Wednesday, April 22, 2009

olney high school

what up everybody!!!!  i've moved into the age of being able to use my camera and adding the pictures to my computer and then uploading some of those pictures to my blog, lol....isn't that exciting!!!

so yeah, the 2 pictures you see are from olney high school.  the first one is of the outside of the school.  then second picture is from the lobby of the youthnet center in the school.  this is where we are hoping to one day have club, campaigners, and an after school program at.  keep in mind, that is just the lobby part of the center.  its bangin(aka its really nice).  i'm pumped about the opportunities that are opening up at the school.

now, i have actually been to the school 3 times and i'm so pumped.  its exciting to me to be able to talk to kids finally.  to share with them the hope of Jesus.  what started out as just a dream and vision is becoming reality.   i set in on some classes my first day to watch the kids interact with the teacher and each other and me.  you can just see on kids faces that they loooonnnngggg for an adult to take an interest in their life and to love on them and to teach them and to be someone they can follow.  they want it so bad.  my prayer as that we develop a team of adults who not only talk about Jesus but who lives model Jesus' life.  

that first day, i meet a kid named "alex" and he is our first kid that is going to go to camp.  that was pretty awesome.  please continue to pray for me as i partner with churches and the school to take "key" kids to camp this summer.  we are fortunate to be able to offer camp this year for not alot of money.  we will be going august 11th through august 16th to lake champion.

another cool opportunity at olney is that the athletic director has offered the weight room to a youth pastor there who i'm partnering with and this summer will be able to run the weight room for the football team guys to come and workout.  i'm really excited for this because i love lifting weights and we want this time to be a time where we really pour into those young men.  we are praying for about 5-6 college guys who like to lift to join us working with the guys this summer.  this could be huge.  i might end up coaching football too...ha,ha.  i watch enough to be able to at least shag balls for the team and give guys water.  i don't mind.  i guess, i could be in charge of kicking.  i am a soccer player.  who knows.

lately, i've been meditating on the story of jacob and esau.  
gen. 25:27-34
v.27--the boys grew up and esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.
v.28--issac, who had a taste for wild game,(personal note...i love they put that detail in there) loved esau, but rebekah loved jacob.
v.29--once when jacob was cooking some stew, esau came in from the open country famished.
v.30--he said to jacob, "quick, let me have some of that red stew!  i'm famished!"  (that is why he was also called edom.)
v.31--jacob replied, "first see me your birthright."
v.32--"look, i am about to die," esau said.  "what good is the birthright to me?"
v.33--but jacob said, "swear to me first."  so he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright jacob.
v.34--then jacob gave esau some bread and some lentil stew.  he ate and drank, and then got up and left.  so esau despised his birthright.

somethings stick out to me...
1.  jacob's name means deceiver...and i believe this is a huge trick the deceiver(satan) tries to pull on us.....he tries to keep our minds focused on the now...and in this opposed to the longterm and God's know....and we eventually get to where we hate our "birthright"  we hate following christ because this and that and all the rules...which in reality bring life.  we desire something so we take a shortcut instead of doing it God's way.  do you know what the difference between a swamp and a river is?  its that the river has banks that restrain it and give it purpose while the swamp doesn't so it goes whereever it wants with no direction.  

2. i wonder also...did jacob wait for his chance?  you know...he didn't even think about what he wanted esau to was like he had been waiting for an opportune time to make this know.  and that another thing the deceiver does...he waits for the right moment.  to pounce.  i'm excited by hebrews 4:15-16...God knows....and how does he know...

