“What you do with your life doesn’t matter at all. You can’t make a difference in the world. You can’t do anything on your own power. Now if you add God to that, the scenario changes. What you do with your life does matter, you can make a difference in the world, and you can do anything through Christ who strengthens you.” – Caleb Brasher
The truth will set you free. God can use a misunderstanding to get you to finally give up stuff that had nothing to do with it. He has done that today.
funny how God works lol I’ll never understand him!
There are many phases in our lives, and while they aren’t obvious to the naked eye we know in our hearts when they begin and end. There are many different things you can go on to talk about concerning phases in life, but I’m going to take a path less traveled. Something people tend to ignore is how to use the difficult phases in life to let God mold you more into his own image. It is so frustrating how modern-day Christians treat these tough times in life, especially when they speak to one another. They don’t really ask what is going on and they toss in iconic phrases like “God is giving you this to make you closer to him” or “This is just temporary, God has better plans for you.” While these phases aren’t wrong, that shouldn’t be the only thing we say to comfort others in their troubles. I think we’re missing a key point. That point is simply this- we are supposed to help each other through our trials as brothers and sisters in Christ. In today’s church, there is a mental block to really caring and actually asking about how somebody is REALLY doing. People just toss out phrases so that they feel like they’ve done something to help. This behavior is not what God wants for his church. With all that being said, I think my generation is turning the corner and jumping over the hurdles that keep us from sharing our trials with one another.
Thankfully, God has blessed me with a few close friends and a solid net of people that truly care about my life. I have friends that I help with in their struggles and am always there to help my friends. I also see a similar movement among a lot of my friends; especially in my high school youth group WTPF (Worship, Teaching, Prayer and Fellowship). The whole movement started when a solid contingent of people from WTPF took a weeklong missions trip to ToppenishWA this summer. I’m planning to have a post about everything that happened that week but that would be SUPER long so whenever I have a big gap between posts you’ll know what I’m doing 🙂 ok, I got sidetracked lol anyways… we learned so much there. We learned the power of prayer, and that we can make a difference in the world no matter how young we are or what our situation is. Personally, the trip jolted me to life and I wouldn’t be even CLOSE to where I am now with God without the impact of that week. It was a life-changer for me. It taught everyone that we needed to band together as Christians, carry each other’s loads and bear each other’s burdens. It was an incredible week, but I know I and a few other people were wondering if it would last into the school year…
Well, school started. It seems like an eternity ago haha, but we all got into our routines and began to eagerly studying our enthralling school subjects. Just kidding 😉 everyone reluctantly dug in for another year of school. At first, I didn’t see anything happening amongst this group of individuals, and I thought all my prayers during the summer had failed. Then we met as a group for the first time and God really opened up my eyes to what was going on through the individuals. He showed me that my definition of successfully keeping what we had learned on that trip was incorrect, and that the stuff that happens beneath the surface that not many people see is the most important! I think what God has done in all these people plus the joy and boldness in Christ that some of the freshman have brought to the group has been awesome! We’ve only had three meetings as a group but God has given us additional opportunities to serve the homeless, and the best one was when some of us went on a spiritual treasure hunt. Basically what happens is you really just pray to God to give you knowledge about a person. Like where to meet them, what clothes they’ll be wearing, what’s wrong with them etc. You just sit and pray for God to tell whatever he wants. So when you’re done you can look at your list 🙂 and then proceed to do it. I and two other friends walked together around the mall and Wal-Mart. We were kinda nervous, but we didn’t run into anybody on our list. The only thing God told me was to pray for the employees at JC Penney. No idea why, but nearly everyday I have been praying for them. I think God was just happy with us being willing to actually go out there and do it. This and all the other experiences the group has given have been legit, but what about me individually?
