Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Century Scholarship Application: Me, College, Career

I have known for a long time, in fact since I was fifteen, that God has called me onto the mission field to work with kids. It has always been my dream to go out and change this world by making an impact on the next generation. I had been convinced that God wanted me to do a mission or ministry degree but recently He had been showing me that there are so many other ways to learn to serve Him through jobs and internships, as well as people and relationships.
But Johnson! School? College? That is a big step! How could I know what school or degree to choose if God had only told me missions to children?
In the last few years, my father began sharing with me stories of other missionaries we knew God had called them, but had no idea what direction God was sending them. These people trusted the calling and choose to pursue higher education to equip them to do whatever God asked of them. Through those experiences God directed them to the places He wanted them to go and the people He wanted them to meet.
After hearing several of these stories, I decided to ask a few ministers and missionaries myself. I found very quickly, their recommendations were all the same: go to college and get a job for more ministry experience. Many of these godly people recommended not only finding a school I would enjoy, but a degree that would equip me to serve children.
So for the last two years I have been doing just that: taking college credit through Verity Institute and working in the ministry. Through three semesters at Verity Institute I have completed over fifty-five credit hours while working in the ministry at the same time. For the entire year of 2010, I served at Valley View Christian Church (my home church, where I was born and raised for twenty years) as the Children’s Minister intern.
After seven years of traveling with Bible Bowl, there was only one college that I loved. From the beautiful scenery, to the great dorms, to the modern buildings, to the campus as a whole, I knew JBC was it. But what sold me to wanting to attend this school was not the campus, but the people. Whenever the rowdy Bible Bowlers came on campus, all I saw was smiling faces, all I heard was encouraging words, and all experienced was people serving the Lord. I knew this was where I wanted to go to college.
I pray that God that may use my experiences at Johnson to equip this servant to change lives and influence children toward Him. I want God to use this time in my life to renew and strengthen my relationship with Him. I hope that through this degree and school, my passion and zeal to serve the Lord will be refreshed and continue to be energized.

This scholarship is sponsored by

Friday, June 12, 2009

No Orphans

God, I stand here in awe of you, not fully comprehending the magnitude of what has happened. You brought together in a few short months our Sunday school of mixed ages, colors, and backgrounds for one purpose – to show our church what unity is. You chose me of all people, who has no music experience and never led anything like this before, to start a Spanish/English worship service to unite our church.

You had already brought us through so much controversy even before the night of worship. So many people not understanding what God was doing, wanting us to stop, telling us we couldn’t do it. But with this adversary, instead of dividing us, knit us together as a family.

As the day of the worship service approached, the tension continued to grow. You could feel Satan trying to stop us at every corner. But in all that, you refused to allow him touch or get to the band and singers. You were always there, prodding, pulling, telling us to not fear and just trust.

It soon became clear that it was going to be Your night. We were all very scared about what would happen after the service, but you gave us peace. A few minutes before the show, we met together in prayer and gave it all to you. We knew that no matter what happened you would be glorified, for us doing the service at all proves that we are united in you.

Even before the service began you could see the division as all the whites sat on one side and the Hispanics on the other. But as the band began to play and sing, walls tumbled down and disappeared before our eyes. Within a couple of songs, even I, the director, was swept away and it was just you and me, God. The most powerful and moving part of the service was by far the dance to No Orphans: An amazing visual representation of the division that was and proof of the unity we now have.

Now that it is all over, I am still overcome with awe and wonder at what you have done. You picked our Sunday school of misfits, rejects, and outcasts to unite this church. You chose us to destroy walls of division that not even our elders and pastors have been able to conquer. You have hidden these things from the wise and have revealed them to children. It still makes me chuckle as I marvel at the indescribable wonders you performed on Pentecostal Sunday 2009.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Photo Scavenger Hunt

Photography Scavenger Hunt
Hope you guys like them. I had a ton of fun taking them!

Bad boys what you gonna do when they come for you?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

"No, I am not a cheerleader!" - EJ

My greatest fear... Failure, Disappointment, Rejection.

Life is good! Is the glass half empty or half full?

Where will you be in ten years?

I spent 15 minutes running around the yard , chasing a squirrel, 
and all I got was this lousy picture.

Sorry all you Yank fans, but down here in Texas we don't take to kindly to those who bad mouth us behind our back. 
A-Rod is A-Fraud!

