Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about unexpected things lately. I think that unexpected events are what really shape us... what really make us into the people we are. Unexpected things are hard for me to deal with. I love science. The major basis science works on is taking something that you know is going to happen and defining how it happens or what makes it happen. Life doesn't work that way. Life is filled with unexpected things. People who randomly show up in your life, people who randomly leave your life, things that happen to you, things that don't happen to you, the list goes on and on.

I think it's since we don't know what may or may not happen, that these events can shape us, mold us, bend us, and sometimes break us. I think that's the beauty of faith. We trust that God is going to use anything and everything he does for his glory. That is the difference between religion and faith. Religion, to me, is a practice. It is something you do. Faith on the other hand, is not a practice. It is a lifestyle. It is even more than that, though. Faith is stepping out into the unknown, the unexpected, and trusting. Trusting that God is there. Trusting that He loves you. Trusting that in all things He works for the good of those who love him.

I think that God uses unexpected events to help us grow in faith. If, for example, I knew everything that was going to happen to me over the course of my lifetime, it wouldn't take much faith. In fact, I don't think it would take any faith. I would know, start to finish, what was going to happen, when it was going to happen, and obviously what would happen after. It's when we are in a situation that we cannot see what is next, when we can't see what the outcome might be, that we grow. That our faith becomes stronger because we trust that God is at work and we trust that He is true to His word.

The best part about all of this is that even when we are not faithful, when we have doubt, when we have hesitations, when we falter, when we are reluctant--God is faithful. He is true to His word.

I might keep writing later, but that's all I have for now.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I'm not a very emotional person by the worlds standards. I've never cried watching a movie. I don't cry at weddings. I didn't even tear up when I read Where the Red Fern Grows. The way I experience emotions is more like getting kicked in the stomach--having the wind knocked out of me.

You may be asking, why is Isaac writing about this? And that is a good question. Because I will tell you. Now.

As many of you know, I lead Wyldlife. For those of you who don't, it is a Christian ministry that seeks to introduce middle schoolers to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith. By "leading" Wyldlife, I am in essence a leader at a middle school. I help organize events, hang with kids, but most importantly, share Christ with them.

Anyway, this week is our summer camp trip. I sadly couldn't go this year because of numbers, but, I went down yesterday to catch up with some of the guys who went with our other guy leader, Micah. Yesterday, the camp speaker presents the kids with a problem. A big problem. He lays out the problem of sin. He explains to them what sin is and how it differs from sins. He explains how there is absolutely nothing we can do to fix this problem. We've made our own choice to go astray and do the things we want to do.

It hurts to hear this message, but seeing kids begin to open up... to think about their own lives... to think about how there is something greater than girls, clothes, sports, school... is simply amazing.

After the talk last night, I headed back to the cabin that the guys from my school are staying in for "cabin time". It is essentially a leader-led time where we all sit on the floor and process what was just talked about. If you know anything about middle school kids, boys in particular, they have an attention span of 2 seconds, so cabin time can often be an adventure. However, last night was different. The guys were thinking, sharing about their lives, asking questions.

The thing that really got me was what one kid said. He hadn't spoken the whole 30 minutes we'd been talking, but he raised his hand and said, "We are like a work of art... like the Statue of Libery... when it was first made it was bright and shiny copper, but it quickly became tarnished and turned green. It was still the original creation, but something had changed... it wasn't perfect anymore."

I was floored. The wind was knocked right out of me. If I cried normally, queue up the tear factory. This kid, probably 12 years old, just made a brilliant comparison. I don't know if he's following Christ, I just met him yesterday, but that analogy struck me.

We are still the beautiful creation that God made us to be; however, something has happened. Something that can't be reversed. We've all become tarnished. Imperfect. Sin. The Statue of Liberty itself cannot clean off the tarnish, the imperfection. We are the same way. We cannot clean off our sin. Only our creator can.

Today the kids hear about the cross, about Jesus, that he did what we cannot do. It's the best day of the week. It's the best day of their lives.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One to the next one...

Well I have almost finished reading Jesus For President. Yes, I realize I've been reading it for about 4 months now. That is how I read books. I am a bit of a binge reader. I will go weeks without reading a page, then I will sit down and read 100 pages and not touch the book again for a couple weeks.

Enough about my reading habits... I think my next read is going to be The Diaries of Jim Rayburn. For those of you out there in the blogosphere, I am involved in an organization called YoungLife. The mission of YoungLife is to bring the gospel of Christ to adolescents and help them grown in their faith. Jim Rayburn is the founder of YoungLife. It was his idea, to step outside of the church, and take the gospel where kids are--schools, football games, parks, etc--that began the movement that is now known as YoungLife.

I am really pretty excited about reading his diaries. I feel like getting to peek inside the mind of one of the most godly and awesome men I've learned about is going to be a very encouraging and convicting experience. Sometimes I feel like I get disillusioned with my work as a leader when I lose focus on the goal. It will be interesting to see what ways Jim combated this feeling (if he even felt it at all).

I don't really have any major point in writing this other than cluing you all in on my next reading experience. I have approximately 27 days 'till school starts, so who knows, maybe I will get this book finished by then.