For me though, the last six months have been an absolutely wild ride. The last few months of my life have honestly been the best months of my young life (for those of you young’uns who call me the old man 😉 because of what God has done in my life. Because of Toppenish and the chain reaction that has followed that event God has changed me so much, and he has just put me on fire for him. I have realized that I live to bring him glory and praise through everything I do. Whether I’m doing school, soccer, hanging with friends… whatever I do I have learned to approach it with an eye for the eternal. I think to myself, “God what do you want me to do in this situation?” I do know God wants me to give my full effort in every single second and every single event in this breathtaking life he has blessed me with. That is a message he wants me to spread. That’s why I talk about it in just about every single blog I write lol if you were wondering! He’s just given me a few incredible friendships that I NEVER saw coming! He’s drawn me closer in friendships that I’ve already had for awhile and more growth has come out of those the last few months than the whole time I’ve known them. I’ve known most of these people at least four years and I’ve just gotten to know them so much better spiritually in the last little while it is amazing 🙂 I just have banded together with these friends and for the first time really shared my troubles. Anybody who has known me for awhile knows I tend to be quiet about my problems. I just haven’t really felt like telling other people what problems I’m having because I am inclined to think that people will judge me for my problems. I’ve learned that my close friends won’t judge me unless I really need it lol and that I honestly can talk about my troubles with them. They won’t tell anyone else and they help me so much. Thanks to you guys 🙂 God has just changed my life and I can’t believe where I am now compared to where I was. He is just incredible!
It is so hard for people to share trials with one another for so many different reasons. You feel embarrassed, think people won’t care, afraid of ruining your “perfect person” etc. Don’t be afraid. It’s when you share your troubles with brothers and sisters in Christ is when you get closer to God. WTPF and my friends have done such a great job doing that! He will continue to mold you into his own image 🙂
P.S. I owe you one
and also to let people know I got a 28 on my ACT that I took the day of my state semifinal, which was what I needed! I improved from a 22 in English to a 30 in English (anytime you break 30 in something you’re a genius 😉 plus I got another 32 in Reading. Just wanted to let the people who prayed for it ever so long ago that it was a success!
How is perseverance defined? Perseverance is defined by not only what you are willing to do to endure a test, but how far you are willing to go to attempt to solve the problem and how you come out at the end of that trial. There is a distinct difference in the two approaches to solving a problem. There is the nonchalant approach, which consists of mostly doing nothing, and the person just hopes the problem solves itself and/or disappears by itself. Conversely, there is the problem-solving approach where the person does the most they can to solve the problem and uses critical thinking to reach a point where they can then classify it as not a problem. It is fairly apparent the latter of these approaches is the one that is most successful; however, I’m going to take a quick voyage through the first method to explain why it is a bad one to use. Then I will take you on a journey via the second approach and see how that benefits the people who use it.
The problems with the nonchalant approach are beyond the number of fat cows in a lush green pasture (that metaphor was for Fat Cow if he reads these haha. If not, he’s now been honored in my blog and should start reading it). First of all, if you follow this procedure you will never be in control of the situation or be one of the people who have a say in the outcome. I’m not saying that in order to succeed you must be in control of a situation, but it certainly helps to be at the head of one sometimes. If you are never part of the group attempting to resurrect a situation by finding a solid solution for it, then there is a pretty good chance you will never get what you want and/or get a feasible solution. At best, the problems of your life will be hit-and-miss, 50-50 etc. Sadly, that is how most people live their life. That is why America is decomposing right before our very eyes. People aren’t willing to persevere through their problems and they don’t care about them. Therefore, their morals, beliefs, ideas etc. are all sliced down with ease because the people aren’t willing to cling on to who they truly are and allow their problems to change who they are. That is a complete absence of perseverance and without perseverance you’re only gonna fail 😦 Now that we see why this method is not the correct one to use, we can skedaddle over to the proper technique!