Don't worry... they're siblings.

Thank you to all the men and women who have given their lives in the service 
that we may live in freedom, safety, and security.

I'm just your average, ordinary, everyday SUPERHERO!

Actions speak louder than words.

To the man who left it all on the battle field, an empty chair, and a legacy... I miss you Pop.

"When spring is dancing among the hills, you can't stay in a little dark corner." 

What do you see? Broken glass?
I see a beautiful mural of a sunset on hills waiting to be put together.

And you thought your living room had a lot of seats!

"If music be the food of love, play on." - William Shakespeare

Crazy friends that hang with you... a big bottle of Diet Mountain Dew...
 These are a few of my favorite things!

What is your tool? What will you use? Good or evil? Hate or love? Bitterness or forgiveness?

"Most of us spend a lot of time dreaming of the future, 
never realizing that a little arrives each day."

Funny? You think riding in a bus of 20 sugar packed, caffeine hyper middle schoolers is funny?

Well I was having so much fun I just couldn't stop there. Here are a few more of my favorites.



... He moved...


Play Ball!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Mighty to Save

So God, last night you surprised me. There was no class for me this Wednesday, so I went to the Kidmo party to hang out with the kids and I had a blast! While we were in worship, the first song we sang was Your Grace is Enough. At that moment something dawned on me that I had missed so many times before. Your grace is enough. It is all I need to make it through another month of cancer, another month of fear, another month of trials. No matter how weak or incapable I feel, your grace is all sufficient and all I need to live, let alone keep going.

            I don’t remember the name of the next song but the lyrics were talking about coming before the throne with arms raised high and heart abandoned, surrendering my soul to Him who gave His all for me. As I fell before your throne, with hands raised and heart abandoned, I felt my spirit being lifted as my heart was drawn out of myself into your hands. As I sang it and meant it, I felt it and knew it.

            Then I was surprised by You – surprised by joy. As the band kept playing and began to sing Mighty to Save, I found myself surrounded by my fifth grade girls, silently hugging, praying, and crying with me. You can move the mountains in my life. You can stop the cancer, the trials, the swing – you can stop it all. But I now understand you have something greater that I can’t see right now. I know that you love me and I can trust you. You know how much I can handle and I know if I fall you will always catch me. “Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save!”

Friday, May 15, 2009

What Makes You a Leader?

Leadership is influence -- everyone has influence. Your sphere of influence encompasses you wherever you go, and consists of the people you know, see, and come in contact with (such as family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, and even the clerk at the store). If you do not believe you impact people, take a look at how your friends influence your thoughts, actions, and more importantly your attitudes.

            So, what is the purpose of becoming a great leader if you do it for the wrong reason? Hitler, Stalin, and Nero may have done “great” things, but they changed the world for the worse because of wrong motives. The key to being a great leader is a servant attitude; Jesus Christ was a successful leader because He led in love and service for others – not Himself.

            There are five pillars that hold up an effective leader. The first is meekness. Real meekness is bridled power – great power under great control. With influence comes leadership, with leadership comes power, and with power comes responsibility. Your success as a leader will be determined by how you use this power and responsibility, and if you control your feeling and attitudes, verses letting them control you.

            The second pillar is integrity, which will reveal the inner character of a person. It is leading, not by popularity but principle, and shows people what you are really made of. We cannot skim over a person’s character simply because they can get the job done well. True integrity’s price is self-discipline and personal sacrifice, but the lack of has high consequences.

            Vision is seeing God’s presence, power, and plan in spite of obstacles. It is seeing life through God’s eyes and being willing to take the leap of faith, even when you do not see the landing. Your vision is useless unless those following you are able to get a hold of it. As a leader, it is not enough merely to see the completed product, you must convey it to others and show them how it can be accomplished.

            Attitude will either make or break your leadership. Your attitude is what you focus on and is shaped by who and what you surround yourself with. It is the greatest thing you admire in your own leader’s lives: the ability to look past obstacles, stay focused on strengths, and conquer the challenges of today in order to reach the goal of tomorrow. You determine your attitude and you attitude will determine you!

            The final pillar is empowerment. The true measure of a leader is not what happens while you lead, but the result after you are gone. Leadership is worthless if you do not enable your followers to continue in your absence, and empower them to lead without you. Empowerment is not solely encouraging others in hard times or inspiring them to overcome challenges, but it is sharing the tools and knowledge you have and imparting your gifts to them.

