What a semester

This year we have seen a lot of new things at Collide. We moved locations, changed upIMG_4618 worship a little bit, and threw in some coffee and we have a completely different atmosphere. God has done so many cool things at Collide this semester. We have seen a consistency in numbers all semester which is unusual to remain consistent through the whole year. God proved He is good again. He is faithful. He always provides.

If you are ever in a situation where you don’t think you can make it please remember God is always faithful. He loves you and He wants great things for you!

So I got engaged….

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something. Partially because I didn’t know what to say and secondly I’ve been kinda busy. However I think I can take time out to share this little story with you.

My fiancé and I have been discussing marriage for about 5 months now. We talked about possible venues, dresses, cakes, when she would be ready for marriage, and all sorts of things like that. There was just one problem… I didn’t have a ring. I had been saving up for one, but I wasn’t anywhere close, so once the “engagement talk” started I knew I better get serious about saving my money.

I began to pray for direction and asked God to help me in every area of the journey I was about to embark on. I was finally able to save up enough money to get a ring that I knew she would fall in love with.

Then came talking to her Dad. I remember this being the hardest part of the whole thing. Hanna’s Dad has taken such great care of his daughter and family and here I was, just some boy coming in and asking to follow in his footsteps. I knew the challenge was going to be tough, but I also knew I had a great example to follow on how to take care of a family. Hanna’s Dad is a very unique guy in that he understands that his wife and girls needs and wants come before his own. I remember stuttering and stumbling through my conversation with him and I will never forget the moment when he said… “Yes, you have my blessing.” Such a relief.

After that conversation I went home and started really thinking about how I was going to propose to Hanna. I googled all sorts of ideas but none of them really seemed to fit us. I clicked on this link and it talked about making a picture frame. That is when my entire proposal plan came together. It was about 1:30 in the morning and I was wide awake.

A lot of times when Hanna and her family orders something online it sits on their front porch until I see it and bring it in, or when they finally go out to look for it. So my thought was this: I can pretend to ship a package to Hanna from some random place. And when I go to her house I’ll get the package out of my truck and place it on their front porch, and then play it off like they had a package and I was just bringing it in. Inside the package would be a picture frame with five pictures, four of the pictures would be of me holding foam boards saying “Will You Marry Me?” The last picture slot would be empty. Also in the package would be a white foam board with a sharpie so Hanna could respond and take a picture and place it in the frame as well. It was a fool proof plan.

The next day I went to Walmart and I looked all over for the perfect frame. None of them were what I had in my mind, so I went online and I found a nice frame I could make myself (which I’ll post in a later post). It took me about a week to get the picture frame completed.the frame I spent all day on Monday June 9th finishing up this frame and that whole day Hanna was wanting to come to the church to hang out with me. Talk about perfect timing.

Hanna had planned to go to the movies that night with a friend and I had a fire meeting I was going to, so this was the perfect way to catch her off guard. She would never expect me to do it under these circumstances. Then Hanna’s sister Emily got in on the action. She called her earlier that day and told her that she sent her a package that should arrive that day. Before all of this, I went to Google and found a shipping label image, photoshopped her sisters name and address, and Hanna’s name and address, and slapped it on the box.


I only had about a 20 minute window. So I pulled up to her house and walked in. I needed to see what room of the house she was in so I could get the box out of my truck. Luckily for me she was in her room putting make up on and getting ready for the night. I told her I was gonna go play with her dog for a little bit while she was putting make up on. As soon as I went outside I fell into a dead sprint to my truck. I grabbed the box and ran to the front porch, set it down and walked back in. I texted her sister and told her to tell Hanna to check the front porch before she left for the movies cause the package would be there. Emily sent Hanna the message, but she disregarded it. This was not looking good for me. I had to get Hanna to go look at the front porch to see the box. Finally, as we were getting ready to walk out the door Hanna asked me to go look on the porch and see if there was a package. I did, and sure enough there was a big package. I said “yes, it’s from Emily,” and I brought it in. She was trying to figure out what Emily had sent her in such a big box. She pulled out the foam board and looked confused, and playing along, I did too. She pulled out the frame and started unwrapping it. Once it was completely unwrapped she spun it around and read the pictures and turned to me. At this point I was on my knee trying to say all the things I had in my head to say, but all I could do was smile. I started stuttering and barely got out “Will your marry me?” Her response was about as stammered as my question. She looked at me and said “I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.” I said “Saying Yes would be a good thing.” And then BABAM. She said yes and we hugged and kissed and all that sappy stuff that you don’t want to know about.