When you throw everything you have into solving a problem and endure all the stuff that comes along with it, you have just demonstrated perseverance. There is not much more you can do when a problem comes your way besides praying, using that to form a way to solve the crisis and throwing the whole kitchen against what is up against you. An example of this was a soccer game me and my team had in the group stage of last year’s state cup. We had just come off a 4-1 defeat of the minnows of the group and had to face a team that was not as skilled as we were. The first half was absolutely horrible, to put it MILDLY. We had one of our best players not show up; another one got lost and got there right at halftime, and the rest of us just played like crap. One of the worst halves we ever played as a team, but we managed to keep the score down to 3-0. As we were walking off the field the referee said halftime boys, but I heard one of their players talk to another one and say isn’t the game over already? A few other teammates heard it as well, and that really made us upset like no other. Now we coulda folded, believed what their player said, and pretty much have given up on the game. However, my team has been one to give their all and we decided to persevere through this trial. It seemed undoable, but we all knew that if we stuck with our guns and tried as hard as we could we would have nothing to be ashamed of. It took awhile, but we finally scored halfway through the first half to make it 3-1. Five minutes later, with a quarter of a game left, we scored again to make it 3-2. At this point, we had to go down to three men in the back, with me as the only center back. We had all our players up, desperately trying to get a result that would give us a good chance of advancing regardless of the result of our next and last game. My old center back partner, Senol, rose to occasion on a corner kick with three minutes left and buried a ball that had been bouncing around the box into the goal. We were jacked up and that goal eventually ended up being the goal on tiebreakers that eventually got us into the state cup quarterfinals. Plus after the game we were mocking the other team’s player amongst ourselves, and for the rest of the tournament that was the top thing we did lol. I’ll always remember the specifics of that second half as long as I live 🙂 The point of that lengthy metaphor was to show a success that came from perseverance. The players on my team didn’t just give up and say we’d fight another day, we said we would fight to the death… and we did!
How you come out at the end of a trial is important as well. Continuing with the soccer example, whenever we were losing in game after that state cup game, we always believed we could win. We knew that whether we were losing by 2 or 1 we had the skill to comeback. Whenever you make it out of a trial, you need to look back in your rearview mirror and say what did God want me to learn out of this? Why was I given this trial by him, and also, did I handle it properly? God gives us trials to grow and get closer to him. I am going through a trial right now and while I can’t say it has been enjoyable, I can say this- I had been ignoring a problem for far too long, and God said hey, you need to solve this. At first I whined, said it wasn’t my problem and etc. but God told me I needed to clean up certain parts of my act. He showed me stuff I was locked into that I hadn’t even realized I was doing. Now, I’m starting to improve and while the situation hasn’t changed that much yet, I know I have changed a little for the better. That’s what God does, he just improves us little by little by little because he knows every part of us down to the deepest part of our soul and he’ll continue to help us get closer and closer to him until the day we die 🙂 It’s just up to us to persevere on toward what he wants us to find!
P.S. Verse(s) of the day, I absolutely love these! “I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your law. I hold fast to your statutes, O Lord; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.” Psalm 119:30-32 🙂
P.S. If you read this entire post all the previous IOU’s that I owe you are now cancelled. I now only owe you one for this post haha
I just wanted to interject a quick blog that’s different than most of mine. At my end of the year soccer party, our coach wrote each player’s name on the top of one paper and we all said our favorite things about that player. I feel so blessed by what people wrote on my paper and I just wanted to share it. NOT to boast lol, but since most of you haven’t been able to see me play soccer I thought you would like to see what my teammates said about me. The last one made me really happy 🙂 Here we go…
“It’s been awesome to play side by side with you this season.”
“Fantastic job in the back and up front! You know how to get to the ball first and foremost.”
“I was always glad to have you as the last man back.”
“Caleb, you were one of the most solid defenders.”
“You are one of our most epic defenders, glad to have your headers!”
“You’re an awesome player and your headers saved the day!”
“You’re honestly THE BEST soccer teammate, buddy, etc. I’ve ever had! Your skills as a center back are amazing and yet you can still score awesome headers off corners! Good luck with Puyallup HS soccer, and we should hang out more.”
“Caleb, I always thought you were the real captain! I’m going to miss you after indoor! See you around.”
“You always have a good attitude, even when everybody is getting down on themselves. You are the epitome of a good leader; you lead by example, and you were an invaluable member of this team.”
“Caleb I really loved having you on the team. You are a great soccer player and a friend. It was amazing having another Christian on the team. I’m excited to see what God has in store for us. Maybe it will end up as us being roommates or something! We need to stay in touch.”
