Thursday, September 24, 2009


Today, I got the great opportunity to sit with a girl from one of my classes for lunch.
Yesterday, I asked her about her friends at school, and she told me that she didn't really have friends at our school but rather other ones within our district. So then I asked her "So then, who do you sit with at lunch?" and she told me nonchalantly, "Oh I just sit by myself in the library and do work, you know, get things done." "Can I sit with you tomorrow? I'll meet you there for lunch." and although she was taken by surprise, she agreed.
So today, I ate lunch with her. We actually had a great talk, about our beliefs and thoughts on some parts of life, and I realized that this girl is pretty cool. My plan is to continue to sit with her, the days we have the same lunch, and build an actual friendship. Hopefully something good will come out of it, I don't know what I'm expecting, but I'm expecting it will be something great.

So thus far, it's been good. We sit together and we talk. She tells me about life, her brothers, her worries, her opinions and I listen. But this is good. This girl is really opening up, and we're really becoming friends not just acquaintances. It's hard though, don't get me wrong, I want to sit with my friends where I know I won't have awkward moments, but if I want this girl to know I really care, I can't just sit with her once. That is not enough. It must be persistent. This is what I want to do. To go beyond the realms of my comfort; of sitting with the people I know and befriend the people that can't seem to find a friend, anyone. I want to be the one to go, find them and sit with them and in the process, get to know them. It's going to be interesting, I may get rejected (I actually have, on quite a few occasions) or I may have to face awkward conversations where I resort to talking about the soy milk they are drinking, it's all a risk. Buts honestly, it's a risk worth taking.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

See You at the Pole -part II

Wow. That's all I have to say. Wow.
Today was the testing day of See You At The Pole and the outcome was insane. This is basically how it went down:
I arrived early around seven in the morning to my school just in case anyone showed up. However no one was there, it was just me and the flag pole. The crisp fall air was sinking through my sweater and so I decided to go inside an area of the school to get some sort of warmth until seven thirty. Seven thirty arrived in what seemed like five minutes, and I made my way down to the area. As I walked down the stairs, I saw a group of three girls standing around. Unsure if they were planning on participating or just maybe hanging out, I threw my bag down next to the bushes and stood near the pole anxiously turning my head, looking for people that were coming, if any at all. A few minutes later, a few more kids arrived and as we gathered, the group of girls joined us as I thought they would. I was kind of nervous, I had never led a prayer group before, but because it was so small, it wasn't a problem. I quickly took charge though and introduced myself, explained how it was going to work, and got the ball rolling. There were five people besides myself that came. That was five more than I expected.
I seriously felt the Holy Spirit just come right in and take control at the moment I opened my mouth. As we went around the circle and the kids continued to pray, more and more and more people began to jump in. My friend Jon arrived and he had brought his youth pastor, which I really thought was great because we needed some sort of adult leader there. Then right before everyone had taken their turn, I saw two girls join in. One of the girls, I noticed was praying in tongues. When the last kid had gone, it was silent for a moment, so I finally broke the silence and asked them if they wanted to pray. One of the girls quickly shook her head, embarrassed, but the other one(who had been praying in tongues) looked up and with certainty said
"Yes, but would it be okay if I did it in Spanish?" I encouraged her to do so and so, she began to pray in the language foreign to everyone else in the entire circle but me. It was incredible though, because although she knew no one else would be able to understand her, she prayed with such vigor and boldness. It was just her having her prayer for God, her simply conversing with Him, asking Him so earnestly to show up in our school. Man, how encouraging. My heart started leaping in my chest because it could not contain it's excitement. It was so beautiful.
The circle continued to grow and more hands joined in. We decided to start taking prayer requests so we could lift it up in prayer. Much to my amazement, people actually opened up! They began sharing about struggles with their relationship with the Father, hurts from parents divorce, friends struggling with self image and eating disorders, friends and family screwed up lives as a result of drug addiction and failed attempts of suicide. As the list grew, the Spirit nudged me to pray for them all. So I did. And all of the requests came to my memory even though I was sure I would forget.
One of the things I said as I prayed was for the Spirit of God to move so greatly in the circle that even the bystanders and people passing by would sense it and feel His conviction. As I prayed, I saw a boy on the outside of the circle, looking like he was hesitant on whether or not to join in. He looked a little confused on what all was happening but walked a little bit closer, so I opened the circle to let him in. After a few moments of others praying, the boy broke down and began to cry. I didn't know why at the moment and I don't even know why now, but I could tell that something was happening with his spirit because he kept whispering under his breath "Help me Jesus...Help me Jesus..."
The youth pastor grabbed his Bible and loudly yelled out a scripture verse and a prayer. Yes, he had to yell because the circle had continued to grow. As he read, the verse of 2 Chronicles 20:12 came to my mind, interestingly enough as it had been on my heart for the past five days. So as he finished, I quickly let go of the hands around me and walked to get my Bible from my bag. Skimming through the thin paper pages, they fluttered against the breeze of the cold air until I finally found it. I took a deep breath because I needed to say this verse. I just NEEDED to say it, so I began to read it aloud. As I read it and looked around and emphasized phrases, I looked at the eyes of the group and they were listening. They were really listening. This started to stir up excitement in me and so I grew more passionate. I explained the meaning of it, I explained the victory that God has set for us-waiting for us to claim it. The battle is the Lord's, and He has already won it. I began to get so excited that I started to shake and motion with my fists. The Spirit just came in and overtook me, and I could feel Him moving through me. It's as if I my mouth spoke faster than my mind could think, I didn't even know what I was saying, but I know I was saying what He wanted me to say, it wasn't me talking, it was really all Him. Everything that came out of my mouth was Him and He chose to use me!!! How amazing is THAT?!?!

