of the Holy Spirit dancing about me, waiting oh so patiently for my attention, my full, undivided attention.
 
I have no clue who I’m writing this for (beyond God, obviously), but I know that I for one have felt the tension lately of the many opportunities and decisions that await at my doorstep, and I’ve felt the stirring of the Spirit over areas and opportunities that seem lackluster to the bare eye. So for those of you feeling like God has for some reason taken you into “boring” territory, or “dry” seasons, this is my battlecry along with you- look again. Look again, with your eyes on Him.  Sing out to the dry bones, to take life and arise. Because the beauty of grace and faith is not merely that we’re forgiven, but that we’re invited to participate in the act of redemption, in stewarding this supernatural gift of making things new, and whole, and full of His glory.
 
Press in for the full measure. And know that, at any moment, you lack NOTHING; the Father of lights gives good gifts, and you have to know and believe that any relationship or resource not currently in your life is for your best. If He is constantly fighting for our wholeness, we have to believe that this alone is His motivation behind His every choice to give and to take away. He’s an amazing Father of unfailing lovingkindness.

"And he said to Him, 'If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?'" Exodus 33:15-16

waiting for a sign.

Numbers 9: 15-23 "whenever the cloud ascended from the tent, the israelites would march. and the Israelites would camp wherever the cloud settled. " - Numbers 9:17

so often, life feels like a little more than a series of decisions: should i stay in school? should i find a job? should i change my major? do i need to find a spouse? so often, we look to God for some kind of clear answer telling us just what to do.

about a year ago i was given the opportunity to go back to haiti for the second time. I struggled with the decision to go because of funds and because of where my heart was.

now, one major thing you need for a mission trip is funds. for this trip i sent out a series of support letters and talked to numerous people to raise funds. eventually after sending x amount of letters funds came in. half was donations and half was what i worked for.

as i counted the funds to see if i had enough for my trip, it reminded me that God will provide and when He does and gives things for a purpose. I reviewed all the pros and cons and finally made a choice. i even left my job at the time because i felt God was leading me very clearly.

while wandering through the wilderness, the people of Israel knew when to move and when to stay put because God gave them a sign: if the cloud that covered the tabernacle stayed put, they were to do likewise; when the cloud moved, they were to move. In my situation I felt that the "cloud" had moved and that I should go to haiti.

but we don't always get a clear sign from God. there have been many times when I have prayed, sought the advice of friends and family, and waited for God to point us in the right direction, only to get ... nothing. for example, when I was trying to decide whether I should quit my job, i agonized for months and days with no sense of what God wanted me to do. where was our sign?

the truth is, God doesnt always move the clouds to show us which way to go. instead, God asks us to be faithful, to make choices with our lives that honor him. He asks us to get our priorities in order, to turn away from worldly standards of success and achievement and to bend our will to that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. and as we follow his example, walking in his ways, we begin to think more like him. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: " Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

we will make our share of mistakes in life decisions. at times, we will undoubtedly go when we should stay and stay when we should go. but the promise that God gives us is that no matter where we go - to a new state, haiti, to a new job, to a new stage of family life - our God goes with us.

- Simon Souksanh

I am never good at blogs.

I have had a wordpress for about two years and only written a handful of blogs. Let's be honest, the probably all suck. Anyway... I want to start writing again and try to do it as much as I can. So why not start tonight. Over the past two years a lot of things have happened. To name a few:

- death of my grandmother. - new friends. - new church. - moved. - new relationships. - new job.

that's just a few. Luckily with all of that going on and all the bumps I have encountered..God has always been there for me.

this is just an update! I'll figure out something to write later. Ha!

Day 2 of Haiti: Your Presence

Another day in the great country of Haiti I may say. As most of us finally got up, we started off with breakfast. French toast and bacon was on the menu, and was quite fulfilling too! As we all know today was a Sunday (just incase) and it's always time for church. Well today we went to an english speaking church for a morning service. I expected this church to be a little run down and not built fully, but man was I wrong! This church was built amazingly and filled with people waiting to hear the sermon. It really amazes me how different and fast Haiti has grown. They went from a country that was torn and devastated by an earthquake, to a country that has become even more beautiful to me. The service was good, just like any other normal American service.... you know what... im going to stop here. lol Just listen to this...this is how God is speaking to me about Haiti and how basically the Haiti people feel. They accept the Holy Spirit and they welcome it! They sing and praise him ALL DAY LONG, even at this moment (11:42pm).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmUYDU-2DY&w=420&h=315]

Day 1 of Haiti: Depature to.