            God is in control, and is using the situations in your life to mold you into the leader He wants you to become. Be steadfast in your beliefs even in opposition, confident that God is in control whatever the circumstance, and focused on the goal of becoming a great servant leader. You may not see yourself as an amazing leader, but are you willing to take the risk to become one?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Who Am I?

So God, who am I? How do you view me? What do you think of me? Who am I to you? What’s your purpose for me? Why am I here? What do you want me to be doing? What’s your plan for my life? Who am I really?

            Amy, I am your love, your bridegroom, and your soul mate. I am life, joy, peace, and fulfillment. I am your passions, your dreams, and your longings. I am living, resting, and understanding. I am the one who found you at Excel, who held you at Advanced Excel, and the one who carried you through your life.

            You are my Beloved, my child, and my precious. You are already perfect, already beautiful, already amazing. You are the pride of my life and the joy of my heart. I point you out to the angels and ask, “Do you see My Beloved? She is mine.” I wish you could hear the pride in my voice, see the sparkle in my eyes, and feel the joy in my heart when I see you!

            Who are you? You already are everything you desire and dream to become. You don’t completely understand or comprehend what that means, but that’s OK. You don’t need to know right now. I love you and am with you – that’s all you need to know. All that has been happening to you, is so that I will become your all in all. You already are mine.

            I can’t wait to show you everything I have been planning for you and putting into motion for your future! It’s better than anything you can dream up, but go ahead and try – you will be surprised by joy. My purpose and vision for you is that other people will experience Me and My love through you. You think you can’t sing or speak or teach or preach or lead, but you have and you will far above your imaginations. You think this will happen eventually, once you go on the mission field. I’m telling you it’s going to happen sooner!

            I will show my love for others through you. They won’t get it when you tell them, or when they see the change in you. It will become real when my love for them comes through you. It’s like a tide coming in slowly, calmly, creeping until you are suddenly knee deep in water, and are overwhelmed by how far you have come and how fast it happened. That is the earth shattering and world changing part of it all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Game, a Ball, and a Love

Ah, my first baseball game of 2009. I am filled with excitement as I enter the ballpark and into an atmosphere of the sport I was born loving. My passion is suddenly reignited, as I close my eyes for my senses to soak it all in… the smell of newly cut grass and fresh dirt mixed with the aroma of slow grilled beef and freshly cooked french fries… the taste of roasted peanuts, tickly covered nachos, and melting cotton candy making the perfect combination salty and sweet… the sound of the crack as a wooden bat hits a 95mph fastball, followed by the anticipating roar of the crowd, and finally the laughter of children chasing after a foul ball.


   Why has this game stood the test of time to become an ageless American tradition? Why is baseball so captivating, that you can’t help but want to jump to your feet in amazement when a grand slam is hit? What is it about this sport that brings rivals from all walks of life to meet together on a diamond field to try to hit a small ball with a bat?


   Is it the amazing adrenaline rush of turning a double play, perfectly performed as if by instinct? Is it the awesome thrill of a strikeout, the perfected precision flawlessly executed? Is it the indescribable exhilaration of stealing second base, beating the pitch to the plate by a nano second? Is it the unexplainable anticipation of the home run, praying the ball will just make it over the wall? Well, the world may never know why we love the game of baseball.


   I love baseball because it relates so much to my life. In the game of baseball, we all play different positions, fighting for a spot on the playing field. Yet the truth is, without a ton of hard work during practice, the support of the team, instruction and encouragement from coaches, and our God-given abilities and talents we have no chance of ever playing let alone starting. Ultimately, what matters aren’t the trophies, or awards, or MVPs, or even winning the World Series. What counts is giving your best effort day after day, and leaving the game, knowing that (win or lose) you left it all on the field. What really lives on is leaving a legacy of.... a ball, a game, and a love.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Roar of Reality vs. Cry for Truth

As I look back on the last six months and the journey God has brought me through, I can't help but want to go back and experience God and His wonderful love all over again. Because of this, I am often return to my journal from these amazing times in my life. This past weekend, as I was reading entries from late November and December of 08, I was curiously drawn to what was written on Christmas day.

