Friday, June 26, 2009

here we go...


preface: i struggle with whether or not to blog only pictures or whether i'm supposed to tell all you guys where i am as far as my life with jesus goes. i definitely don't have it all together and so i don't want to come off as someone who has a blog where they talk like they have everything right. i don't. but i want to get there. and i will say that i think it helps me (and hopefully encourages you) when i write what all God is doing in me. i need to get stuff helps me remember. and honestly, putting it into a blog for everyone while a bit scary, is also freeing and can perhaps build community. maybe it helps you to know i fall short too, but desperately want to win. and friends, we can win...every time...He says we can. and so i will write and just kind of put it out there. it also helps my mom and dad and sis and gparents to know i haven't fallen off the face of the earth. with that said...

here's where i'm at as of today...

so i've been learning a lot lately...(1) a lot about myself, (2) a lot about who jesus really is, and (3) a lot about fly fishing.

(1) as i keep growing, i am coming to realize that i am far from perfect and this imperfection has caused me to want God more and more. i need Him. more than anything. He must be numero uno. He is increasing my affection for Him and i can't really explain how or why. he's just doing it. i'm finding Him in the small things now. i'm reading through the book of john at the moment. really reading. digging. i have a stupid tendency to skip parts when i get bored and i'm not letting myself do that anymore because i have to know all that john says Jesus is. and i have come to realize that the parts i think are boring are really not boring at all...they're an integral part of the story...they are God-breathed too and i need to stop being a snob towards them just because a particular passage doesn't contain some awesome miracle that makes me sit up straight and take a second glance. john randles has made the statement that the ten commandments are there to frustrate the mess out of the unsaved so that we look for the Savior, the Helper. a revolutionary statement. i never thought about it like that. and the first commandment is putting God first. i struggle with this. i admit it. the Law is meant to frustrate me to the point where i look for a way out...a Savior. on the unsaved side, the 10 commandments frustrate us and Jesus is the doorway to the other side and on the other side they become principles. the beauty of the new covenant is that our faces can be radiant forever unlike the face of Moses who was saddled with only the Law (see moses in exodus and then 2 Corinthians 1:7-18). randles talks a lot about the first commandment and how it is paramount to my life. well, he was talking to everyone but it felt like he was in a big leather chair and i was in another four feet away and he was talking straight to me like a grandpa or something. i love it when messages feel like that. i want that every time. "you shall have no other god's before me, " God says. he has to be first. and then everything flows through Him. i have messed that first one up. and if i don't get the first one right, then i won't get the other ones right either because the rest hinge on the first. in his message to the thousand or so of us at camp in abilene, Randles asked a question that stunned me. He asked, "When was the last time you spent time with God just to be with Him and not asking for any of His stuff?" In other words, God wants me to want Him and not His stuff. Kuh-boom. that night i just sat in my seat for forever. pretty much everybody had left. i simply apologized to Him for not seeing Him as He is. He is the greatest. my ultimate concern. my dad. my best friend. my example. and i had been swapping him for things whose beauty fades like the old testament face of moses. it was truly one of the most humbling and somehow beautiful moments i've ever experienced. that night, randles also made the statement that when we truly get squeezed, we show what our true character is. incredibly challenging. my thoughts go straight to Stephen before the sandhedrin in acts and as he was being stoned. when squeezed he glorified God. it wasn't selfish. this had to be an incredibly difficult moment in time for stephen. why would God put stephen through something like that? why would God walk stephen through this dark place? why does God walk me through tough places too? dark places that seem to last a long time? i think i finally found an answer thanks to what God spoke through matt chandler. matt says that "God loves me enough to let me be in a dark place where what's really inside of me gets churned up to the top." in other words, he's making me more holy by holding my hand in tough times. i have come to realize that i learn and/or grow the most when i'm going though trials. it may be exceedingly difficult, but i know for a fact that in the tough times, God is weeding the sin out of my life so that i look more like him. the first chapter of James speaks deeply of this thought. He walks with me through struggles so that the junk churns up to the top and can be dealt with and cast aside. it's sanctification in a nutshell. and it's absolutely beautiful. hard, but absolutely beautiful. the key for me is to always remember He's walking with me. i haven't been orphaned. i haven't been left. He wants us to understand this point. that's why when both moses and joshua were chosen to lead, God told them at different times not to be afraid, "for I am with you" over and over and over! He is Emmanuel, "God with us" and He loves me enough to let me be in a hard spot sometimes so that He can rid me of my sin. He loves me enough to discipline me. Just like my parents used to do. He humbles me enough to get all the little god's out of my life so that i see Him again. He just wants me to see Him for who He is...the Greatest. and that makes me want to sing.

