Welcome and thank you!

Welcome! And thank you for your continued support!

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's a heart issue

I have been daily, and even more frequently, reminded that when it comes to searching after God, being transformed into His image with my desires being His desires, and seeking wisdom that it always comes down to the heart. Psalm 139:23 & 24

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
How beautifully simple, to realize what I should be praying for is that he takes my heart and works on it... and that is my prayer.

My brother and sister were home for the Memorial Weekend. It is difficult being away from them... they left me here in Greenville, to take care of the parents. Ha! Everyone knows they still take care of me. I had some good sibling time with them... and as I slept on the floor of my room, with my sister up in my bed, we both shared the same vigor and complete joy that we have found in our walk with Christ. We both expressed the same feelings of how this journey on the narrow, difficult road should be looked at as an adventure. Our lives are so boring and mundane... but with Christ, the day-dreamer wakes up and is brought to life. As we work out the calling to not conform to the ways of the world, being set apart by Christ, it can get very difficult and be very burdening... but when we begin to cast out troubles and our worries on Him and truly trust Him in all the ways He wants to provide for us, it's very adventurous. James 1:2-4

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
As we talked I was comforted that I get to live out this adventure with my family and my friends.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update May 2012

Hello! God has been doing a lot here... a lot. We have raised all the funds for our elevator campaign! We are still fundraising for the completion of the construction upstairs... which includes a 23,000 heating and cooling system. But I have faith that God will provide. We are planning a great event though to help raise funds... an art auction! It will be July 5th starting at 6pm. We already have great pieces to be auctioned off, I am really excited about this event, and the Greenville Heritage Days is sponsoring us as their kick-off event for Heritage Days (Greenville's biggest community event).

I am still learning to be patient and fully trust in Him, that His ways are good and His timing is perfect. Especially with finances... I am still very low on support and am really struggling to meet all of my debts (my only debts being $75,000 of student loans). I am really trusting Him on this! I will be revamping my support soon, so I hope when you get info in the mail that you take the time to check it out! Especially now that we have online donating!

I have been incredibly busy... but it has been so good. Not only with everything that has been going on at Fresh Grounds... but there have been many other opportunities that have presented themselves. Such as, I am now serving as the Youth Leader for my church, alongside my best friend Terra. It is completely volunteer, but I love our youth in the church and couldn't be happier to serve in that way! I also started a young adult bible study at Fresh Grounds on Tuesday nights and we went from 4 people to an average of 15 if not more! And boy has God been moving in our hearts! It has been very challenging for all of us and it has allowed for some great growth! I absolutely love the fellowship that happens... we usually start at 8 and we are struggling to say goodbye and go our separate ways by 11 or 11:30!

I also founded the Greenville Opportunities Team (GO Team) and serve as President. The group was formed to get younger people involved in whats happening in the community. It has already out grown meeting in the conference room that we have at Fresh Grounds and we were given the opportunity to program and host the 175th anniversary of Greenville, September 2013! Me and my GO Team have also joined in with recent initiatives to bridge the gap between our local private college, Thiel and the surrounding communities. In addition to that I am also serving as President of the Penn-Ohio Collaboration of the Arts (POCA), which is an over-arching committee to help connect the disconnected artist individuals, artists groups and organizations in our region.

A lot of work is being done... I am strangely calm about it all... I am finding strength and peace from God, which gives me assurance that everything that I have been getting involved in are within His will... and I really pray that God can use me in those places and groups to glorify Him! I ask that you continue to pray for the ministry that is happening here at Fresh Grounds... and that you continue to pray for me and my heart, that I am able to continue to serve God and be honoring to Him. Thank you! If you want to know more about the things that I am doing, feel free to shoot me an email! ben@freshgroundscoffeehouse.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Week 2

