2011 — Recap of My Life

This past year will def­i­nitely go down in the record books as a crazy roller coaster! It all started with a carry over from 2010. I was wrestling with a lot of things spir­i­tu­ally that were induced by my trip to Kenya in Novem­ber 2010. Dur­ing that time of search­ing and con­fu­sion, I got involved in my first dat­ing rela­tion­ship. God taught me a lot through that. It didn’t work out for the obvi­ous rea­son that we were in 2 dif­fer­ent worlds spir­i­tu­ally. In the end (June), God used that rela­tion­ship to reaf­firm my spir­i­tual con­vic­tions and set me on a path that pur­sued Christ more pas­sion­ately than I ever had in my entire time as a Chris­t­ian. More on that later…

Along with a rela­tion­ship, 2011 started a 12-​​month pro­gram in Para­medic school. This proved to be the great­est chal­lenge I’d ever encoun­tered in my life. Over the course of the year, I encoun­tered doc­tors, nurses, and mil­i­tary spe­cial forces who had at one point been through Para­medic school. They all agreed that it was the hard­est thing they’d ever done as well. Because of jug­gling work, school, and clin­i­cals, I lived out of my car a week at a time. Sleep was min­i­mal and so was my social life. Unfor­tu­nately, there’s not a whole lot of sto­ries to tell about my life in 2011 other than the count­less emer­gency scenes I went on at work and clinicals.

Come the Fall, my school load had slightly light­ened (that or I was use to the abuse by then), and I decided to go through fire­fighter school on top of Para­medic school which I regret­ted every minute of; but I made it through and have that under my belt. God was also teach­ing me lessons about what it means to live sold out for him. I’ve always had the men­tal­ity that my respon­si­bil­ity is no dif­fer­ent than that of a pastor’s, but I reached a point of enlight­en­ment in the Fall that I am a grown man and I can no longer fear con­fronting those older than me and chal­leng­ing oth­ers to pur­sue Christ more.

An image came to mind that encour­aged me. It’s that of a 16yr-​​old boy who fal­si­fied his age and now is on a shut­tle boat about to land at Nor­mandy on D-​​day. As the door drops, bul­lets are whizzing by, and friends are drop­ping dead all around him. He now real­izes that he’s no longer a boy, but a man, and though there’s an over­whelm­ing sense of fear in his inner­most being, it’s time for him to man up and charge for­ward onto the beach. I feel that rep­re­sents so well the feel­ings and think­ing process that I went through this past year.

Since then, I’ve spent a great major­ity of my time dur­ing the week at a local cof­fee shop down­town called Rem­edy. Over time I’ve come to know all the work­ers and most of the cus­tomers. It’s proven to be a fan­tas­tic loca­tion for min­istry. Mul­ti­ple times a week I have oppor­tu­ni­ties for dis­ci­ple­ship. Part of man­ning up is just cut­ting to the chase with peo­ple and ask­ing them where they’re at spir­i­tu­ally. The con­ver­sa­tions that have ensued have been incred­i­ble! On a num­ber of occa­sions I’ll have other peo­ple who are lis­ten­ing jump into the con­ver­sa­tion and in no time there’s an impromptu Bible study of 4–6 people.

Another bless­ing that Rem­edy has brought are the num­ber of close rela­tion­ships I’ve built with solid believ­ers who are actively serv­ing in their churches through­out Knoxville. Speak­ing of serv­ing, I was con­victed about the lack of ser­vice I had in my church. I felt that despite my insane sched­ule, there was no excuse or exemp­tion for peo­ple not to serve in some way. So, I talked to my wor­ship leader who’d been want­ing me to play bass gui­tar and he lent me his to learn and start play­ing in wor­ship. From there, I’ve now taken it upon myself to serve the church by encour­ag­ing other mem­bers to find areas to serve in by ana­lyz­ing their gifts and if need be, cre­at­ing min­istry oppor­tu­ni­ties if some­thing doesn’t exist already.

One other thing that God has chal­lenged me to do this year is find some­one that I can reg­u­larly dis­ci­ple. It didn’t take long for me to find that per­son. I’ve been meet­ing with him weekly and doing an overview of the Bible as well as teach­ing sys­tem­atic the­ol­ogy. I also work with him rela­tion­ally by hang­ing out for recre­ational pur­poses at var­i­ous times dur­ing the week.

