Breath of Life

So I was walking outside. Just a few minutes ago (9:30pm for reference there!), and breathing in the cool night air. I couldn’t wait to get back and take a nice long drink of water. I finished an hour long workout, showered and was breathing deeply. This is life.

Peaceful.

Serene.

Calming.

If I could live every day like tonight, I would be set for the rest of my life on earth. Just listen to my soundtrack, take a walk, and drink deep of water. Then, after all that, thank God that you have life and can live in this wonderful place. But remember, this brilliant place is broken. And if this place is broken…I can’t wait to see what it’s like when it’s restored to its former glory…

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Writing Prompt Bonanza Week 9

In an effort to aid my goal of writing a novel for this year, I needed some kind of motivation.

And so an idea popped into my head.

Writing Prompts.

I know, I never thought I would use them either. I’ve been generating a list of writing prompts, so far around 60 or so, and starting tomorrow I’m going to focus on hitting 500 words for each prompt. 500 words at the least. One prompt a day.

Every Sunday, I’ll post a new list of prompts that you will begin to work on the next day. You should shoot for 500 to 600 words. Remember, these are going to serve to jump-start our creativity.

Anyways, I challenge any of you young writers, or writers in general to work with me on these writing prompts if you want. Keep what you write to yourself, or send them to me and I’ll post them on my blog for others to see. It’s completely up to you.

If you want to send them to me, send them to runafterthe1.prompts@gmail.com and I’ll post them as an addition to my prompt or as a post all on their own if I didn’t write one for that day. If you send them to me, be sure to include your name at least so that I can give credit to you.

So…get your pens, or fingers ready because tomorrow it continues, and without further ado, this weeks writing prompts!

Monday, March 26:      The computer screen glowed in the dark basement. A box was flashing on the screen saying “LOG IN ATTEMPT FAIL.”

Tuesday, March 27:     Chocolate milk was my favorite kind.

Wednesday, March 28:     Food was delicious. It was always delicious.

Thursday, March 29:     I stretched my legs out. After a long day, it was time for sleep.

Friday, March 30:     The spotlight swiveled towards me.

Saturday, March 31:     I was a natural on the ice.

Sunday, April 1:     “Careful there sonny boy, we don’t know what he’s capable of…”

His Story in Me Part 8

The summer of 2010 was the biggest summer of my life so far. I worked with Upward  Bound as a program assistant and had no idea how much it would affect me.

I showed up and ended up meeting a host of new kids in the program, but also ran into a group of students who were freshman when I graduated from high school. I was incredibly nervous, and knew one thing, I had no reputation among these kids. Was I a pushover? Was I a strict person? They had no idea, and to be honest neither did I.

As it turns out, I was the cool kid. Never expected that. But anyways, I digress.

I taught two sections of my own class, which admittedly was not the best that first summer. I was fresh to the classroom, and ended up tackling something that I wasn’t entirely sure how to work with. By the end of the summer though we had made a movie for the class.

Throughout the summer we had gone on several day trips, and at least two overnight trips. One of my favorite summers. I enjoyed every second of the summer. I enjoyed the short 5 maybe 6 hours of sleep I got on the overnight trips. As painful as it may be I enjoyed the boys asking me to get some of them up, for some reason they wanted to get up at 5am so they could all shower, not really realizing that getting up at the same time wasn’t going to resolve the issue of waiting for the shower. I enjoyed the late nights waiting for the kiddos to go to sleep while the staff just sat around and talked. I enjoyed the staff meetings everyday. I enjoyed walking to and from different classes with the students,

A lot of the students became friends with me. I ended up being someone they could talk to, they could look up to, they could hang out with.

There’s one major reason I think this happened. I decided that I was not going to say anything about Jesus. I was instead going to live Jesus. I was going to live as a Christ-follower not talk like one. In doing so, I affected many more students in ways I never expected, nor they. It was an incredible summer. But it got even better.