3. i think this resembles the temptation of Jesus in the desert.  he was hungry and satan came and tried to tempt him to do something God won't want.  yes, he would of been satisfied, but it would of been short term.

i could go on and on.  God's word is so rich.  i love it.

in closing...always be thinking kingdom...yes...times can be hard and it would be easy to give in...but God's ways are always better.

i love you guys and i hope all is good with ya.
grace and peace.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the eve of my first day at the school

what up everybody!!!  i know that me updating this has been few and far between.  i'm sorry.  i do have some good news.  i will be going to the high school for the first time tomorrow.  i will be there from 10am-3pm...meeting people and just hanging.  this high school is called olney high school.  i'm really looking forward to it.  some fun facts about the school...53% african american...37% latino...7%asian...3% other...the school is actually split in 2 halves each with its own administration.  pretty cool...another fun philly schools...police aren't allow to carry guns with the exception of olney...they have their own swat team station there.  thats exciting...not really...kinda crazy.  i was actually visiting a church in that area on thursday and i noticed this helicopter hovering low to the ground...about 25ft up...just almost sitting there...then i see these dudes with their legs dangling from the chopper and then the swat team jumps out...that was a first for me.  pretty exciting stuff there, lol.

God has been showing us alot of favor.  i meet with the faith based people in the school district and they are offering us some huge opportunities in the schools...with some office space...a place to have club...mac computer labs...and kitchen in which meals are provided.  isn't God amazing.  we were going to that meeting hoping just meet some principals and instead...God took it to the next level.

please continue to pray for me in these areas:
1. continued to be able to meet the men and women of peace in the city.
2. a meeting place to start training volunteers soon...i want to be excellent in this.
3. safety
4. kids will respond to the truth...that God will call them.
5. we need more finances for next grow...
6. that missions in the city will done out of worship instead of worshiping missions

i've been meditating on gen. 22 this past week.  its amazing abraham's faith...this is the passage where he is told to sacrifice his son isaac...this was the first time...i noticed verse 5..."he said to his servants, "stay here with the donkey while i and the boy go over there.  we will worship and then WE will come back to you."  its abraham knew...God has told me to sacrifice my son yet at the same time God has made a promise to me about my somehow, some way...God is going to provide a way for isaac to live even if i have to kill him.  he trusted the character of God....even faced with something that he didn't understand...and seemed to go against the promise...i pray that we all will trust the character of God.  you know.

alright, grace and peace.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

so i was just on and they have a show called "mob scene."  the show chronicles the mob in the city of philadelphia.  so seems they just put away some mob guys for running a casino off of macdade ave.  that is interesting because i live off of macdade ave.  who knew.  enough said.  lol...please continue to pray for protection for me.  thanks.

long time

what's everybody!!!  i know that its been a long, long time and i know i have two followers now.  pretty amazing.  thanks for being faithful even when i haven't been on here.  so much as happened since i last wrote and i need to tell you about.  first i'm going to start with some scripture....a story that i have been thinking about lately.

1 samuel 15
v.1 samuel said to saul, " i am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 
v.2 this is what the Lord Almighty says: ' I will punish the amalekites for what they did to israel when they waylaid them as they came up from egypt.  
v.3now go, attack the amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them.  do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"
v.4 so saul summoned the men and mustered them at telaim--two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand men from judah.
v.5 saul went to the city of amalek and set an ambush in the ravine.
v.6 then he said to the kenites, "go away, leave the amalekites so that i do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the israelites when they came up out of egypt."  so the kenites moved away from the amalekites.
v.7 then saul attacked the amalekites all the way from havilah to shur, to the east of egypt.
v.8 he took agag king of amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.
v.9 but saul and the army spared agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs--everything that was good.  these they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.
v.10 then the word of the Lord came to samuel:
v.11 "i am grieved that i have made saul king,  because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions."  samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
v.12 early in the morning samuel got up and went to meet saul, but he was told, "saul has gone to carmel.  there he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to gilgal."
v.13 when samuel reached him, saul said, "the Lord bless you!  i have carried out the Lord's instructions."
v.14 but samuel said, "what then is this bleating of sheep in my ears?  what is this lowing of cattle that i hear?"
v. 15 saul answered, "the soldiers brought them from the amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally the rest."
v.16 "stop!"  samuel said to saul.  "let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night."  "tell me, " saul replied.
v.17 Samuel said, "although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of israel?  the Lord anointed you king over israel.
v.18 and he sent you on a mission, saying, 'go and completely destroy those wicked people, the amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.'
v.19 why did you not obey the Lord?  why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?
v.20 "but i did obey the Lord," saul said.  "i went on the mission the Lord assigned me.  i completely destroyed the amalekites and brought back agag their king.
v.21 the soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord you God as gilgal."
v.22 but samuel replied: "does the Lord delight in the burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
v.23 for rebellion is like the sin of divination and arrogance the evil of idolatry.  because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king."