“Hey Caleb, If I had had to describe you with one word, that word would be epic. You are so righteous.”
“You’re a really good player; you saved us a lot this year. It was nice playing with you through the years.”
“You are a great player and person. Your head is always in the game and your defense is stellar. Great job.”
“You’re a great team player. I also always respected how you control yourself and never swear.”
It’s the Christmas season!!!! I may not look like it but I really do take pleasure in the whole season, and usually I take a fleeting second to think about the whole Christmas story. This year is different. I’ve been thinking hard, and the whole Christmas story still amazes and honestly enthralls me. Only God could’ve brought so many different elements of the story together, no one else was capable of doing that. It is still incredible God gave us Jesus, but it is even more fascinating that Jesus came of his own free will. We humans had made a jumble out of God’s plan, and we were all due to die and fall short of the glory of God. Jesus didn’t have to come down and save us but he did. Jesus could’ve asked God to destroy all the humans on the earth and start over again; however, he loved all of us so much that he decided to tolerate everything that he knew was coming down the pipe, and just gave himself up. He even decided to come as a baby. That would be FRUSTRATING. Imagine (it is winter break, imagining should come easy lol) you control the whole world and then suddenly you’re a baby. I’m pretty sure Jesus came to his Father for comfort so many times the first few years because he felt so hampered. Jesus was very stressed- he had the temptations of this world, he couldn’t really physically do anything etc. and I know God comforted him like a true father every time Jesus ran to him 🙂 That just makes me tingle, it sounds so beautiful! That means whenever I have something really stressful, I need to run to God and pray to him about it because God is the only one who can really help me. I shouldn’t just try to resolve my problems myself because even Jesus, who was the only perfect man to walk this earth, needed God’s help to flourish in this world. I love Christmas time 🙂
The most important thing though, is that no one should waste a second of their life. Christmas reminds me of that because people are so busy, cram a bunch of stuff in small spaces of time and because of that sometimes they forget to have fun. What really annoys me if when people just treat Christmas like it doesn’t matter. Especially when they just take Jesus being born as a baby for granted and that is simply absurd that anyone would take that as for granted. Jesus was the most pristine gift that God could’ve given us, he gave his OWN SON. I understand there is a lot to do over Christmas, but if you lose the touch of a joyful season then you really lose the whole point of the holiday. God took the first step to conquering Satan’s grip on the world and there is NOTHING more important than that except when God took the last step to unroll Satan’s fingers from all the people on earth. One metaphor to the joy of Christmas is to kids in the Special Olympics. For those who don’t know, I have volunteer-reffed soccer for the Special Olympics at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. When these kids come to play soccer, they are simply giddy. They want to play so bad and the joy they have in playing is so admirable. That’s where my mantra of play every game like it is your last came from. A lot of these kids never get to play soccer except a few weekends a year and they showed up ready to go. I have just taken that and run (literally lol). When I play soccer I play as hard as I can and have fun because I never know when it could get taken away. Especially now that my team played our last game, I have realized that chapter of my life is gone forever 😦 but I know that I fully enjoyed it as much as I possibly could. The point of that whole long metaphor was to prove that we should have even more joy for Christmas because God WILL NEVER take away his gift of Jesus Christ. We should bask in God’s glory and celebrate his wonderful gift because it isn’t something that can be taken away. God gave us another wonderful gift, life, so we can enjoy it to the full and make the most of every opportunity that he gives us. I always talk like this, but even I was feeling it the last few days. I was upset with the way certain relationships were going, I was feeling a little overwhelmed, and I could see where and why God was taking me in a certain direction; however, I really wanted to skip the whole trial that I’m in and get it to an end. I was praying that a lot this morning to God, I was like why should I have to go through this stuff that I never started? Why should I have to battle through all this junk that is thrown on me by others? That’s when he told me that it was only there to make me stronger. I and no one else is a perfect creation (definitely not me lol) and we all need things to help us grow. Plus he said follow your own statement that you repeat to me everyday when you wake up and go to bed you knucklehead (never say God doesn’t have a sense of humor because he does. Knucklehead was his exact word haha). When I wake up- “God, thank you for giving me another day to live that I don’t deserve and help me enjoy life to the full today and make the most of all the opportunities I am given.” When I go to sleep- “God, thank you for giving me this day to live that I STILL don’t deserve and thank you for the awesome things that happened today and help me to have accomplished what you wanted me to do today.” I wasn’t happy about being called a knucklehead but I guess that’s how God chooses to pick on his favorites 😉 Seriously though, he just made me realize that the last few days I hadn’t been truly following the very words that I have started and ended my day with for the last half a year. So I’m not gonna be depressed anymore like I have been the last few days, I’m gonna live life loud for God and have a blast. There is no other way to do it!