Here is a list of what I will be focusing on during each day this week:
Sunday: Adoration
Monday: Time of Confession
Tuesday: Time of giving thanks
Wednesday: Supplication - Praying for finances (continued financial support, finances for Downtown Ministries, and more specifically for the Art Program and Elevator fund) Also praying that we are good stewards of the finances he has provided us.
Thursday: Supplication - Praying to always remember not to approach anything in our own strength, but in His.
Friday: Supplication - Praying for someone to step up and offer assistance in the growth of the art program
Saturday: Listen

I had the opportunity this past Saturday and Sunday to visit my old church in Michigan, Northridge. I got to go to a service on Saturday night and Sunday morning I went with my best friends from Michigan, the Roughley girls, back to Northridge for a prayer meeting for Rachel Roughley who is going to Togo on a missions trip for 18 days. During that prayer meeting one of the leaders read from Luke 9. It was awesome that I got to go, and that I was able to take so much from it as well. Here is what it says, verses 1-6
; "And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them. And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere."
Later in the same Chapter verses 37-43: "On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out. 'Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.' Jesus answered, 'O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.' While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground, and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God."
Several things that I pulled from this: He has equipped us to do his work so that all are astonished at the majesty of God... how sad it is at how often we forget this, which is why the disciples were unable to cast out the demon in the boy. I pray constantly that I remember the strength is in him and that he has given us his Holy Spirit, who has the power to move mountains.
Although I am not leaving the country to do missions, missions is what we are all called to, as believers. I like the beginning of the Chapter where says to take nothing for your journey and it begins to list material things that we often think we need to do his work. This is a great reminder that he is sufficient and challenges me to continue in faith that he will provide.
I had a good time visiting family in Detroit... and now I am ready to continue to serve him in my community of Greenville, Pa.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

V8 and some focus

In the past I used to forget about the horrible taste of V8, and get a weird sudden craving for some Tomato Juice. I would buy a can, take a sip, and instantly remember. Gross! I have been drinking it every day now since I began the fast, and it is quickly growing on me. It is important that I still get the nutrients that I need to continue living, and V8 in its %100 goodness does the trick. Yesterday I got so excited when I got a little chunk in the juice that I could chew on!!

I am starting to experience some haziness... I think I need to drink some soy milk for proteins. Oddly, even through the haze I am finding extreme clarity through prayer. Through this, I am able to be extremely intentional in my prayers and what some times tends to be out of focus, is not coming clearer. I am actively seeking God's will right now, and trying to remind myself constantly to put aside my selfish desires, in order to bring glory to Him through what He has me doing at Fresh Grounds.
I am so appreciative of those who have joined me in this... I really am praying to that I am able to continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly so that my previous lack of physical fitness does not negatively effect my ability to do God's work. It is relevant even in a physical aspect that when you put garbage in, garbage comes out.
I continue to look forward to what God is doing in my heart, and how He is drawing me closer to Him. How exciting it is to have the Hope of Christ! and what a privilege it is to be used by Him!
I wont be in the coffee shop this week due to my Grandmothers passing. I will be up in Detroit for the weekend with my family. I am excited for this time that I get to spend with them, I don't get to see this side very often. Thank you for your prayers for my family. I have been reflecting on how much God can use someone to show others who He is, like He did with my Grandma and Grandpa. I want to be more like that.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

3 week fast

Today marks the beginning of the three week fast! (I am not going to realize how hungry I am until probably tomorrow or Tuesday) But I am excited for this time of prayer.
Here is a list of what I will be focusing on during each day this week:
Sunday: Adoration
Monday: Time of Confession
Tuesday: Time of giving thanks
Wednesday: Supplication - Praying for unity and wisdom for Downtown Ministries
Thursday: Supplication - Praying for guidance and his will for the Art Program
Friday: Supplication - Praying for the preparation of my heart for His work, and for the hearts of those who will be apart of what He can do through the Art Ministry
Saturday: Listen

I would love to hear back from anyone who is joining me on this! Thank you for your prayers!