Writing Prompt Bonanza Week 8

In an effort to aid my goal of writing a novel for this year, I needed some kind of motivation.

And so an idea popped into my head.

Writing Prompts.

I know, I never thought I would use them either. I’ve been generating a list of writing prompts, so far around 60 or so, and starting tomorrow I’m going to focus on hitting 500 words for each prompt. 500 words at the least. One prompt a day.

Every Sunday, I’ll post a new list of prompts that you will begin to work on the next day. You should shoot for 500 to 600 words. Remember, these are going to serve to jump-start our creativity.

Anyways, I challenge any of you young writers, or writers in general to work with me on these writing prompts if you want. Keep what you write to yourself, or send them to me and I’ll post them on my blog for others to see. It’s completely up to you.

If you want to send them to me, send them to runafterthe1.prompts@gmail.com and I’ll post them as an addition to my prompt or as a post all on their own if I didn’t write one for that day. If you send them to me, be sure to include your name at least so that I can give credit to you.

So…get your pens, or fingers ready because tomorrow it continues, and without further ado, this weeks writing prompts!

Monday, March 19:      Parry. Thrust. Block. They had been locked in combat for a good ten minutes now. Evenly matched. And she didn’t even have a hair out of place.

Tuesday, March 20:     The cold, bitter wind blew harshly. The trees swayed and clouds moved by quickly. It would be here soon.

Wednesday, March 21:     “First, I will over-stimulate your nervous system. Then the fun begins.” A menacing smile appeared on the old face.

Thursday, March 22:     Her eyes narrowed. Across the lawn, near the back wall, a shadow had dropped down.

Friday, March 23:     The light blazed, pulsating and bathing the hallways in red as the alarm blared.

Saturday, March 24:     “Sir, please step back.”

Sunday, March 25:     It had been a rather boring day, and then a taxi had come through the wall.

His Story in Me Part 7

Christmas ended up being a spectacular time, and I went back to Clarkson for my fourth semester. Spring 2010.

This was the semester when I realized that I didn’t want to be a physics major. I had had a difficult time in classes, and I was perfectly capable of doing the math, it was all the theory and memorizing equations that was difficult. But the math. I could do that.

So I changed my major. I became a mathematics major, and within the first week changed my entire schedule for the semester.

I had to take a computer programming course, and while it wasn’t easy sometimes it was fun. All in all, the semester was a flurry of changes. Many of them, if not all of them, good changes that I don’t regret at all.

I continued to go back and visit the Upward Bound office at SUNY Adirondack where I spent so three of my summers when I was in high school. When I went back to visit this time, I learned that there was a new director and a new assistant director. I also learned that they were looking for program assistants to work with them and run the program smoothly during the summer (I mean when you take a group of up to 50 teenagers with pent up energy and more drama than necessary and put them together every day for six weeks, well you might be able to imagine what could happen without additional help).

I enjoyed the program while I was in it, and decided I would apply. So I came back to Clarkson after one of our breaks, got right to work on my resume and cover letter and sent them in. I had an phone interview because I wouldn’t be able to travel home just for that, and a few weeks later got a letter in the mail. I had a summer job. This was also the semester that I decided something. Something that at the time I didn’t realize would be such a big decision.

I decided that I was tired of being overweight. So I didn’t really do much, I think I began running maybe two to three times a week. But by the end of it all, I was a math major, had a summer job, and an ambition to do something that may or may not turn out well in the end.

Holding Fast

Things have begun to spin out of control a little bit. I love God, and I yearn to know him. I yearn to know his peace, his comfort, and his heart.

Only two and a half weeks ago my grandfather passed away. Now my grandmother is in the hospital. With as far as we know a possible stroke, pneumonia, an urinary tract infection and hopefully nothing else. Needless to say, my faith is being tested.

Even with death and pain around me do I still hold on?

Do I still hold fast to the faith that has thus far preserved me?

Even when evil spirits bombard people up here that I care about, do I still remain strong?