P.S. Yea for my favorite soccer team in Europe, Barcelona, they are ripping up the Spanish league. They haven’t lost a game through seventeen games of league play and they are 15 points above their rivals Real Madrid. I still haven’t watched one of their games live though, I need to do that!
P.P.S. As usual, if you read this far I owe ya one 🙂
This post is to describe what has happened with me friend-wise this last year-ish. I’m sure everybody wants to know 😉 So for anybody who’s known me for awhile, it used to be really hard for me to make friends period. I was really shy and didn’t really try to makes friends and whatever friendships I had were ones that just came about naturally. I didn’t really care about having friends to be honest, I was playing three sports most of my life and just threw myself into those and my school. Until this quarter I have pretty much been a straight A student (dumb math is the only exception to the rule lol, English and history 4.0’s) and I studied prettttty much all of the time I wasn’t playing sports. It was once I dropped out of basketball and baseball that I started wondering what to do with all of this free time. That was when I tried out for Puyallup Viking Soccer in the spring of 2011 because I wasn’t playing baseball and I made the squad. That was when soccer completely took over my life and that was ALL I thought about until last spring. I got really sick before the tryouts and therefore was in horrible shape so I was one of the last players cut. Then I was like WHAT CAN I DO!?!? I had nothing to do because no one was playing soccer but high school. Then I had a really genius idea- why don’t I try to be sociable? So I started to try doing that, I strengthened some friendships during the rest of the school year and made some new friends on my own effort (which had NEVER happened before haha). Multiple people kept telling me how I had changed a lot and were much better socially. Then I went on the Toppenish trip with my high school group and that was even better. I actually talked to people and made some awesome friends from our group; many of which I wouldn’t have talked to in the past but I had FINALLY overcome my shyness. Now everybody is going to laugh their heads off about the next part but it is true. Up till’ this spring I really pretty much ignored all girls. Completely, totally, 100 percento. I feel really sad for all the girls who tried to be my friends before that because you must’ve felt like I was ignoring you! Not true, I just wasn’t friends with girls. Now in Toppenish I actually got to be friends with a lot of girls on the trip and that was super 🙂 I made more friends that were girls over the summer, and even more this fall quarter. I was actually studying with a girl for History one day in the cafeteria and some wisecrack (unnamed) was standing above in the café with some of my other friends. He was like Caleb is talking alone with a girl???? Apparently it was a really funny joke. Haha. Very funny. That truly told me I was headed in the right direction in life, NOT with the girl HAHAHA, but making friends with girls. To be honest some of my best friends are girls now, they are super-awesome 🙂 My guys though, we have SOOOOOO MUCH FUN at Pierce and everywhere else it is incredibly awesome. Playing foosball has been so much fun and all the trash-talking and conversations that go on during the game makes it even better. Ping-pong has become second nature to me, I’m actually getting to be really good at it! Just chilling with these guys in my life is sweet and we make everything we do fun as well. I still have a ton of fun with my guys that don’t go to Pierce; we have our own unique ways to have fun. It’s always a good time! I think that song describes my time with my friends perfectly, that’s just the way it is! I actually am up to 137 friends on facebook. Just wanted to let everybody know my impressive total. Well that is the blog, hope you enjoyed it!
P.S. Anybody who wants to should come and watch me at the Lighthouse vs. Immanuel Sr. game on January 5th. We’re playing broom hockey at Sprinker from 10:30-midnight and the winner gets a trophy!!! I play to win trophies. COME!!!!