For several weeks now I have intended to begin this blog and I'm finally going to make it happen. So welcome to my life :).
Where am I? you ask.
Nashville, TN is where I currently call home; Music City USA; the buckle of the Bible belt; home of the Tennessee Titans. From a tourist's perspective, this city is filled with glamour and cowboy boots. But after having spent a year here in Nashville, I find it is a great mistruth to assume that is the extent of Nashville.
Venturing here last fall to attend Trevecca Nazarene University, my heart has been broken time and time again by the endless amount of stories told by people who have come to be some of my best friends. It is after joining the CSM staff that I am encouraged by what is being done on a larger scale in regards to solving the ever-pressing issue of poverty. And while I am encouraged by what is being done, I am also more aware of where the systems are flawed. But in the midst of this "brokenness," God is and has undoubtedly been at work.
Long conversations and late schedules are worth every minute as youth groups that come in from around the states begin to delve into various issues and brainstorm the possibilities of what it would look like to live radically in the world today. But perhaps the most beautiful evidence that God is alive and well can be found in human interaction: laughter, tears, hugs, playing tag, finding out how people got where they are, smiles, and conversation both meaningful and mundane. Through friendship and genuine love, dignity is being restored. And if only for a moment, dreams are dreamt again.
And so I/we are discovering what it is to genuinely love; what it really means to live out the greatest commandments of all: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37, Deut 6.4-5) and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:39, Lev 19:18).
There's no place in the world I'd rather be right now than serving here with CSM; watching the lives and mindsets of many, including myself, transform as they are continually challenged to see the world through God's eyes.
Oh, and this is my family for the summer....
This pic pretty well exemplifies all of our personalities...yep.
(Austin, Bethany, Heather, Jody, Me, and Jarred) Love them.