Thursday, January 29, 2009

And my cup overflows, again

I just thought Id tell everyone about something God has blessed me with this past year.

See, I have never had any hard core christian friends that have walked with me on this hike.
It's always been hard on my own. And if I could have had anything I asked for it would have been hands down, a godly young person who was not just interested but passionate about God. A true Friend who lived close enough to interact with.

I've had one or two christian friends, But they've always been either nominal or lived half way across the country.

It was a real need in my life, especially as I got older. I just needed someone who I could let my guard down and talk too. Someone who I didn't feel like I had to keep my hand on my sword if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I was really discouraged and frustrated. I was around some very Godly older men and women. But it just wasn't the same as another young person who felt the same pressures that the world puts on teens.

I know you hear the saying all the time "You know brother, we're in a war". Man do I hate hearing that some times. Because most the time it's just words that the get thrown around not out of conviction but out of habit.

Now with that said I will continue. :)
We are in a very bloody war and we need to realize that.
And I was getting ripped apart trying to stand alone all the time. I would pray and cry at night asking God for a friend, but it just wasn't happening.(or so i thought)

This was going on for years, but especially in the past three or four.
Then a little more then a year ago I went through a really hard time. I was in such need of a friend, and it didn't seem like God was listening. So I started looking in the wrong places for some friends. Of coarse they weren't real friends, just thought it was fun to hang out, and then I got sorta hurt because of some different things that happened.

Then this summer we had a family camping trip at my house.
That's when God started answering some serious prayers. On that trip I met some very neat young people and started really connecting with some acquaintances. Sense then it's been a snow ball effect. God has put me in contact with tons of hard core christian teens who want to be warriors for God and storm the gates of hell.

I feel like I went to God asking for a cup full, and he backed up a tanker and hit me with it all at once.

I'd like to thank all those friends that have stood by me in the face of the enemy, pushed me under cover, pulled me into the fight, covered my back when I needed it. And just put up with me all the other times. :)

I know I'm not the best of friends sometimes(ok, a lot of the time) I'm horrible at returning letters and emails. I can be pretty annoying sometimes, Bossy others and a whole list of other things I've got to work on. But thank you so much for being willing to work with me on this stuff. (and by-the-way, don't feel bad about telling me to shut-up sometimes)

You have no idea how God has used all of you in my life, and all my blogging friends included. Even though I haven't met many of you I have been vary edified by what interaction we've had so far.
I look foreword to meeting you all some day.

I was thinking the other day, a lot of us don't really have much in common. I mean I'm a hard core hunter, love the outdoors, and am really crazy sometimes.
But there is one thing that binds us all together, and that's Christ. Having that in common is like no other thing that draws teens together. Because we get past the stage of friendship and move on to become like brothers and sisters.

I thank God every day for what he has done for me in this area.

So thanks again for being willing to be used by God in my life. And if it ever gets to be to much for you, just let me know and I'll find someone else to drive crazy. ;)


If you do email me or send me a letter and I don't get back with you right away, please forgive me.
It's not that I don't appreciate it, I'm just a jerk sometimes. :)


Hey everyone, that whole J.J. thing was really funny!

Sorry for going AWOL, I've been kinda busy lately.
Here is my first picture post. (oh yeah :)

This is Ronny Bakeman, A friend from here in Croswell.
This is from last year when some friends
come over rabbit hunting. After shooting some thumpers we sat around and played eucher.
The catch was who ever got euchred had to wear the "euchre hat".

And Ryan Bakeman...

and my tough looking cousin...

and last but not least Jordan Bakeman.

Yeah, mean looking bunch of hunters.
Well the bunnys think so :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

On our way to "Paradise".....

In September 2007 a friend from MO called my dad about a trip he was thinking about taking.
He said they needed more guys, so after thinking about it my dad called the man who was heading the team, Sam Ash. The outcome was Dad, my brother Joel and I signed up for the trip.
We didn't know to much about it except that we where going to the copper canyon in Mexico. Don't ask me where on the map, I have no idea :) Anyway, we did hear bits and pieces about how hard and dangerous it was but I kinda rolled my eyes a little. I guess I thought it was going to be just like all the other "mission trips" I've heard of, where every things planed out and kinda dull. I guess I just wanted some adventure. Boy did I get what I wanted :)
Eric Armstrong came up to Michigan the day before thanksgiving so we could drive down together.
We took off thanksgiving day at four in the morning (that means we like, totally missed all the food!). The game plan was we would be picking up more guys on the way down, but it was going to be a looong drive. In lower Michigan we made our first stop for Willy & Andy Buck, two young men that I had never met. Willy was the older of the two, 18. Andy was the younger brother and he was 16. Both were very intelligent and kept us updated with how many calories of trail mix and beef jerky we had in the van. Not that any of us could ever understand how much there really was(I normally count the stuff buy the bag. :) Eric by the way is a young guy that stayed with us for a while, really neat guy. He's 23 and is the greatest guitar player I know.
Second stop was Missouri, some where near Saint Louis. There we picked up Grady Gamble and Jason Bradshaw, two awesome guys that I was privileged to be teamed up with on the trip.
That night we stopped at about ten thirty at Grady's cousins house. It was really cool, we didn't know where we where going to spend the night so Grady called his cousin and asked if we could stay with him. He said he was out of town but told us where the keys where so we could get in the house. Thank God, we got a much needed rest. But first we argued over who got to sleep where. Everyone wanted everyone else to sleep in the good spots(see what you fight about when you go with a bunch of Christians ) Well that was one argument I lost(bummer), I got the bed. :) The next morning we packed back into the van and drove on toward our destination. All day we talked, laughed, played eucher, sang songs and slept(or tried to as we had to shut out the Bucks discussions of calories and the shouts of victory from the eucher game).

