To the graduating class of 2017

Pastor Hagin often says, “Ministry is spelled W-O-R-K!”

And he’s right. Our upside down kingdom requires work—most unseen and unknown to others—from its citizens.

Public teaching and preaching is the fun part of ministry. However, there’s a lot that happens from week to week. Walking alongside others through the mountains and valleys of life is an endless, and often thankless, task. My dad is a pastor and it’s often hard for him to describe his work to others.

Graduation is less than two weeks away, which is why my thoughts are drifting more and more towards this idea of life and ministry.

Many think of the two areas as separate—this is my life and this is my ministry—but there really cannot be a line of demarcation.

My friends who are leaving Rhema for the great wide world are faced with this reality. I understand their conundrum because I’m staring down the barrel of the same gun—I just have a little more time to think about it since I don’t graduate until next May.

Thankfully, our instructors have been pointing us in this direction all along. Our launch date into the great race of life, the passing of the baton, is never far from their minds.

These are men and women are Rhema alumni. They’ve been on the mission field, served/are serving in the local church, and brought their families along for the ride. I am thankful for their willingness to teach us not only biblical truths but also practical life applications of the truth.

I have no doubt that my friends are leaving Rhema prepared.

Their hard work started the moment they moved to Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, flipping their entire lives upside down to follow God. Most of my friends have worked odd hours at two to three jobs for the opportunity to study God’s Word in order to become fully equipped ministers of the gospel.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2017!

Go into the world and teach people about faith and what it means to follow Jesus. Know that those went before you and those who are coming behind you are cheering you on!

Long Work Day

I just worked 14 hours straight….

Wow. 

I think there may have been 15 minutes in the day when I wasn’t doing something. 

Hard work doesn’t bother me, but it does wear me out!

Feels good to put my feet up a few minutes. 

Normal posts will resume soon, I promise…

Today’s just been hectic. 

A garden full of character

Today was gardening day, which means that I spent the afternoon with my friend Nina. 

We planted okra, corn, radishes, cucumbers, and spinach. 

It was also cool to see that the veggies we planted last time are coming along nicely. 

Next time I head out there I will snap a few photos to show you. Nina’s beans are coming in and the bean plant’s flowers are beautiful!

Of course, getting to dig around in the dirt is always fun as well as chats about anything and everything as Nina and I get the work done. 

Seeing Nina’s love of gardening, of establishing a strong homestead, inspires me. She’s truly passionate–this is not a passing fad for her. 

There’s a lot to be learned about sticking something out even during times of failure. Not all of Nina and Jeff’s homesteading adventures worked out at first, yet they kept learning, kept trying. 

Persistence, focus, and dedication are traits that are often discussed but rarely lived out.  

And the fruits of their strong character are evident to me as I look around their farm. 

I am blessed to have friends who are teaching me through their example. 

Wedding Fun

Today’s post is going to be super short. 

I helped cater a wedding for a sweet couple who are recent graduates from Rhema. 

In the process I:

  • Made 2 new friends 
  • Got to know 2 ladies from my prayer group better 
  • Washed a lot of dishes
  • Stood on my feet all day (minus 10 minutes)
  • Laughed a TON

It was hard work, but I enjoyed every minute. Getting to be a part of someone’s special day was neat. 

Good dirt is important

I got to play in the dirt today! 

My fun spring break activity was visiting my friend Nina and helping her get some gardening projects done. 

We re-potted some thyme and spinach, moved a cold frame, and planted potatoes, onions, and garlic. 

Digging around in the dirt is my favorite part of gardening. I enjoyed the dirt stains on my jeans (and having muddy hands). 

My obsession with dirt is a bit odd to some, but it’s such a reminder to me of our lives. 

Most of the time, any problem with your plants can be traced back to the soil. 

Good dirt makes all the difference. 

Nina and I had a lot of fun chatting as we worked. It’s cool to see how the Master Gardener, God the Father, is working in and through our lives as we follow Him each day. 
Covered in dirt, surrounded by kids–real kids and goat kids–the afternoon was filled with good conversation and gorgeous sunshine. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

 This is the first spring break I’ve had in many years and it’s been awesome. 