It’s difficult, it’s sad, it’s painful. To think that I might lose my grandmother only two and a half weeks after losing my grandfather, it’s heartbreaking.

I don’t know how much I can handle, and I’ll never know until I reach the breaking point. It’s becoming increasingly more, and I want to stand strong. I want to hold on. But I don’t know if I can…

I would like to think that my grandmother will survive, and as of right know, I truly believe she will. I think that it was almost better that my grandfather passed away first because I’m not sure he would have been able to survive without her. I think that she was the stronger of the two, that she can make it without him. It won’t be easy though.

At the same time, we think that my grandfather knew he was going to die. He knew, but was keeping in high spirits the way he would want people to be. It was hard. It was sad. I know I won’t go home to see him there again, but I can’t say that I’m ready for that situation with my grandmother as well. I love her very much, and sincerely hope and pray it’s not her time. But I will continue to hold fast because it’s the only thing I know. I only know of my God, and how much I desire to know him.

He will continue to walk with me through the valleys, he will continue to lead me through the darkness, and he will not fail. I will follow him no matter where he leads me.

Real Body Life

I found something that I’ve been looking for.

Ever since reading about the body and what body life looks like in Christ, I’ve been looking for it. I’ve been trying to find some semblance of it. And its taken a while, but I found it.

I wrote earlier this semester about how our community group has grown. It has become a coed community group, and since that moment, God has been meeting us over and over.

We grew from about 14 people up to 22. I don’t think any community group has ever had 22 people in one week. I know we haven’t and we’ve been running the community group for a good two and a half years now. So needless to say, this was unexpected.

But it’s been so sweet. Every person comes each week with a verse to share, something that God has really used the past week to teach them, or speak into their life. It always runs together beautifully too. One week God brought out a theme of Trust in Him, another week a theme of We are His. He’s continued to meet us.

But that does not mean it’s been without opposition. God has been doing something real, He’s been moving on the campus, and the enemy isn’t happy about it.

Recently a person has been coming to our group, and while they know the Bible, they don’t know God. When we asked how he met Jesus, or how long he’s know Jesus, he danced around the issue, never fully saying anything about his relationship with Him.

He’s been distracting to the group, has attacked several members spiritually and verbally, and really become a stumbling block to the group. The group has suddenly become more introverted. Whereas before people were sharing spontaneously, even people who rarely ever spoke, we are having to ask people to speak.

My roommate and I are having to take a vocal leadership position, something that we have refrained from doing because God has really been leading the group. So, all that to say it’s been frustrating.

But, now I’m beginning to understand some of Paul’s letters. All of his letters were written to churches who were dealing with specific issues. The letters are not just meant to be picked apart for knowledge, but to be used when needed. And we are in need right now.

We met with said person, and both my roommate and I, along with another member of our community group, walked away from the meeting visibly shaken. My roommate was literally shaking, and I had the same feeling but could disguise it more. We walked away from that encounter knowing one thing for sure: this was something spiritual.

We initially thought perhaps it was just an abrasive personality, just someone that rubbed us the wrong way. We had suspicions that it was something spiritual, but this encounter gave us no doubt. Two secure believers, people who have walked with God through good times and bad, despite being young, walked away from a conversation where we wanted to get to know the person shaken. Then we realized two things. The first has been already stated, this is something spiritual, but the second, it’s not over. 

There will be another round, and by God’s grace, we will hold fast to the faith which has so far not lead us astray.

Another thing this has taught me is the true idea of leadership. How we truly lead a group such as ours. We lead when necessary.

We are both content to let God move things and let him work in the group, but we have been placed in authority for times such as this, when a firm decision is needed. Leaders to carry out these decisions. The idea of leading only when necessary.

Needless to say, God’s been teaching me about real body life during this time period, and to be honest, as much as it annoys me and it’s frustrating, at the same time it’s an adventure because it’s God that’s teaching me.