Today we start our journey towards Haiti! After about of day of craziness and trying to rearrange our flights we finally got a flight this morning. And I just want to thank God for that! As we were on our flight and preparing to take off in Miami, I pondered to myself about how crazy that all these people could fly in one aircraft. And then just looking at the sunrise made me appreciate,and love even more, Gods creation. My expectations for this trip is unknown to be honest. I mean don't be me wrong I want to make an impact but there is just so many opportunities down there. But I do hope that in some way God shines his light through us and impact the country of Haiti. This intro blog is short and simple. I'll save the good stuff for later! Continue to pray for us!

- Megan - Austin - John - Morgan - Dora - Haley

Time to get fit..again?

So a couple months back I had decided to do P90x and workout, but I totally bailed on it! This time I have motivation! In a couple weeks, hopefully, I will be getting a chance to shoot with my friend Minnie again! And the in September I will be in my uncle's wedding! I'm up for running and lifting but sometimes I become lazy and it sucks! I am hoping that these events will keep me motivated and determined to get the body that I want. And I also will try to keep updates on my progress!

There are times when I really need You

God... my heart needs your healing. I am a broken man not knowing where to go. You put me through this season I do not know. I pray for forgiveness for any sin I have committed. My hope is in you! You carried me through this emotional phase and I'm ready to leap out of it. I've come to realize that you are all I need. Father I've missed you! I've missed the love I had with you, I just miss you! I pray that you keep me well and focused. Let me not fall!

update.

Let me just start off my saying, God is really awesome! These last few days have been good to me. Saturday night I got my second tattoo and had dinner with a friend. Buy the down side to that night was that I had to work forever! Ha, but anyways..on sunday I went to my old church because my dad was here! It was pretty great to see him and stuff. Then I had dinner again with a friend at panera and went to target. Which I'm glad we did. But life in general is beginning to look bright and up! Losing the body fat in a weird miraculous way, I just feel healthier really! I'm excited for my trip to Haiti in the winter. And excited that I get to see my friends from college! I just pray that God keeps me focused through it all!!

Proverbs 31 Woman

Hymn to a Good Wife

 10-31 A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: "Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!" Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises!Proverbs 31:10-31 The Message (MSG)I want to be able to find a woman as described. Someone I can lead! I just got to know that it's on God's time. Girls will come and go, but if and when i do have myself a Proverbs 31 woman, I will lead her!

anyway...

It's gonna be wild, It's gonna be great, It's gonna be full of Me !

     Lately, life has been a bit of a roller coaster. Not one of those loopy ups and downs at every corner kind of roller coaster, just a kid's version. Let me start off by saying I am grateful for everything God has blessed me with at this moment. No. 1 being this life I am living! I thank Him so much because I could have honestly died a month and a half ago. Luckily I was under His protection that night! No. 2 being my family and friends! I love them dearly, I really do. But lately I have been having a rough season. Some part of it was good and some was just...a lot to handle really. It's not even half way through two months of 2012 and my family has been in and out of the hospital at least 12 times already. Its tough I tell you, waiting in that ER to know if your kin is okay or not. Yet I still have hope that He will pull through for me, and He eventually does. I quit my recent job at the cell phone store, which was a good decision because the environment wasn't what I needed. I am blessed to have got another job so quickly, but I know this will test me too. I am honestly not looking forward to 12 hours of work for 6 days a week. But I can manage!Besides the family and work, my person self being (if you even want to call it that) has been a little bit tough. I know I was recently drifting away from God, and I am working on that as we speak! I know that with Him NOTHING is impossible! So I want to continue to keep striving to better myself for Him, and try to become a better man of God! He gives and He takes away, and when He does take away I want to be able to just let go and just let God. Even though this may not be my season, I hope that the next one will be greater! There is so many things and people that I miss and want. But I know I need to focus on something greater than those things and people. Ahhh...I don't even know at this moment. ha.

If you read this...I would love for you to pray for me!

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11 

I love this song! [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6E87xBSCeY&w=420&h=315]