Category Archives: Prayer

Trip Blog

I have started a new blog for my upcoming trip. I do not know how often I will be able to write while I am on the road. When I do though, it will be on my other blog. Here is the link. Hope you like! http://gorejr.tumblr.com/

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Joy

Kid being rescued from the rubble of Haiti. Makes me laugh and cry. Thank you, Father!

My Heart Is Torn For Haiti

I just heard about what happened yesterday in Haiti. From what I have read, this disaster will be felt for years. Tens of thousands of people were physically crushed and the rest maybe even more so psychologically. It seems as though everything in the capital was destroyed. Schools, government buildings, houses, shops, everything, in a matter of seconds. My mind can’t comprehend the trauma this would create in a community. No matter how many pictures I see or what words I read, I will never be able to understand. I want to be there. Not because I want to experience pain or be a hero (I wouldn’t even know how to help people in a feasible way). I want to be there because they are humans, they are suffering, and they are crying out for help. It is in times like these that God moves more visibly to my eyes.

So what can we do? Nothing seems like enough. Can we actually help or are we helpless to aid? We can be a part of the healing process. We can do little things. And for followers of the one who fed thousands with a handful, that is an encouraging thing. We can send a $10 donation to Red Cross’ relief effort by texting HAITI to 90999. And we can ask God to multiply our gift. We can ask God to comfort those stuck in this mess. And perhaps most importantly, we can keep this issue on our hearts. Like I said earlier, this issue is not going to fade quickly. It will fester and when it does, somewhere down the road, we can be ready to help. One example of this is adoption. This earthquake has created multitudes of new orphans. This is one of many problems that will arise. For now, talk to God, donate money, do what you can do to help your neighbors from Haiti.

Going to Mexico

Wednesday, I’m headed to Rocky Point, Mexico with a friend from school and his church (New Valley). We will be building a house alongside a local community for a family of four. The trip is facilitated by OneMission, an organization that sets up three to five day trips for churches and other groups.

 It’s gonna be really cool to provide this family with a home but it will be an even greater experience due to the mindset we are going in with. We are very purposefully not going in as the privileged giving aid to the less privileged. We are going in to build community by serving people who aren’t all that different than us. We’re not gonna work our butts off with power tools as they stand by and watch. We’re gonna learn from them, work alongside them,  and use their tools. Hopefully, along the way, we can create friendships and bonds that will be more powerful than anything else we build.

Like all the trips that I’ve gone on, it is a mystery as to what God will do during our time there. I’m willing to bet though that whatever it is it will be extremely meaningful and deeply entrenched in compassion. I am very excited to learn another culture, meet new friends, and gain a greater realization of my Father’s love for me. If you would, please ask God to constantly remind us why we are there (to serve as Jesus served and to shair love unconditionally).

Late Night with Random Thoughts (#2)

It’s 12:34. I can’t fall asleep. My body is exhausted but my mind is in midday stride. I have a test tomorrow that I need to study for but I can’t concentrate on the material so I find myself delivering my thoughts to you.

Just finished reading a book called Tribes by Seth Godin. It’s all about leadership and it’s importance in today’s world of movements and tribes (groups united by a single vision/motive/product). Really enjoyed it and got a lot from it. Need another good read now.

Sometimes I get behind on stuff and it overwhelmes me. It happens with schoolwork. Today, it happened with my room. I was supposed to clean it (we just moved into a new house and are in the process of unpacking boxes) but I didn’t know where to put anything so I just didn’t do anything for awhile. After some time of doing nothing, I felt behind and overwhelmed. My mom gave me some practical/obvious tips and You gave me some much needed encouragement. I was able to get a lot done. I hate being immobilized.

Regarding the new home, it is quite amazing and fits our needs perfectly. It is a lot smaller than our previous behemoth of a house but I like that very much. It forces us to be closer as a family. We can no longer all go into separate corners of the house (all the kids rooms are about five feet away from each other). We have a huge (by East Valley, Arizona standards) backyard with a pool and patio with fireplace. And we have numerous parks and fields in our neighborhood. I love it. Thank You so much!

When someone encourages me, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. I want to give other people that feeling.

Sometime soon, I need to apply to college.

Packers. Ouch! Losing to the previously winless Bucs? They only had to go about ten yards everytime they touched the ball. Our offensive line is stinky.

I’ve been listening to Switchfoot’s new album Hello Hurricane and it is really good. Sound is rocking, anthemic, and ambient. Lyrics are full of hope in the hard times. Really, really like this album!

Wondering, if I had the chance to go back to either Morocco or Rwanda, where would I choose?

Goodnight. I hope I dream about freedom.

The First Ending

Friday night was probably the last time I’ll ever play competitive tackle football. It was a hard way to go out, losing in the first round of the playoffs to a team we had beaten in the regular season. We weren’t really ready to play and they were. Throughout the entire game, I had a feeling that it would be the last one but it didn’t come home until after the coaches talked to us. They gave us their speech, walked away, and it hit. Hard. A wave of emotion, like a slow tsunami, rolled through my body and out of my eyes despite my best efforts to keep it in. Even though I was sad the season ended the way it did, the tears weren’t full of sorrow but joy. I was so thankful for my teammates and all the leadership they showed throughout the season, as well as all the stupid things we did that made us laugh. I was thankful for all the encouragement from everyone throughout the bad years. I was thankful that we even had this season to remember (we almost didn’t have a football team this year because we didn’t have enough guys). I was thankful for everyone’s hard work that gave us more wins this season than we had had in our previous four years combined. I was so thankful for You and the way You made me so that I could be a valuable part of the team. Like we said before and after every game (win or lose) “to God be the glory!” Thank You!!!

alexdeanfootball

Me and my little bro who became the starting defensive end. He was awesome!

Being a senior, I’m starting to understand the concept of The End. Football ending is just the first of many endings to come. At some point in the near future, basketball will be over and I’ll be in my last play and soccer will end with baseball and track & field. And then one day, high school will end. And then what? I don’t know yet but I’m excited and thankful at the same time.

Love/Courage/Wisdom

Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world.

 – Ammon Hennacy (Catholic activist 1893-1970)