It has been 1 year since my first day of serving in the office at YouthHOPE. Since July 15th, 2011, God has been working on my faith, theology, missiology and more. As I reflect on how faithful He has been, I’d love to share with you some of what He has been sharing with me.
Most recently, God put it on my heart to start a Scripture project. This project does not have a name, and is something I have been doing apart from my work at YouthHOPE. I am creating an Excel spreadsheet for each book of the New Testament and listing out each of the verses, row by row. Did you know the Gospel of Matthew has 1,072 verses? For each verse, I am recording:
- Notes of what God has taught me in the past 13 years
- Cross references
- Key words
I realize this project will take several years, but by God’s grace, I will complete the New Testament. This is intended to be a legacy for my daughters, friends, and those that He allows me to disciple.
Next, God has put it on my heart to create videos that challenge the Church. Through this process, I have heard from Him on several topics, all the while needing to “remove the plank” from my own eye. The things that He has pressed on me to address to the Church are all things that He is addressing with me in my own life. My first video is called Numbers. It can be viewed here. My next video will come out in the next month, Lord willing. God used former-students on facebook to encourage me to record some “video sermons” as a means to get me to see that He is calling me to this. I value your prayers as many will be offended at what they hear and see. I find comfort, however in the words of 1 Cor. 1:23-24 “…we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
Third, we have been having Bible studies on campus for the past 10 months. We have called friends to gather and unify around the Word of God each Tuesday night. God has allowed us to explore topics such as: Heaven, rest, spiritual gifts, purity, soul vs. spirit, and honor. We have studied the book of Ruth in its entirety over a period of 1 month and several other expository studies as well. I continue to teach devotions for the mission each Monday morning that I am in town. It has truly been a blessing to gather around the Word of God and to be taught by the Spirit with like-minded folks.
Fourth, in the past year, God has taught me a lot about worship, honor, and spiritual gifts. For the first time in our lives, we can surely identify our spiritual gifts and have been growing in their operation for sure. Here’s mine:
Primary: teaching, pastor, knowledge, missionary.
Secondary: giving voluntary poverty and leading worship.
If you want to know what gifts Karena has, feel free to ask her. She was surely excited by what God has revealed to her.
As I look back at the past year, there are dozens of people who have greatly impacted our lives and affected my theology. I could not possibly mention everyone here, but a few people come to mind. People like Jeremy Willet & Jimmy Akers have held me accountable to the call that God has on my life. Brothers: Gary Hanneken, Fred McHargue, Bruce Schreiber and Sir Robert Burbridge have been spiritual fathers to me. Mrs. Stefini Greer has been our prayer warrior. God has allowed me to pour in to our spiritual sons Christian Cole, Eric Broome and others. He has given us new spiritual daughters like Taylor Masters. He has given me great friends. Just one year ago I did not know Brad Zachritz or Sean McIntosh and I consider them to be some of my best friends today. I am blessed to work with brothers like Aaron Arnold and Kyle Duncan. God has used Adam & Beth Hunt in ways we cannot describe with words and they truly are family to us. Lastly, we get to serve and plug in to a healthy church that is reaching the lost in SW, FL. To God be the glory.