Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Update: Oliver Marmol
Most of you may not know that one of the guys that I discipled for 3 years just got drafted in this year's Major League Draft. He was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 6th round. It has been a definite dream come true for Oli, and I have recently talk to him several times and all our conversations have been extremely encouraging. Why? One, because he is continuing to pursue God wholeheartedly in a very tough environment. Secondly, because he has also continued to value the hearts of people more than he has the game of baseball. He really understands why God has him there, which is to impact the hearts of men with the gospel. And lastly, he made a comment to me that motivates me to want to do this job for the rest of my life. He told me that since he had been away from the campus that he had begun to see the huge impact that life-on-life discipleship had on his life, and that the training he had received the last three years had prepared him greatly for impacting the players around him for Christ. To build laborers for a lifetime is why I do this job, and I pray that you can rejoice with me in celebrating this laborer that God has used us to build into and develop for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. May there be many more like him to come!
My Identity as a Saint

I have been studying Ephesians recently, and to be completely honest I have been utterly encouraged and brokenhearted at the same time. I know that it is hard to imagine both of those emotions existing simultaneously, but somehow my fickle heart has swung back and forth between both of those feelings. In Ephesians, Paul is laying out the vision or purpose that God intended for the Church (the body of believers), but before He dives into that he starts by reminding the church in Ephesus who they are "in Christ". He tells them that they are the following ONLY in a relationship with Christ:

  1. Blessed (v.3)
  2. Chosen (v.4)
  3. Predestined (v.5)
  4. Adopted (v.5)
  5. Accepted (v.6)
  6. Redeemed (v.7)
  7. Forgiven (v.7)
  8. Enlightened (vv.8-9)
  9. Given an inheritance (v.11)
  10. Sealed (v.13)
  11. Assured (v.14)
Ephesians 1:3-14

As I read the words of my Heavenly Father say these things about me, and who I am in Christ without having to earn a single ounce of it, I am excitedly overwhelmed. There is no richer mercy and no greater love than that of our Creator. Oh how I wish I lived in my identity as a child, co-heir, and saint in the Kingdom. That is where my heart begins to break! To many times I fail to rest in and preach my worth and value in Christ to my ever wandering heart. In fact, I fall captive to the expectations and demands of this world more than I fight to preach the gospel to my own soul. I am willing to bet that too many people in churches across America fall victim to the same expectations and demands, but have no idea that they are letting the world shape them more than what their Father says is true about them "in Christ".

Without resting in my identity in Christ it is impossible for me to actively dive in deeply with my God and with other people (especially my wife). Without resting in my value and worth in Christ it is impossible for me to have right perspective in support raising, leading a team, or why I should continue to pour my life out daily as a drink offering. Please God let me be a man who rests and preaches to my heart more than I call others to preach to their hearts because without being filled with Your love and grace I can't give it.

Please be praying the following for us as we fight to pursue the King together, and lay down our lives as His redemptive agents:

1. They we would rest in the Sovereign, Loving arms of our Father
2. Wisdom in how to minister to our staff and approach the campus at NC State
3. That God would continue to lay us on the hearts of people and give us partners in spreading the Gospel to college students ($1500 monthly)