(2) i heard a quote last week that made me think. and not just think for a minute or two, but think about the quote even a week later. these two actors were putting on a skit or whatever you call it and one said to the other, "Jesus doesn't want us to live for him, He wants us to live in Him." the beauty of a blog is that it's not set in stone. it's a free-flowing thought. what i'm trying to say is simply that i don't have this quote figured out just yet. "Jesus doesn't want us to live for Him, but in Him." the more i think about it, the more i see that if i live "for" Christ then it makes it seem as though i don't really know Him, but just do things for Him so that He is honored. it almost comes off as impersonal. and yes, i think that doing things for God is good. but i also think there's gotta be more. i think Jesus desires more. i think that He wants us to know Him. really know Him. and really knowing Him will produce good fruit and works. He wants every part of us and every activity we do to be so rooted in Him that other people smell the aroma of Him on us from a mile away. that's where my mind goes when i think of living in Christ. it's as if others see me as a follower of Jesus first before they come to know me as Garrett. And if the aroma of the Savior is the first thing they sense as they come near me then I'm in Him. the Jesus of the book of John is the single greatest person in the history of time. i'm tired of putting things ahead of Him. and if i'm really honest, i'm tired of hearing that He's a great teacher. He may be that, but He's so much more. He's either the Son of God or He's a raving looney. And after digging into Scripture for the Truth, i know more and more that He's the Son of God and worthy of my life. my all. He's my best friend and my Savior. there is no one like Him. and i'm only on chapter 7! and if you look at the last verse in John it talks about how they couldn't record every amazing thing He did because if they did, perhaps the world could not contain all the books that would be written. think about that. what a beautiful privilege it is to be His kid.

(3) so, my second favorite trip of the year is coming up on monday at 4:45am. 43 high schoolers and counselors leave for buena vista, colorado for a week of rafting, hiking, and fly fishing on the arkansas river. yes, the arkansas river is in colorado. weird. no showers for us men. no electricity. no texts. no sportscenter. no distractions. its magic. anyway, i love fly fishing. dusty got me hooked (get it? hooked!...i'm so punny) on it two years ago when he taught me all week and on the last day i finally caught the smallest fish in human history. but we screamed and jumped up and down like we had just beaten UT (the one in knoxville) in overtime for the national championship or something. i love it. tonight, i spent two hours with sabeaner's dad learning all that i could. the guy is brilliant. he ties the hardest knots and knows pretty much everything about the sport. he even ties his own flies and wears a vest with a billion pockets and something called a zinger. he spends a lot of time tying those flies. he puts care and effort and a lot of time in to every one. and he loved showing me how they turned out and he should be proud. kind of a cool picture of how God looks at us, His creation. He spent time and effort and put great care into each of us. i think he might even like to show us off a little.

fly fishing is an art. and i think i stink at this kind of art. so i can definitely say it's been a learning experience. but it's so worth it when you get up early and the sun comes over the peaks and your standing in the middle of the river and it's just you and Him and all that He created. there's time to think. time to be still and watch it all move around you. and time to be in awe. and if i happen to catch something, it's just icing on the cake. overall, fishing is an excuse to be with Him. kind of like going to a baseball game is an excuse to blab on and on and be completely lazy and eat heart attack food for at least 3 hours. i love standing in the river because somehow i am still and everything around me is moving. i see Him in those moments. maybe because i'm finally not moving but studying the movement around me. i think there's something to that. like i said earlier, i'm finally starting to see Him in the small stuff. and it's about time. thanks bb for teaching me that He is very evident in the small things too. i can't wait to leave on monday. i can't wait for good conversations and seeing kids change for the sake of the Gospel. oh, and the fishing thing is neat's just not the Greatest.

