Hello all and a Happy New Year to you! The 2012 year of our Lord began with me waking up sick in my uncles hotel room in Houston (we came to watch the Houston Texans game) and quickly rushing over to the free continental breakfast that the Days Inn hotel on I-10 and Bunker Hill in Houston, Texas offers! Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes were on the menu this breezy Sunday morning! After breakfast it was back to the room to spend some time with Jesus in Proverbs 23 and 24! ” Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.” Proverbs 23:11 Daily Passage! After getting the luggage in the car I grabbed my ticket from my uncle and headed off to service with the Greater Houston Church!
Today’s service was very encouraging and insightful. Wooten was speaking this morning and after taking a few jabs at his wife from the pulpit he began what would be a very thought provoking short sermon out of Mark 2. As I was listening to him speak about the worshiping Jesus through Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh I heard him make a comment that stuck with me: “Which life is easier? To live a life enslaved to adultery and impurity, or to live a life free of adultery and impurity.” It hit me to the core because conventional wisdom says that it is hard to live the righteous life but as one who has struggled with addiction or enslavement to sin I am convinced that it is much harder to live enslaved to sin because of the toll that it takes on your life. relationship with God, and relationships with others. This helped me look at sin as hard instead of as tempting. Sin isn’t fun, it is hard. Convinced that sin has taken a hard toll on my life and seeing people around me who have ruined marriages or other things because of slavery to sin it created an even greater since of urgency in my heart to quickly deal with temptation before it has the chance to become sin in my life. The preacher then made the comment: ” you will be yoked to something in your life ” and this comment made me want to make sure that my yoke is Jesus the easy yoke and not sin which destroys and delays God’s blessings in our lives. Wooten shared about the gifts the wise men gave to Jesus and it lead me to making a few decisions.
1. Wise men worship Jesus with their lives
2. Wise men give Jesus authority in their lives every day.
3. Wise men make Jesus their priority in every area.
I then wrote down a list of priorities and decisions of mine this year (which I will not include in this blog) that I have made in order to be closer to Jesus. One thing is for sure, I feel like this is the year it needs to all come together for me and I want to be mature in Christ. I was treated to hearing the song leaders sing “I Give Myself Away” for communion which allowed for some great reflection on how much mercy God has given me over my 12 years as a disciple and how motivated I am to give myself to him in every area at all times this year.
After service I was able to reconnect with some old friends in the amazing Houston church (which is awesome may I add) have some much needed conversations and meet some new people. It was then off to Reliant Stadium to catch the 4th quarter of the game since I was late due to my decision to GO TO CHURCH and be late to the game rather than skip church to see a stupid football game that won’t last into eternity. As I got closer to the game I stopped off at the greatness that is Whataburger to enjoy my first fast food meal of the year. I ordered the A1 Thick and Hearty burger just in case you were wondering, oh yeah I had a Dr. Pepper to drink! I must admit the anticipation was building but believe it or not it wasn’t to see the game, it was to see a place where so many of my childhood memories were forged and that is the building that sits in the shadow of Reliant Stadium and that building is the Reliant Astrodome or “Astrodome” as I called it growing up. When I first saw it as I was looking for parking my heart was saddened as i could see that it hadn’t been kept up over the last 10 years especially since it hosted the victims from the Katrina hurricane of 2005. Saddened by it’s appearance I drove on and turned into the parking Lot of some Chinese restaurant that some lady was waving me into. She told me that parking was $20 but I immediately became suspicious as she didn’t have a vest on or a flag that I am so accustomed to seeing parking attendants have. After allowing her to convince me it was a legit parking spot and after she showed me the tickets I bargained her down to $8 for the parking spot (it was the 3rd quarter by the time I got there).
As I walked into the stadium and finally found my section Satan presented me with my first real temptation of the year. As I walked into my section who would be standing at the entrance to the row I was sitting on: non other than one of the Texans cheerleaders! (would I take that second look at her, would I glare at her as I walked by) I am greatful to see that as soon as I saw her I immediately made the decision to look away and ignore that she was even there as I went to my seat! Amen thank you Jesus! It felt good to be sitting in Reliant Stadium again, it was cool cavernous and exciting, I also wasnt distracted from the action on the field by some gigantic video board or vidja board (all P1’s will understand) like they have at that other big indoor stadgium in Texas. The Texans threw a touchdown to pull within one with 1:15 left on the clock and much to my delight decided to go for two to win the game. With the whole stadium standing on the tips of their feet and the quarterback set, the left tackle jumped offsides causeing us to lose yardage. We didn’t covert which didn’t matter since we were going to the playoffs anyway. After taking a few pics with my uncle in front of the Astrodome I head back to Dallas where I watched the Cowboys lose to the Giants ending their quest to the playoffs.
As I close the first day of my blog out I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and leave you with this scripture: “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.