The last thing that I can say is that in Octo­ber I lost my job, and was with­out work for 2 weeks. God was good and pro­vided me a posi­tion with the largest ambu­lance ser­vice in the world, but they were just start­ing up an oper­a­tion in Knoxville. I was 1 of 8 peo­ple that was hired to be on the ground floor of this oper­a­tion. It’s been the best job in EMS I’ve ever had or seen. My work part­ner has proved to be a very good friend that has gone out­side of work and great men­tor as I enter into the role as a Paramedic.

And that’s it in a nut shell. Now I’m a Para­medic. I’m very excited about the prospects for this com­ing year. I have a list of New Year Res­o­lu­tions you can check out. Also, there’s some pic­tures of events from this past year.

God bless!

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prac­tic­ing on a dummy

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my para­medic class

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get­ting ready to do a clin­i­cal in surgery

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after a day of fire school

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UT foot­ball game

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one of my many crazy scenes

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play­ing pool with friends

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first con­cert — Lady Antebellum

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sib­lings

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church lead­er­ship team play­ing ball before church

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impromptu Bible study

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2012 New Year Resolutions

I’m espe­cially excited about what 2012 holds for my life. It begins a new phase with the end of school and the start of a career, and I feel it’s going to be a year that defines what a sub­stan­tial part of my life will be like. That being said, here’s some res­o­lu­tions that I hope will become part of that defin­ing process.

  • Take 2 mis­sion trips
  • Lead a small group
  • Dis­ci­ple 2 guys
  • Make a weekly habit of rock climbing
  • Eat bet­ter and exer­cise regularly
  • Start nurs­ing school
  • Write 1 song per month
  • Take time to reflect each day (going for a walk, before bed, etc)
  • Spend 1hr in prayer and read­ing the Word each morning
  • Read the Bible chrono­log­i­cally in 1 year

The Reformation Polka

Here’s a lit­tle Ref­or­ma­tion Day humor.

by Robert Gebel

[Sung to the tune of “Supercalifragilistic-​​expialidocious”]

When I was just ein junger Mann I stud­ied canon law;
While Erfurt was a chal­lenge, it was just to please my Pa.
Then came the storm, the light­ning struck, I called upon Saint Anne,
I shaved my head, I took my vows, an Augus­tin­ian! Oh…

Cho­rus:
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and tran­sub­stan­ti­a­tion
Speak your mind against them and face excom­mu­ni­ca­tion!
Nail your the­ses to the door, let’s start a Ref­or­ma­tion!
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and transubstantiation!

When Tet­zel came near Wit­ten­berg, St. Peter’s prof­its soared,
I wrote a lit­tle notice for the All Saints’ Bull’tin board:
“You can­not pur­chase mer­its, for we’re jus­ti­fied by grace!
Here’s 95 more rea­sons, Brother Tet­zel, in your face!” Oh…

Cho­rus:
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and tran­sub­stan­ti­a­tion
Speak your mind against them and face excom­mu­ni­ca­tion!
Nail your the­ses to the door, let’s start a Ref­or­ma­tion!
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and transubstantiation!

They loved my tracts, adored my wit, all were exem­pleror;
The Pope, how­ever, hauled me up before the Emperor.
“Are these your books? Do you recant?” King Charles did demand,
“I will not change my Diet, Sir, God help me here I stand!” Oh…

Cho­rus:
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and tran­sub­stan­ti­a­tion –
Speak your mind against them and face excom­mu­ni­ca­tion!
Nail your the­ses to the door, let’s start a Ref­or­ma­tion!
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and transubstantiation!

Duke Fred­er­ick took the Wise approach, respond­ing to my words,
By knight­ing “George” as hostage in the King­dom of the Birds.
Use Brother Martin’s model if the lan­guages you seek,
Stay locked inside a cas­tle with your Hebrew and your Greek! Oh…

Cho­rus:
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and tran­sub­stan­ti­a­tion –
Speak your mind against them and face excom­mu­ni­ca­tion!
Nail your the­ses to the door, let’s start a Ref­or­ma­tion!
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and transubstantiation!

Let’s raise our steins and Con­cord Books while gath­ered in this place,
And spread the word that ‘catholic’ is spelled with lower case;
The Word remains unfet­tered when the Spirit gets his chance,
So come on, Katy, drop your lute, and join us in our dance! Oh…

Cho­rus:
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and tran­sub­stan­ti­a­tion –
Speak your mind against them and face excom­mu­ni­ca­tion!
Nail your the­ses to the door, let’s start a Ref­or­ma­tion!
Papal bulls, indul­gences, and transubstantiation!