The youth pastor decided to lay his Bible down in the middle for anyone else to use if they felt a verse come to mind and slowly the students began walking up to it, picking it up and reading something.

A boy joined our circle, which was interesting as I had understood he was a Scientologist, but it turns out that he had brought his own Bible. I was worried he would somehow misinterpret it and try to explain the beliefs of Scientology, but still I allowed him to talk. He ended up reading a verse in Timothy and later on continued to encourage us. At one point he said "..and I've just been running from the truth for too long.." We continued to pray until 8:30 just before we were dismissed by the bell for class, so I decided to end it. As I prayed, I really felt the students unified and really taking their stand together.

So these were just a segment of what happened in that circle of students, just gathered around the flag pole at their high school, and even there, the Spirit of God moved swiftly and mightily. After it was all done, I looked around and realized that our circle, that had begun with no more than six people had now grown to a little over ONE HUNDRED!

The youth pastor asked me how often this happened and I responded that the pole deal only happened once a year but that I was planning on starting a prayer group before school, Monday mornings in the library of the school. Most of the students overheard and quickly began bombarding me with questions about the prayer group and wanted information. Funny thing, I had only been thinking about starting up the group and was praying about it for a few weeks and it felt in my spirit that, that was what needed to happen. So the youth pastor turned to me and said "Hey, can I come?" He was dead serious. So I happily agreed.

All of this to say that, the Spirit is moving in ways we can't even imagine, in places we wouldn't even believe or expect. So many times I have limited Him and so many times has He amazed me by showing up in the most random moments and places in my life, yet always when I needed Him to. He's moving in my school, He's moving within the kids that fill the hallways and the walls inside, He's moving in me shifting things around all for the better. It's an exciting journey so far, and I can't to see where He will end up taking us along the way. All I know is that, man- I am so ready for this.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

See You at the Pole

Every year, on the third Wednesday in September, an annual gathering is held around schools nationwide. This is called "See you at the Pole". What's the big idea? It's student initiated and student led, prayer group huddled around the flag pole to pray for the school year, the school itself, the teachers, each other, and our nation.
This year, it seemed that no one had mentioned anything about it though it was fast approaching. So, after thinking about it for a few days, I really felt that the Holy Spirit was convicting me of organizing it myself. He just kept saying "What are you waiting for? YOU can do it. You keep saying how you want to see a change in your school, a change in those around you, so why don't you actually DO something about it?" He was right. So I quickly started to plan things to organize the whole deal. I did my research on the official site, talked to the vice principals, and even made an event on Facebook to try to let as many people as I could know what was happening.
Ironically, as I was in the middle of creating the event on Facebook, I was suddenly overcome with a weird sense of fear.
"What if no one even shows up?" (My biggest fear)
"What if some people just think I'm being 'Christiany' and think I'm a fake?"
"What if nothing happens?"
So many different "what if's" on how it could possibly go wrong. My heart was literally racing as I was sending the virtual invitations to my friends. But then I prayed quickly asking God that if this was really what He wanted me to do, He would have to help me, because I was getting so discouraged.
For a few days, my little event on Facebook proved unsuccessful, because it was only one other guy and myself on the confirmed guest list. That discouraged me even more, but then I realized that something had gone wrong the first time I sent the invitations so that they actually didn't send at all. This was my second temptation to blow the whole thing off and just quit. But I reluctantly sent them out once more.
The next day, I had already more than 10 people signed up for it! And people began commenting on the page! It was such a great feeling to think that this might actually go well.
So now, I await September 23, 2009 with great anticipation. It's not however, because I recieved twenty five confirmed guest so far, but actually because I suddenly thought:
"So WHAT if nobody shows? So what if it's just me? Then it will be just me."
The fact is, that there are people who want to take prayer out of schools and this is a stand against that. Not only that, but more importantly, it's me praying for my school. It's me praying for covering over the thousands of teenagers that flood the hallways and the classrooms of Churchill. The teenagers that are hurting so badly, whose heart is bleeding but refuse to show it so they wear a painted mask of perfection. It's me praying for the teachers whose patience and spirits grow weary day after day. It's me praying against the preyings that the enemy has planned out, waiting for his time to attack. This is my battleground. Everyday is a battle. But thank you Jesus, that this is my victory.
So now, I'm confident that God will show up during this. That His presence will be so clear to those passively walking by. That His presence would overtake them, and that they would slowly start to somewhat see, who God really is.
A time for change is coming in the lives of our generation. It's time for us to stand together, united as believers and fight the good fight. The time is now. Who's with me?