Monday, August 5

Washington Weddings

I've been busy lately with lots of work, moving, running, and trying to live out a dream of helping underprivileged kids learn to surf and meet Jesus. Washington came at the right time to give me some rest and also some fun.  Congrats to Mike and Taylor Hartanov, blessed to have such good friends. 

I wish I could run in places like Washington year round. 

Saturday, November 17

How To Stay Alive

I have found through time spent in foreign lands that the best thing you can possibly do is keep your head up and your eyes open.  I have continually found myself in awe of where God has taken me. I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had these past years and I thank you for sharing in them with me and being interested in not only my travels, but also my thoughts. Through my life I have had the opportunity to explore through nearly twenty-five different countries and have met people from all walks of life. I can’t promise I will ever stop traveling, but I can say that if my future has seldom opportunity, I will have no reason to be bleak. I choose to not trust my imagination of what our world is like, so I therefore quit seeing things from a distance. To stay alive, you first must loose your life. With a new season of life constantly arising the only sustaining anchor for my soul is Jesus Christ. I don’t pretend to be wise, but rather have taken every opportunity I’ve been given as a drop of wisdom.  One thing I have learned is that everyone is searching for the one thing to fill the void in his or her life. To be on this “search” is something that has become the new cool or hipster thing to do. I don’t hesitate to say I have found it.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end”

It is no wonder why everyone from beginning to end searches for the meaning of life. God set it in our hearts to look, to be adventurous, to go on journeys.  That when we finally found the answer to this life, it would be completely genuine, from our hearts and souls, with a love for God that is raw and fireproof, completely filled with the one thing that can ultimately fill our void. I couldn’t fathom seeing the things I’ve seen without the knowledge that it comes from a love story of the living God who created everything and in that gave each person a purpose. This information may not be new for anyone. It may not inspire or move you, you may not agree with it or like it, but in the end I can say with full confidence that it will keep you alive.

This is Dylan to my right, although he is crazy he is a good kid. He will be a talented surfer one day too. 

Wednesday, November 14

Saturday, November 3

What's in store?

Thinking back to my time spent thus far I can honestly say that it has been very uplifting for me. I arrived in South Africa with the ambition to serve in a community with kids that live a life completely different than mine. I have a little less than a month till I arrive home to California and I have been dealing with the struggle of what I am going to do when I return. Through time spent serving here, I have been able to learn a lot about myself, and a lot about God. I am incredibly grateful for; yet fearful of the freedom God gives us in life. I can’t help but sometimes wish God would just tell me which direction to go.  I was encouraged by a quote by Martin Luther, as found on my sister’s blog

“Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend – it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours. Thus Abraham went forth from his father and not knowing whither he went. He trusted himself to my knowledge, and cared not for his own, and thus he took the right road and came to his journey’s end. Behold, that is the way of the cross. You cannot find it yourself, so you must let me lead you as though you were a blind man. Wherefore it is not you, no man, no living creature, but I myself, who instruct you by my word and Spirit in the way you should go. Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is clean contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire – that is the road you must take. To that I call you and in that you must be my disciple. “- Martin Luther quoted by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Cost of Discipleship

            As I see this I realize that this is exactly the life I have asked for in my worship and prayer. This is supposed to be the life we all asked for when we gave our lives to Christ. So many times I have said the prayer, God use me. As I looked up the definition of the word ‘used’ it stated; to be employed in accomplishing something.  From my time spent here in South Africa, I can honestly say that God has been using me. He has allowed me to spread love to a group of kids through the sport of surfing and through the act of fellowship. My life is in the hands of the creator, if it was in my hands, I can guarantee you I wouldn’t be where I am at right now in South Africa. That’s what I find exciting about this life, and that is why I strive to not worry about anything, but in everything give praise. For in the end, I have been given far more than I deserve.

 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Tuesday, October 16

Road Trip

This last weekend was quite cool. Myself along with the others that I live with went on a 5 hour road trip to a city called East London. It is there where we partnered with a local church in putting on a skate and surf competition. I could go into great detail about each little thing we did but I will save you the time. Instead I will speak about the surf competition. Each surfer had to ride the same board and each of those boards had a Bible verse on them, either from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. There were about 80-90 competitors along with fans there to cheer them on. It was an awesome weekend of surfing in which we ran a total of thirty-eight heats that each lasted twenty minutes. The neatest thing that happened at this competition was not cool maneuvers in the water or anything like that. It was the fact that in the opening and closing ceremony of the competition, over 90 people were gathered around, many of which were not Christian, and the gospel was shared.