thankful for the privilege of being one of His kids,


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

our good friend!

dad...this one's for you. thanks for always making me laugh. if you're not doing work you should just go put this (the dvd...not the picture...that wouldn't work for a variety of reasons) in the dvd player and laugh all morning. if you can't watch the whole movie just skip to the part where he is captured by the fratelli's and he starts talking about the fake puke from the balcony.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

super summer.


here's a couple from day one (or two?) of super summer. the kiddos are doing great and really starting to make great friends here. i couldn't get shots of everybody at this time, but i thought while i had time i'd put up some pics for you parental guardians and also to refute the earlier post that i was some sort of blog quitter! i'm pretty competitive i guess. take that.

oh and jesus is so so good. and i don't say that flippantly. He truly is my example and my hope and the more and more i find out about Him the more i want to be just like Him. the simple fact that He knows me better than anyone and still wants me as a best pal leads me to love Him more and more.

i'm just absolutely joyed to be His kid. joyed!

the kind of joy that leaves me in awe...the kind of joy that makes me realize what's most important...the kind of joy that stirs affection and authentic life change. i mean, just look at how He was so patient with the disciples and people in general in matthew 14. his goal was to meet the needs of others...LOTS of matter what (umm..He cooked up some din-din for over 5,000 people right after he found out one of his closest friends was murdered and instead of choosing time alone to grieve he chose to meet the needs of others). unbelievable. take a minute and think about that last sentence. blows me away. simply one of the most loving and unselfish things i've ever heard of. what an example. and i hadn't realized these events occurred together until last week. great stuff. i gotta be more like that!

oh what a friend we have in jesus.


ps...the guy on sportscenter was talking about some baseball player named Francisco the other day and after introducing him quickly stated, "FRANCISCO, THAT'S FUN TO SAY!!!"

made my night.

Friday, June 12, 2009


julia natalie cecily mckenna elizabeth ann copeland mouzon bailey are all currently seated on a throne of lies.

-the management


hi there.

julia-natalie-cecily here, blogging for gordo. he decided he is going to be a bum and not edit any of the belize photos from this past year. he just informed us that he is going to take down this blog because "he doesn't do anything on it anymore" he is a freak, so we'll just have to forgive him...maybe. my moms name is pam and she is my mom because she birthed me, and i lived in her womb for 9 months. and my dad helped too, his name is mark.

hi natalie moms name is shelley and she is my mom and she has a fourth evil child named SAM who likes to bite people named sabrina and bark at my friends named julia. he doesnt even know who cecily is. she drives a really nice lexus and my dads name is mike (because he helped in my forming too). he likes to run every night and he also sees my bffs dad named JEFF.....which brings me to my next point.

hi cecily moms name is sharla she is a hottie who works at ijhs, which turned into irons middle school after the big switch. my dads name is jeff, and he is a really nifty guy named jeffrey wayne bailey, and his first son is named after him, jeffrey ryan bailey, which is connected with jackson wayne bailey. cammi and cecily are not related to anyone in the family, they only came up with the names from a movie like sabrinas parents--who named her sabrina because they loved audrey hepburn which doesnt actually make any sense, and now sabrina likes to say hiiiii i was named after auddreyyy heppbuurnnn.

this is also connected to jeffrey wayne BROWER who attended the same junior high and high school as jeffery wayne BAILEY.

anyway, chick fil a is so sweet and they take expired coupons (according to natalie) because they are christians. this is a really good thing.

thats all folks
love julia natalie cecily mckenna elizabeth ann copeland mouzon bailey