Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Update of 2008!

This morning I woke up and it was one. No, not one o’clock, one degree Fahrenheit! That is what the thermostat read, now with wind-chill it was -15. Awesome right? Most days I say no because it is just plain cold. Now when it snows I still react if it is the first time I’ve ever seen it. I love the snow, it is so beautiful to watch. I was driving back from the airport today, I dropped Dan off around 4 and as I approached the city I just exclaimed to God, I love this city, thank you. Even though it is in the middle of the country far form any beach and depressingly cold right now, I love this city. God has given me the heart for Indianapolis and that is why I weather this storm, I stick around through the cold, through the rough times. I know God has me here for now. How do I know that right?

I’m always leery of people who say they heard from God. I have serious doubts about a movie preview-like voice coming out of nowhere in English saying something to a specific person. I think the Bible is complete and lacking nothing so God no longer needs to speak to man this way. Anyways, that is another day another conversation. I’m sitting in my little coffee shop with a friend the other week and we start talking about fasting. He asks me to fast with Him. He is a good friend so I agree. Seven days later I found myself looking at the most beautiful chicken breast, broccoli, and mashed potatoes I had ever seen to break my fast. So through these seven days of denying myself in order to hear from God, I actually did! Read Isaiah 30. He used that chapter to speak to me about seeking His plan instead of my own. It was a cool experience. It was most exciting to see a room full of men gathering in a small cold room at 630am to pray on the first day. My friend Allen and I met the most to pray in the morning. It was awesome to see so many men seeking God by fasting and praying. I’m totally convicted about being people of prayer in the modern church. That was so exciting to me and I think fasting and praying should be within the lifestyle of following Jesus, He said that we would stop when He returns, so He is not back so who said stop? So that’s my most recent adventure with God.

I’m preaching at Indy Metro Church on Sunday Dec 28 with another guy from our church. Then that night I’m preaching at the church my friend is the pastor of. As much as I want to teach and really speak and explain God’s Word to people I am very cautious to not get ahead of God and seek personal gain. I look to gain nothing from speaking and hope that God would use it to speak to people about what He is saying in His Word. I am excited about the opportunity to finally get to do it at my own church though. I pray that God would continue to use me in this way.

Nope, no girls right now for those of you wondering. It is funny how within the first 10 minutes of any conversation with someone who is not in the same city as I am this question arises. I fell for one, there have been few that made me excited, feel like I couldn’t breathe, or stop thinking about and I will wait to find one that makes me feel this way. I know it is God’s desire for me to marry and have a family, I’m just not sure of the timing and specifics, so until He makes them clear I will wait patiently. It is hard some days I will admit. It’s tough to find a girl that loves Jesus and makes you feel like you are floating. So the pool is smaller, but it’s there…lol. So yes, I’m praying for one and keeping my eyes open. Someone who I love makes me laugh by telling me I need to be praying with an ay and ey, like pray for a woman, but also prey for one. It makes me laugh to write that, but at least I can laugh at myself.

I’m finally done with my required graduate classes at Crossroads Bible College! Church planting and Christian college fall into the same category, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, but you wouldn’t change it for the world. I mean, it is amazing how much I’ve learned and gained by being at that school, but it has been at the cost of sleepless nights, burn out on Christian psychobabble, traditions, and exposing of my own short comings. I have 31 elective credit hours to take and I will be going to a local college to do so next semester. I plan on taking classes I want to, like guitar, photography, basketball, world religion, public speaking, psychology, sociology, and other things I am generally interested in and think that will help me become a better rounded person. I’m excited about getting towards the end, but almost have anxiety attacks thinking about having to pay on my student loans, but I guess this is probably the smartest debt I have gotten myself into, it is more like an investment.

I continue to fortune thrown my way at work. I’m still working for Safeco, which is going to be Liberty Mutual effective 01/01/2009. This was some big time accusation of companies, but works for the best I guess. I am now a scheduling analyst. That basically means I am over a region of field reps. Basically I monitor their day of inspecting vehicles that have been damaged by accidents and provide them with help as they need it. Totally don’t deserve it, but God opened a ton of doors on this one so who am I to turn something down… My boss and others always tell me how innovative and helpful I am. I’m praying that God continues to give me favor in this company so I can continue to move up and be more of a person of influence. I still have conversations about Jesus at work all the time, I always challenge people close to me to think about it instead of just brushing it off. I love having intellectual conversations with folks about Jesus.

I’m still a Big Brother too! It’s been almost two years now and I care about this kid a ton and can’t imagine my life without him. I am praying God will use me to teach him about Jesus and influence him in a positive way.

I am still the urban man around these parts. It’s funny to me to look back on how I grew up and see myself now. I live downtown, know everyone by first name in the local coffee shop that I’m in at least 6 days a week, rock cool hats, chucks, designer jeans and t-shirts, and walk everywhere. Not much has changed and yes I’m still attempting to rock a poor excuse for a beard…lol I’m all about the local music scene so I am always looking for cool shows to go to. My favorite spot is a little joint that is smoke free and only has like a $6 cover to see normally like 3-4 shows. I’m into a lot of different music though, my favorite has to be along the lines of Sigur Ros, Cyril Morin, and Oliver Pryslack right now.

Christmas and New Years plans? Well, my plan for Christmas is to do as little as possible honestly. There are so many things that can be distracting from that quiet baby in the manger. I really want to use that day to celebrate His birth, so my plan is to wake up in the morning and spend the day reading, journaling, praying, and just listening to some cool music and just hanging out with my Father (Jesus). New Years, I am actually going to a masquerade ball. It is pretty swanky, black tie event with masks. So it should be fun, it’s a city-wide event and tickets are $60 a head so it should be groovy. I miss all my friends and family back in Jacksonville and Tampa tons and hope this little update helps you gain a little access into my crazy little world up here. Please always feel free to email me or write me, I’m all about receiving unexpected letters form people! Email is aslope@gmail.com and physical is 234 E 9th St Apartment 105 Indianapolis, IN 46204. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe New Years. Any other specific questions?????

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