you could read this everyday and God will point something new out to you.... where we are in ministry is basically waiting on the Lord to clearly tell us where to go and start and to do it.  that is what he wants.  please pray for us to be ever praying and listening to Lord and doing completely what he says.  pray that God tells us all the same thing.  

what scares me about these verses is that in his own head saul thought he was doing "good."  God did ask for sacrifices, but saul missed that we the biggest sacrifice we can give is submission in decision by decision obedience to Jesus know.

another thing that scares how fast saul celebrated and set up a statue to honor himself...i pray that that won't be me in philly.  i believe God has called me here and some amazing things are going to happen...not because of mike but because of Jesus.

yet another this...saul was asked to get rid of the amalekites...which meant getting rid of everyone of them...but he saved the king agag...which made no sense...cause the king stood for his people..he represented says they killed the things that were weak and despised...what in my life do i need to get rid of...that represents its easy to stop doing certain things but that doesn't get to the root of the problem...what are the kings in my life that are still representing that i need to kill?  you know what i'm saying.

just a thought...please marinate on that scripture this week....

prayer requests...
1. direction in where God wants us to be
2. continued family growth
3. volunteers
4. church partnerships/men of peace
5. money
6. that Christ will be our focal point and his name will be exalted not younglife or anyman

Monday, February 16, 2009

great month

what friends and has it been a great month of seeing God continue to provide everything we need here in philly. (except for my air mattress popped last week so ive been sleeping on the floor since had no place to lay his head either)

so yeah...God continues to bring volunteers to us...last week we had a great leaders meeting.  we are up to 3 we increased by 200% from the last meeting.  (we had 1 at the first meeting.)  it was a great time.  we went to the rib cage and i got sauce all over the side of my face and no one told me the whole night...kinda their little joke...ha, was funny...(i kinda got them back by accident the next night.  see i was invited to this concert and i invited them...i was told it was free...well, when we get there and sit down...we find out that its a benefit concert for an innercity school and we all ended up having to give....i hope they forgive then we went and spent some time in the word...ephesians 2:10-for we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared us in advance to do.  i shared the vision of what we are trying to do in philly and then prayed....please continue to pray that God will had to our numbers...matthew 9:37-38--then he said to his disciples, "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

another great thing this month that happened...was committee-leader weekend for our it good...all 5 of our committee members went and we had some fun.  God is knitting our hearts together in ways in which i would of never thought possible...God has definitely brought men of peace together which has been my prayer.  please continue to pray for us as we grow in numbers...we want to look like the city that we are reaching out in...pray for more men of peace...

i could write for days but i'm not good at it obviously..i will be like John who at the end of his gospel says...basically Jesus did alot of things and i couldn't possibly write about them all...and thats the same in here in philly...Jesus continues to move and shake and bring things together...

i will close with this...i came upon this verse the other day and its stuck with me...philemon 1:6--"i pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."  that is my prayer for us(you and me)...that will actively share our faith...wherever we that we will have a FULL UNDERSTANDING OF EVERY GOOD THING WE HAVE IN CHRIST."

be one the lookout...i working on getting some photos on here....i want to take a picture of our first school...william penn high school...i found out that the head principal there is a believer in Jesus...pray for favor and leaders as we begin there on april 1st...

thanks so much!!
grace and peace.

