A Call to Blog Again… From Canada

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So last week I was sitting at home resting when I received a call on my cell phone that was from Canada!! I was absolutely sure that it was some type of sales call and so I rejected it to voicemail and finished my nap. After a little while I decided to check the voicemail that was left, from Canada, and I was shocked, it was a real person, and they were not calling about business.

I listened to the voicemail and immediately proceeded to call this gentleman back. When I called, Doug answered the phone and said, is this Lee? I responded, yes it is, and he asked, are you the guy that wrote the blog post about Passion vs. Arrogance, I thought for a second and considered, this guy can’t be asking about a blog post that I wrote in 2011 can he? Indeed he was.

He went on to explain that he was doing some research about being a passionate individual and being perceived as arrogant and when he searched those things on google, my little old blog popped up there in the search results.

Later I went back to read the blog and realized that the blog really had no answers, just some transparency about my own struggles and a request for advice from anyone who may have mastered this struggle. If you would like, you can read the blog here: Passion Vs. Arrogance.

So Doug took a few minutes to ask me what I have learned about this struggle. I explained that I didn’t have all the answers, but I am constantly trying to balance my passion with humility, and a sincere desire to listen to others and learn from them. Doug then took a few minutes to share his experiences and then we went back on our separate ways to face our passionate endeavors again.

The one thing that I took away from our phone call that night had nothing to do with passion, or arrogance, but it had everything to do with the importance of sharing the lessons in life that I am working through and striving to grow from. Not only did it encourage Doug in his pursuit, but it encouraged me when I went back and read that post from 6 years ago. I have learned so much since then and while I have not arrived, it is very encouraging to see the growth.

So, here is the moral of the story in one simple phrase, I am going to get back to blogging. Not necessarily for you, although you are more than welcome to join me in my transparency and maybe learn something here and there, but mainly so that I can track my own growth and share the things that I am learning.

In the last week I have thought of so many things that were worth sharing, so I am going to be disciplined about this, and I hope that I can encourage others and at the very least, encourage myself in 6 more years when I consider all the lessons that I have learned and recorded. I am very thankful for a call to blog again… ALL THE WAY FROM CANADA! 🙂

God is Always Good , GOD IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL

These are a few verses and thoughts on my mind lately.

Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

Proverbs 21:1 “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as he rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”

Have you ever felt like God wants to do something in your life but people keep on getting in the way? Other people keep messing up God’s plan for you? I have definitely had moments where I have struggled with that. Moments where Jesus and I knew what we were doing, we had a plan, but obviously all these other people who keep “getting in the way” are not as “in tune with Jesus” as I am! (wink)
These two Proverbs have reminded me recently that sometimes we start thinking that we are in control of the ship, sometimes we believe that other men (Presidents, Leaders, Bosses) are in control of our lives, changing the very course of our future at a whim.

Rest assured, God is in control. I have seen the masterful devising of men, I have seen hearts both good and bad in authority, but they are not in charge. God is always in control.

What an incredible comfort.

It is my responsibility to live by faith and trust that God is the one steering this ship and even the hearts of all them that lead.

Psalm 37:23  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”

I Love Summer Camp!

I don’t have a very good memory, especially in regards to my younger years, but one thing I do remember very well is summer camp. I remember the first time that I went to Summit Camp as a junior camper, I remember going to Boy Scout Camp, I remember my very first trip to the Wilds, and then my second trip, and then my 3rd, 4th, 5th… you get the point. Camp has always been such a special place to me. It is a week where I get to leave everything behind and go have fun and get reacquainted with God. There were definitely years where I was more concerned with having fun than hearing Gods voice, but the truth is, that when I was willing to listen, I always heard God’s voice the loudest and the clearest during summer camp.

11709405_10206886470623934_868633730376910525_nSome youth pastors talk about how much they dread camp, but I have always loved it. From the crazy long van rides, to 1,000,000 gas station bathroom stops, going to camp was always a highlight of my year. While I have not been a youth pastor since 2013, this year I was blessed with the incredible opportunity to experience all those wonderful moments at camp once again.

I was so blessed about 3 months ago when I was asked to consider being the camp speaker at the Midwest Baptist Fellowship summer camp program which was held at Sagmount Baptist Camp. I was thrilled at the opportunity and began counting the days. Before I knew it the time had come, and last week I got to spend the entire week with over 15 churches, and over 300 campers. It was a fantastic week. God did amazing things from beginning to end, and I was so honored that His incredible Grace would allow me to be a tool that He could use to impact lives.

Our theme was Called. Our theme verse was Romans 8:28. I preached both morning and evening of each day on topics including Salvation, Eternal Security, Servant Leadership, Holiness, Moral Purity, Bitterness, and Complete Surrender. It was an encouraging week, a week with lots of fruit. There were at least 15 students that accepted Jesus Christ, at least 15 received assurance of their salvation, around 10 surrendered to full-time service, and many many more made decisions to confess and forsake sin and make restitution between God and man.

Praise the Lord!

As an adult it is so easy to grow a cold and hard heart towards the voice of the Lord. One of my most consistent prayers is that I will always have a soft heart towards the leading of the Holy Spirit. I love how camp is often times like a heart softener. You go, listen, and be half way willing to change, and there is a good chance your heart will be softer towards the things of God.

Maybe it is time for some of us adults to go to camp for a week! Thanks for reading! What are your best camp memories? What are some of the things that God has done in your life over the years while at summer camp?

Lessons from Joseph

Last week I was privileged to lead the Missionary Kid Program at the 2015 BBFI Missionary Reunion. We had missionary kids from all over the world, including countries like Russia, Singapore, Argentina, Australia, Zambia, and more. It was an incredible week where we focused on the theme: Living the dream.

We discussed how often times in our lives, we get focused on the negative aspects of our life and ministry instead of focusing on the positive things that God is doing. We spent some time looking at different men in the Bible like Jonah, David, Solomon, and my favorite, Joseph.

Joseph was living a life that seemed to get worse and worse around every corner. He was betrayed by his family, betrayed by his authority, and possibly thought that he was even betrayed by God from time to time. In the end, however, God worked every detail out and proved that his plan was to use this difficult path to bring him to a special place where God could use him in great ways!

Sometimes, I feel like can relate (on a much smaller scale) to Joseph. I have my dreams, my plans, and I am on my way to seeing them accomplished, and then something that happens that makes me say… WHAT?!?!?!?! It is in those moments that I must remind myself of Genesis 50:20, where Joseph told his brothers: What you meant for evil, God meant for good, to save much people alive.

Wow! Even in the darkest times, God was still working his plan, all that He required was that Joseph be faithful and trust Him. I hope to live with a testimony that I trust God and serve Him faithfully no matter the path He chooses for me.

I am privileged to speak at Sagmount Youth Camp in just about 2 weeks, I will be sharing about the life of Joseph! I am very excited to share the things that God is working me through in my own heart.