Nicaragua 2017

Nicaragua 2017

Well folks, another year has passed since I put out the “plea for help”. God has called me to make another trip to Nicaragua this year, but this time I am taking my oldest daughter Lexi with me. She has been asking (begging/pleading) for a couple years now to go, but I had to wait till I thought she would be ready to go. That being said, the cost doubles from what it was last year.

Our goal to raise this year will be $2500. This covers everything we will need for the trip. Plane tickets, food, shelter, everything. Our first deposit is due at the beginning of April so we can be sure to get the plane tickets early. That cost is $1500. The rest is due a little bit later. The trips have been amazing the past two years. The first year was the “take it all in/ culture shock” year. I was able to help do what we needed to do, but it was just all brand new to me. Last year was better because not only did I feel more comfortable to participate, I was able to get a ton of video footage (so I could make the video below for our church). I wish I could explain it all, the different people you meet in the villages, the kids faces when you play with them, or when you get to give them a pair of flip-flops. Then to see their excitement to get their hot bowl of food, just phenomenal.

I don’t want to get into everything, but please, if you feel led to do so, donate and help us go this year. We are looking forward to serving down there again in whatever means is needed. If you want to see what it was like to go there, again, watch the video below.

You can donate this year straight to the church and they will keep track of it. You can go online to https://mycornerstone.org/online-giving/  Click on the “Click Here to Give Online” Button at the top. In the Give To drop down, choose “Mission Trip Support” and in the notes section put NICA-EUGENE & LEXI MCCURDY

I’ll update as the time gets closer as to how it’s going. For now, anything you can give will be awesome and greatly appreciated!

Groaning Pains

So yes, it’s a play on words.. But hopefully it got your attention. No, this is not about the Seaver family, and yes.. knowing that makes me feel old.

If you don’t have any clue what I’m talking about.. just forget I mentioned it.

I was reading some scripture the other day and something caught me. It was about the Holy Spirit. I am guessing there may be one or two people reading this that don’t know what (or who) that is. Jesus promised that when He ascended into Heaven that in return we could then have the Holy Spirit as our comforter and guide. That’s basically it in a small nutshell. 

It amazes me that God, the creator of the EVERYTHING would care enough to share His very best (yes another old reference). The fact that He puts a moral compass inside of us to remind us when we are considering choosing, for lack of better terms, the stupid path in life. I believe he is also there as that comforter for when the world brings out the worst days or when we lose someone close to us; that the Holy Spirit can bring the peace that passes all understanding. It’s just simply amazing. What I really liked about what I read is that the Holy Spirit will basically pray for you even when you can’t. Even when you don’t know what to pray. He knows your thoughts and what you feel and the bible says that He groans to God in such ways that we cannot understand Him, but God does and He of course hears it. Here’s the scripture:

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:26-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So, what does it mean? It means that in those moments where you feel so overwhelmed that you could just scream, cuss, punch something, break something, melt down into a crying fit, try to hurt yourself, try to hurt someone else, or just throw a hissy fit because you don’t know what you should do… The Holy Spirit can transfer that emotion to God who then can bring you unimaginable peace. 

Ok, don’t get me wrong here, there are times that I know EXACTLY what I want to say and I sometimes even say it loudly and directly to God. There have even been times where I’ve let a few cuss words slip while talking to God because I’m just that frustrated about a certain situation I’m in. Guess what’s awesome though? God can still listen and He still loves me. When He looks at me, He still sees Jesus’ blood on me, which makes me righteous even when I shouldn’t be considered righteous. Then through the Spirit, He brings me peace and let’s me know that He is still God. He is still (and forever will be) on His throne. He also lets me know that He’s got me, no matter how many times I try and fail to be the provider.. I’m not, but He is. He shows me that His will and His ways are so much better than mine. 

He provides my food, my clothing, my home, my vehicle, my work, my joy, my happiness, my peace. He is Jehovah Jireh. Which (in my terms) means, God my Provider.

To have provision will not just always mean finances. There’s so much more God can provide, we’ve just got to be willing to let Him do it. 

More importantly than all of what I’ve said, you need to accept Jesus. That is the first step to having the Holy Spirit in your life. If you haven’t done that, you definitely should. It has radically changed my life for the past 18 years. If you have questions about that, leave a comment on here and I’ll call, email, or text you. Whatever you prefer. 

Till next time..(and hopefully a vlog instead of  a blog)

It seems fishy..

So I have slacked a little since the last time I posted. I have however saved up a few ideas for writing that I want to share over the next couple of days. 

There are some days where I just use the verse of the day on YouVersion as my daily reading (as my kids would say “don’t judge me”), but I tend to read the entire chapter not just the one verse. Well the other day one of the verses in the full chapter stuck out to me and it was this:

“Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?””

‭‭John‬ ‭6:8-9‬ ‭NLT

So if you for some reason don’t know the whole story, Jesus was on the side of the mountain and there were 5,000 men plus wives and children (I’m sure they counted) that had come to hear Jesus talk and to see Him perform miracles. Jesus just wants to feed them before they leave. There’s obviously not enough food just laying around for everyone to eat, well at least that’s what the disciples think. Jesus takes two fish and five loaves  of bread from a small boy and feeds them ALL. It’s a miraculous story and of course I know there are skeptics out there that have ways that this “could have happened”.. But I’m not here to start a discussion on that. Here’s what I want to focus on. The boy.