About eleven that night we made it to El Paso, Texas and headed for the Denny's restaurant to join up with the rest of the team that had drove from Colorado. I staggered in and slowly made my way with the others toward the back room. We walked in and I leaned up against the wall for support. Dead tired I looked around the room and saw all the guys that I would get to know over the rest of the trip. I remember thinking well this wasn't really the first impression I wanted to make, slouching up against the wall to tired to see straight.

After a good meal(one we thought might be our last for some time) we continued on toward the border crossing. Once in Mexico we drove to the mission station where we where to stay for the night. About 1:30 in the morning we where taken to the barracks and given beds. That's the one time in my life when I think I was asleep before I hit the pillow. :) I'm sure if we had known what we would have to go through in the next week it would have been a lot harder to fall asleep.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Excuse time

Sorry everyone, I was intending to post. I just got caught up in some sensitive business over in Russia for the CIA.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Drum roll please

Some of you have asked me to write about the trip a bunch of crazy guys(myself included) took last year. Ever since we came back I've wanted to write it all down, So this will be good for me. This will be a vary detailed and thorough account of every thing that happened, so its going to take a whale. I've been going through my journal that I kept while down there, Its crazy some of the things I've forgot about. There will be a bunch of posts instead of just one and I'll try to get pictures. I guess you can say this is the introduction. So stay up to date. I'll get started on the first one tomorrow.


Monday, January 12, 2009

I can't think of a good title...

I was walking through a thrift store the other day looking for a coat. As I meandered around rack after rack of clothes a little girl caught my attention. She was circling the racks one by one, walking down the isles. But what I noticed was the expression on her face, she was looking for something. There was a sense of urgency in the way she was searching. As I watched, the urgency turned to panic as she raced around looking, searching, trying to find whatever or whoever it was she had lost. I realized she must be searching for her mom, but what this little girl didn't know was her mom was just a couple of racks away. I had a big advantage over the little princess, I could see over the racks. In fact most every one in the store could. She was just to short to see the big picture, if she had just asked for help. Or better yet, if she had called out for her mom she would have been "found".
I remember one time when I was little going shopping with my mom at Toys-R-Us. It wasn't to long before I was distracted by some baseball stuff(by-the-way, baseball is the coolest sport ever). And as I stood there enamored by those awesome bats and gloves, my mom got farther and farther away. It wasn't until she was half a store away that I realized she wasn't there with me anymore. Then I started thinking stuff like what if she forgets me ? If she can't find me she might just go home!
I know now that's crazy, but when you're five it seems like the end of the world. But think about it, aren't we like that sometimes? Getting distracted by things of the world and taking our sights off God. Its like driving, hasn't any one ever told you " don't look at the road right in front of the car, look at where you're going, look at the destination. If you look right in front of the car you'll be all over the place but if you keep your eyes fixed strait in front of you, you'll go strait." Don't be focused on what your trying to fix in life, zero in on christ and you will hit the mark.
The little girl had lost her mom because she got distracted by other things. When was the last time you lost your wallet whale you had it in your hand? You didn't. You don't loose things when you are paying attention to them. You loose things when you loose interest in what you are supposed to pay attention to. You pull up to a gas station, get out of your truck, put the nozzle in the tank and walk in to the station. You get your coffee and step in line. The catchier asks for your ID so you put your wallet on the counter, hand her the money and walk out. About two miles down the road you realize, Oh no I forgot my wallet! You didn't leave it because you had a sudden brain shut down. No, you forgot the wallet because you where distracted be the thought when was the last time I checked the oil? See if I would just keep are eyes on God I'd be doing great. It's when we start thinking about ourselves that we get lost. Most of the time in this rat-race that we call life I'm to short to see the big picture, so I need to ask for help. And that is why I've got YOU GUY"S :) (and girls :)


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New year

Doesn't it just feel different? OK, not really but I was just thinking, so much has happened in the last year. I'd never have thought I would know some of the people I've met, or do some of the things I've done in 2008. Then I thought, "but how productive have I been spiritually? How many times did I have an opportunity to do something for the kingdom and didn't because I was ether a coward or to proud? Have I matured as much as I should have?" The answers are sobering. Now I'm siting at the keyboard kinda in the dumps. I know I can't just dwell on yesteryear getting frustrated, depressed and angry because we're new creatures in Christ. It would be very easy to just ignore it all so I don't feel guilty and just go on with life. Or I can come to grips with the fact that I'm just a failure, and that I need God with me all day every day. Sometimes it seems easier to just be depressed, but the longer you stay depressed, the harder it is to just hand it all over to God. Please don't take this as me trying to preach at you, trust me, I'm the last person you need preaching from! Sometimes I feel like a tractor stuck in the mud, not making any headway no mater how hard I try. I'm just trying to encourage everyone to realise with me, that life is much to short to spend kicking ourselves about the past. We need to look at the past just long enough to learn from our mistakes and then turn our face to the wind and kick it into gear. With God's help lets try to make this year a year of honoring and serving God with everything he has given us.