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. - Isaiah 55:11

I sat there listening to the preacher, a man who seemed well respected in the surf community there, and knew that he was fully aware of why he put on the competition. It wasn't to see who the best surfer was or to have a fun weekend. His purpose as well as ours was to get people that he would never see in his congregation together, in silence, to hear from God. 
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. - John 1:1
It is crucial to remember that the Word, our Bible, is God. It is how he communicates to us, it will not return empty when it is spoken or read. Its probably why there are well over 6 billion Bibles printed in over 7,000 languages. It is probably why it is the most attacked book in history! And it is probably why it hasn't been stopped by early Roman emperors such as Diocletian, communist dictators, modern-day atheists, pseudo-science, psychology, or todays political movements. It can't be stopped, its already promised to us that it won't be stopped.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away- Mark 13:31

Pray that this last weekend hearts were opened to the gospel, and that lives were transformed.

Friday, September 21

Meet Kosie… He is one kid who isn’t fully aware that his life will mean something someday. In fact, his life means something today, right now. He has a smile that is contagious and a strong laugh to go along with it. He is 14 years old and he wants to be a surfer and carpenter when he gets older. I told him that Jesus used to be a carpenter and it made him smile. He has friends that look up to him because although he is very quiet, he isn’t unheard. He has very little positive influence in his life and for this reason each day comes with new territory. He can be very helpful or he can be very mischievous. He is just one kid…out of many kids with their own unique story. Kosie doesn’t realize it yet, but his life has a purpose. A God much bigger than I can explain to him loves him and calls him his child. He isn’t forgotten, he isn’t just an out-cast kid on the streets, he is a human being, made in the image of the invisible God. He should have been loved from the moment he was born, but there is evidence for the alternative. I wish you could all meet him in person, but this is the best I can do for you. Pray for him, pray that he can begin to see himself as a child of the living God.  

Thursday, August 30

J-Bay, South Africa Take: 1

Well, So far so good...  It has been exactly one week now living in South Africa and I can honestly say that It has been a true blessing. The days are filled with a lot of different activities, some things we do are consistent day in and day out, while other things come up un-expectantly.  One consistent activity we get is the pleasure of hanging out with this group of amazing kids. A lot of them are straight off the streets and have no guidance in their lives. It has been a week of new beginnings for me, beginning to get the hang of the new city and culture in South Africa, and learning once again the meaning of prayer. This trip is in need of a lot of prayer; prayer for these kids that have been kicked out into the streets and have no opportunity to better their lives. The ministry I am volunteering with focuses on helping out kids in order to make an impact for the future of this city. This city is filled with a deep history of racism, still to this day racism is present, the blacks and whites live on opposite sides of town and since their is way more blacks than whites, a reverse racism is currently here where only blacks are being hired for jobs. Almost 50% of people are out of work and the ones that are in work get paid pennies. For example, a restaurant waiter gets paid about 12 rand an hour, which equals a little over a dollar an hour. A loaf of bread may cost up to 20 rand... With this, many people turn to crimes such as theft to make due. By prayer and time spent with these kids Aleph Surf Foundation hopes to instill a sense of right and wrong in their lives early on and at the same time give them hope for a bright future that many of them don't have. Only with Christ will these kids be saved and it is the ultimate mission to lead them to know that they are loved by a father in heaven. We do this through consistently being in their lives as a witness of a Christ like character and through sharing with them lessons from the Bible. It has been fun here in J-Bay, the surf is un-real. It has consistently been 6-8 ft days with at most six people in the line up. I have for sure been enjoying the culture here and the friends I have met. More importantly however has been the impact that the kids have already started to make on my life. I hope to help them as much as I can, however in the end without Christ it is impossible. Keep in touch, and I will continue to share my stories throughout these months. 

Below are some shots from various events, some from the airport, others from a skate competition we helped out at, and the others from a garage that we have been cleaning and transforming into the new meeting place for Aleph Surf....Enjoy. 

Tuesday, May 15

Moonrise Kingdom

this should be a wonderful movie

Friday, May 4

The Thrill

      "What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction. The man who has learned to fly and become a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in the beauty spot will discover gardening.
This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go — let it die away — go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow — and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy". -C.S. Lewis 

-A good friend showed me this and I really enjoyed it...hope you do too.