Here is a young boy, and you can figure since they say “boy” that he has to be young since in the Jewish culture 13 was considered to be a man.. He comes with just a small amount of food. It doesn’t say where he got the food, but he had it. He might have been sent by his parents with it or he might have grabbed it while hearing the conversation, but either way it doesn’t matter. He walked up to Jesus and the disciples and handed it over knowing what would happen next. I believe he knew what would happen because he was looking at his Heavenly Father with the same eyes that we would look at our dads when we were little. He knew his Dad could conquer the world. Literally. As we read on we find out that Jesus definitely does exactly what this boy expects. He feeds everyone and there are enough scraps left over to fill 12 baskets. Coincidence that there’s 12 disciples, I don’t think so Tim (sorry, old Tool Time joke). 

When we have a need that needs met, whether it be a financial need, a physical (such as food) need, an emotional need, or most importantly a spiritual need, we need to look to Jesus. He will hear our prayers and you can know that He will come through every time. Even if we can’t speak what we need, He’ll figure it out, but I’ll talk more about that in the next post!

For now just seek Him first and all the rest will fall into place. That’s my version of Matthew 6:33.

Till next time. 

Scars

So I took a couple of days off, not that I took time off from reading, just from writing. I want to make sure that what I write stays true to my faith, my heart, and my beliefs. I also want to be sure that what I write is based upon time spent reflecting on what God shows me. 

This time I want to write about scars. I have a recent scar on my arm from slipping down some stairs and catching my arm on a small nail sticking out of the wall. I almost didn’t notice it, my wife did and the shower also reminded me that it was there. It burned, but now that it’s simply a scar, I don’t even remember that it’s there. Here is what was in one of the devotionals that I read:

“A wound hurts, a scar tells a story. A wound can get infected, a scar is healed. A wound you hide, a scar you show.”

It made me think about those things that made me hurt in my past. People have a tendency to think about people who hurt them, bad break ups, abusive relationships. I tend to reflect on an event. When my dad passed away. It’s been almost 15 years now, actually next month it will be 15 years. I think about that night, the phone call I received from my moms neighbor calling me to tell me that my dad went to the hospital in an ambulance. By the way, he would have NEVER paid for an ambulance. He would have rather walked. I remember the look on my mom’s face when she asked me to sit down so she could tell me the bad news. I remember refusing to sit because I didn’t want to hear what she was about to tell me. I even remember the imprint of my fist in the wall when I punched it after hearing her say that he had a major heart attack and was gone. I didn’t know how to process this. I stayed awake for the next 40 hours trying to get my head to understand it all. It wasn’t until the day of the actual funeral (which was after two “showings” of hugging and shaking about 600 people’s hands in the previous days) that I finally broke down and cried. I ended up having a nose bleed on someone’s shirt. I even remember the moment of getting my dad’s flag that was over the coffin. 

I say all that to led into what God did with that wound. He used it to lead me to North Carolina where I was able to get out of drinking and other things I was in. That led to working in a youth venue and meeting Christian bands of all variety. That led to moving to Tennessee where I played in one of those bands and toured the US. When that ended it led me back to NC and eventually into another venue that I had played at while I was in the band. Getting laid off there led to me moving to VA near my family, which then led to Galax where I found a web design job. In that time, I helped start a venue in the area with someone who had also visited the NC venue and wanted something in this area. The job in Galax then led me to where I am today out on my own, a year and a half into my own business. That has given opportunity for more ministry including working with an after-school program to help kids that need it the most. It has been an amazing ride so far that sparked from a wound. God has used that scar to help me not only go full on in following Him, but I’ve even been able to be sympathetic with different people that have had the same type of loss in their life. 

My encouragement to you is to take the wounds and give them time to heal into scars, then after God has healed them (side note.. you have to LET Him heal them) and then allow Him to use the scars to tell your story and help someone else out.

Our greatest example of wounds used for healing was Christ:

“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:15‬ ‭(NLT‬‬ Version)

Rest vs Work

We as humans tend to struggle with that very thing on a constant basis. Especially in America. Today’s devotional was about having a sabbath day. A time to rest and a time to reflect on God. 

I know I have a tendency to struggle with this concept a lot. There are so many things that I feel need done. The first part of that is my work. I have my own business, and I’ve just got about a year and a half under my belt so you can imagine the wonderful struggle to constantly either trying to get the work done, or taking the time to find new work. I work late nights about once or twice a week, and still try to make sure to be back in the next morning bright and early. It’s taken a toll on me at times, and I’ve actually even slowed down compared to how much I used to work when I first started. 

The second part of this has to do with the ministry side of our time. I know we use the excuse “It’s ministry so it doesn’t count”. It does in God’s eyes. He wants you to get the rest that you need so that you can be as useful to Him as possible. If you are trying to talk with someone that is going through a tough patch in their life, but you’re falling asleep during the conversation, that’s not good ministry. Those that are married (and even more so with children) need to be sure that the home life is just as stable too. If your house is out of order, your ministry will be too. Have you heard of the phrase “Been There, Done That, Burnt the T-shirt”? That was me for sure.

“What about when I have to work on a Sunday?” Well some jobs do require you to work on Sunday. If you can figure a way to work it out where you don’t have to work every Sunday, then do so. If not, be sure to take a sabbath day during the week. Take time to relax, have fun, but also be sure to take time to focus on the Creator that has given you that job that you have. He would really love it. 

Also, don’t give up time with fellow believers. The ones that will actually keep you in check. Making sure your not sliding down the rocky hill of temptation (of any sort).
When all is said and done, you will feel much better off knowing that you are rested, relaxed and ready to hit the daily grind again for the next week. Hopefully this will encourage some of you to take that time to rest and spend time with your family and/or friends. Have a great week!!

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