"After spending most of the day laughing, singing, and opening presents, my family thought it would be cool to watch one of the new movies we had received and we immediately agreed on Prince Caspian. I had forgotten how wonderful the story is and how much I always enjoy revisiting the magical land of Narnia. As I am sitting here, the legend of Aslan is no longer just a fairy tale on a screen. Suddenly, I am shoved into this strange charade as a character in the saga myself. For the imaginary world of Narnia is not constricted merely to fantasy but it has become reality."

had greatness "thrust into his lap" in a rather uncomfortable fashion . When the situation became bleak, and those around him were clawing for anything they could grasp onto, what did he trust in? Did he have faith in the one thing he had never seen and merely heard about? Did he really believe? Really trust?

thought it was his responsibility  to change the circumstances, to change people, to change the world. He believed he was supposed to do this by himself and he concluded that he had to do it on His own. Instead of waiting for Aslan and His timing, Peter went ahead with his own plan as many consequences awaited his decision. While Peter was praying and begging for something, no, anything from Aslan (even a mere sign), Aslan was waiting for Peter to admit he couldn't do it and to put his trust in Him.

Is seeing believing or is believing seeing? Is it a matter of wanting to see or trusting that He is there? 
Susan's struggle is the battle of inner self: letting her heart believe the impossible, surrendering her soul to trust the unbelievable, allowing herself to act beyond the circumstances of reasons. Susan's mistake was yielding to the hard questions and permitting them to fester into doubts, which ultimately undermined who she knew Alsan was and what she believed He could do. She chose to believe the lie instead of trusting His love.

had learned from his first mistake in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to trust Aslan. However,did he just sit back, let things run their course, and go along for the ride? What would you have done if the captain was running the ship aground? What if that person was someone you respected, loved. or even viewed as superior to yourself? Did he wait too long to put his foot down? Was there a better way?

had the faith but she let others dictate her actions on their lack of belief, not on her trust. Lucy saw things as reality; not what was supposed to be, or what others saw, or even what they thought should become real. Lucy saw reality as Aslan. So Lucy, what's stopping you? You can't change Peter or Susan, only he can do that. Don't let them stop you! You have Aslan!

"The more you grow -- the more I grow."
"You have learned all that you can from this place."
"Things never happen the same way twice."

So I have one question for you:
     What was the point of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy experiencing Narnia if nothing changes in the "real world"?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Footprints in the Cement

Slowly I trudged on, fighting to complete the simple task of placing one foot in front of the other, step after step. Something wasn't right. Here I was strolling to the Opening Bell, a local coffee shop, with some of my closest friends, attempting to enjoy the afternoon, yet all I could do was think about my struggle with reality.

Yesterday, during my time with God, He showed Himself to me in a remarkable personal way by revealing that He loves me unconditionally and unreservedly. Honestly, I couldn't believe His love was that deep because I hadn't been able to see Him in the tough times -- when my brother died, when our church split, during my grandmother's illness, or even at home in the fights. If He was so loving, where was He in the hard times? If He was so faithful, where was He when I needed him the most? If He was so real, why couldn't I feel Him when it really mattered? Where was he then?

A cold brisk wind caught me off guard, as the door swung open for us to begin the trek back home to the Dallas Ministry Center (DMC). The Opening Bell was amazing and our time there had been full of laughter and smiles as we swapped memorable stories and jokes over coffee.  As I glance back for one more picture of my new found friend the coffee shop, I can't help but notice that Kristin, the youngest in our group, is lingering behind at the very back of our pack. She looks so worn out and physically spent, I don't think she can take another step, let alone make the one mile journey all the way back to the DMC. Maybe I could help carry her or something. I know! A piggy-back ride!

As I'm treading to the DMC with Kristin mounted on my back, I begin to wonder how long I can actually survive carrying Kristin home. Can I possibly make it all the way?  What is it Lord?  Say it again.  The way I am carrying Kristin right now is how you carried me during the bad times?

Suddenly, tears came streaming down my face, as Kristin gently laid her head on my shoulder as if to say,  "I can't fight it anymore. I give up. Carry me home."  At that moment, the unbelievable and inconceivable love that He had been so desperately trying to show me was finally real. I couldn't make it.  I couldn't walk.  I couldn't continue, yet He carried me home.  I couldn't see Him or His love because I was fighting so hard. When I finally said, "I can't ... carry me," only then could see Him and only then could I know His love was real.