Friday, January 30, 2009

some praises and some craziness

whats up everybody!!!!  

so i got some really cool things that i need to let you know about...
1st.  so two weekends ago, we had a second winter weekend at rockbridge for kids in cities on the east coast....this year..we had washington, dc...stauton, va...lexington, ky...charlotte, nc...salisbury, nc...greensboro, nc...and roanoke, va.  it was amazing.  sophia cox was our speaker and i haven't been thanked more about bringing a certain speaker in ever.  she did a fabulous job of proclaiming the truths of Jesus Christ through the story of her life and through scripture.  kids crossed over from death to life...i'm so thankful God allowed me to be apart of such a great weekend.  we ended up with about 275 kids and leaders there.  please pray for these kids and leaders as they are back home walking through life together.  shout out to dj promote.

2nd...i had probably the best meeting i have every had with a pastor on thursday...pastor manny from spirit and truth fellowship in north philadelphia.  i encourage you to check him out...he was the type of guy you just know you want to follow around and watch live...he is doing so much in the community and has such a long legacy of kids he has reached out too now in full time ministry themselves.  21 kids so far of the streets and now ministers/'t it.  he is also a professor at westminster seminary...i'm praying that he comes on our committee...please join me in that.  i was meeting with him about the latino student program we got approved for...(he is a latino pastor) yeah..really good guy and a guy i will hopefully see each week now through some stuff we are going to pray through and try with his church and the church plants from his church.

3rd...we had our first volunteers meeting last and one other guy meet at his house and prayed for kids in was a really cool time....pray that our numbers continue to grow and that God just leads us to right of the peace.

so yesterday i spent the day in the i was hanging around the school that we want to go to first...william penn high school on broad st....well, the school is i was walking around it and praying.  this isn't odd because its on a main road and so people are walking there all the time.  you when i was coming around to the front...there were alot of students going into the school and there was this older gentleman yelling at them.  i don't know what was going on but he was yelling things about Jesus Christ and stuff like that.  it was really bizarre...please pray for the hearts of kids...that God will change their hearts...will soften their hearts...that they will be receptive to the Gospel and that these odd perceptions that they may have about Jesus won't get in the way...that those perceptions will be broke down as leaders walk beside them telling them each day..the good news of Jesus Christ.

thanks again.
please be praying for more support and committee and leaders....pray that we continue to meet with the men of the well as the peace and prosperity of the city(jer.29...God wants us to pray for that wherever we live.)

thanks again...grace and peace in abundance to you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

wow, i truely apologize...i had no idea

whats up family!!!  
i had no idea that i hadn't been on here for almost a whole month.  i apologize.  man, its been an amazing month...i'm currently at a younglife regional training time so let me just give you 1 quick story that shows God's amazingness.

so what i've been doing lately...when i wake up, i pray and whatever comes to my mind during that prayer time...i take it that God wants me to work on those things during the day....because there is so much to do in this huge city.

this past friday...God blew me away...i was praying and a pastors name came to mind....manny ortiz...he a very influential latino pastor in north philly...see...i was thinking of him because the eastern division got approved for 5 students in the latino initiative program...which trains junior latino college students to do younglife over 2 years and they get paid and all..well, i'm hoping for 2 in philly. i'm in north philly at an ihop meeting with a guy who wants to come on as student staff...well, i'm early...(my first meeting ive been early for) i know 3 latinos in the entire city of 1.5 million...well, i'm looking at the pastors name on a piece of paper...the guy i prayed for this morning...and i look up to call...and he walks in and sits down next to me at the ihop....and get this...he was with his sophomore in college daughter who would be a junior next year when the program starts...what...i was totally blown away...God just keeps doing amazing things like that each day...I GIVE HIM ALL THE GLORY!!!  so now, she might apply for the position.

how amazing is that....
so yeah...please be in prayer....that i continue following the Lords leading each day...keeping up with everything....
pray for next thursday night..we are starting our leadership training and prayer time..if you know any potiental volunteers, please let me know
pray for this weekend...i will be at rockbridge...we will be having our annual mlk weekend for kids on the east coast....we will have kids from charlotte, nc...salisbury, nc....greensboro, nc...staunton, va...norfolk,va...chesapeake, va...lexington,ky...roanoke, va....washington, dc...sophia cox will be speaking.....i will be camp director....pray everyone is safe, camp runs smoothly..and that kids cross over from death to life...

thanks so much...i love you guys....