Farm fun

I spent the afternoon muddy and I loved it! 

My friends, Jeff and Nina, invited me over for lunch. After we ate, I helped Nina replant an evergreen tree. 

I met Jeff and Nina back in October when my dad and I came out to College Weekend. Dad went to Rhema with Jeff, so they’ve been friends for years. 

Their sweet family is so much fun to hang out with! We spent the afternoon chatting and working around their farm. 

They have 3 children, so it was noisy…and awesome! I miss my brothers and sisters. I miss having little people around me. 

Also, all 3 of their goats had twins. 6 kids were romping around the farm. It’s amazing to see God’s creation doing what it’s intended to do: be fruitful and multiply. 

Working outside, digging in the dirt, was a blast. 

Gardening is something that I enjoy and want to do for the rest of my life. There’s something so satisfying about tending a garden and eating from it’s bounty. 

Jeff and Nina work hard on their farm. It’s cool to see their passion and how their children work alongside of them. 

Doing what’s necessary

I’m working on a big project at work. 

It’s one of those projects where many other projects will stem from completing this one task.

No pressure, right?

The spreadsheet is long and I have to toggle back and forth between two programs to gather information. 

I keep telling myself, as my eyes cross from staring at the computer screen, that getting this task done right the first time will make my job so much easier in the long run. 

And it’s true. 

Sometimes the only way to get things done is to roll up your sleeves and dig in your heels. 

Trust me. I tried to think of a way to avoid this project…

Is there a shortcut?

Jesus, please show me a shortcut!

There is simply no other way to move forward without this project being completed.

What I’m learning, though, is that going in with a good attitude is helping me move forward quickly. 

If you’re facing a similar situation, don’t sit around pouting! Hating the project and your job will not help you at all. 

We all have parts of our jobs that are not fun. 

But since when does everything have to be about us having fun?

Set goals.

Get to work. 

Do your best. 

No glory hogs allowed 

Taking all the glory for yourself is selfish. 

And no one likes a glory hog…

I was watching Cake Wars today and not one chef thanked the other people who helped him or her throughout the competition.

You can’t go through life alone. 

We all are surrounded by a network of people who help us accomplish great things. 

Maybe you’re a business owner with cutting edge ideas. 

Maybe you’re a manager navigating the employees beneath you and the corporate officials above you. 

Whatever the situation maybe, teamwork is crucial. And too often the people who are helping get no credit for their work. 

Look at what I did!

See how great my work on this project turned out?

Meanwhile, all the other workers are catching their breath from going nonstop to ensure your success. 

Don’t forget to thank  your helpers and encouragers. 

A sense of satisfaction

I spent most of today soaking wet. 

My personal days are all used up, but the work is done. 

Things have been taken to Goodwill and the dump. 

The gutters are cleaned out. (This happened in the pouring rain by the way.)

But it’s all done!!!!

The only thing left to do is to put together a few bookshelves and get the Reading Room in order. 

Pushing through when you feel out of steam is the only way to get projects finished. 

Then you’re left with an amazing sense of accomplishment. 

I know this is the only thing I’ve talked about since Christmas. 

Bear with me, okay?

Our family is still sending up shouts of victory. I’ll talk about something different tomorrow. 

Under the radar 

I had a couple of friends in high school who were really good at serving in the shadows. 

This wasn’t a false attempt to be humble. 

This wasn’t a diminishing of their talents. 

They simply understood what it meant to be a servant. The motives of their hearts are still the purest I’ve ever seen. 

I noticed their actions–so did others–as thankless work was done with joy. It’s always convicted me of the pride that tries to creep up in my heart. 

I want a servant’s heart, but it can be difficult to cultivate in a media driven, rockstar culture. 

My earnest belief is that all work is good work. Giving certain jobs the title of “elite” is a dangerous practice. 

Doctors and janitors, lawyers and plumbers, businessmen and garbage collectors all deserve to be treated with respect. 

I try and praise the hard, thankless work as well as the more public, commendable tasks. 

Let’s focus our attention on honoring and encouraging each other in the workplace this week. 

A simple thank you can go a long way. 

And, while we’re at it, let’s be sneaky and serve under the radar too.