All in all it was a success and it was a lot of fun pulling it off. Now the real work begins. Not the wedding planning, but for me, being a spiritual leader. I typed this post not so you would smile and be happy for me, but because I’m asking for your prayers. I ask that you pray that I would make smart choices in our relationship, that I will be able to take care of Hanna, that we will always follow Gods direction, and mostly that our relationship will show people the love of Jesus Christ.


What do you mean joy?

This past week I finished up the book Celebration of Discipline. By Richard Foster. The final chapter in that book is the discipline of celebration. Having a good time is not a bad thing.

This coming up week we are gonna have a game night for our weekly college service. When I was preparing a devotion last week for the game night JOY was on my heart. Over the next few days God showed me what true joy is.

Jesus said the way for true joy is obedience. And so my question for you is are you being obedient to God? Is there any joy in your life? Have you obeyed God in everything He has asked you to do? I know in my life I don’t always obey God and I know it’s during those moments when I lack joy. Gods wants us to have joy but apart from Him it is impossible.


As He was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “The womb that bore You and the one who nursed You are blessed! ” He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed! ” Luke 11:27-28


Well Collide has come to an end this semester and it has been a really good ride. There were many students who came to Collide for the first time and there were some who came back after being gone for a while.
If there is one thing God taught me this semester at Collide is this. His timing is not my timing and it’s OK to go through a drought so that you can be thankful for the rain. When Collide first started it was growing and growing. Every week more people were attending and I must be honest, I started getting the big head and thought I was some sort of great preacher/teacher. What it was was students eager to know God more, it had nothing to do with me. When this semester hit a lot of those students had graduated and moved on so we had a set of “seniors” start coming that were very much active in other churches so there started to become a major decline in attendance and each week was less and less.
About the middle of the semester we had a reevaluation period for Collide in fact it was about the same time I created this blog. Students gave me good feedback and we saw the attendance plateau out. I was thankful finally consistency in the students coming.
I know college can be crazy time and you have all different things pulling you one way or another but I know this God is still God and God loves you where you are. Maybe you can’t attend every church service or maybe you are so afraid to step into the doors of church because of what you friends might say or what you family might say… Know this. God is there with you. He loves you and He wants you. God will see you through your droughts in life so that you can rejoice and give Him praise for the rain!

A Christmas Story

This is from our youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church…. Really good read.

Calvary Baptist Church

As a follower of Jesus I value my relationship with him.  Hopefully, I have grown by God’s grace to care more about the things of Christ.  When I was in my early 20s Christmas season was approaching, and I was busy preparing some lessons to teach to my students.  I hate to admit it, but it was the first time that I really studied what the Bible had to say about the birth of Jesus.  I remember gently weeping in my office as I realized that I knew more about my own birth story that the story of the Jesus that I claimed to follow.

This Christmas, I want to share once again the facts surrounding the events of Jesus’s birth.  Some of them will be new to you as they were to me.  Many of you might honestly think, “What is the point of getting the facts straight, can’t…

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I’ve always found it interest that you for one month out of the year you can go to Facebook® and see all these people who are thankful for the different things in their life yet the other eleven month are spent complaining about things. I guess it’s a good thing to sit back and realize just how good we have it as a country, state, county. Even how good we have it as being an American. There are so many things I know I take for granted that I should be ashamed.

Over the past month we have been doing a 24-7 Prayer Time at our church and one of the sections that you pray over and meditate on is the blessings we have from God. During this time we are suppose to write down the blessing we have from God.  I could sit here and for the next hour type out all the things I am thankful for and the things that God has blessed me with. To save you time I’ll just leave it to a few.

First off I am thankful for Salvation. Had it not been for salvation and Jesus coming to this earth to die in my place I would be headed straight to hell. I am so thankful for God’s plan of Calvary Baptistredemption and that Jesus loves me and was willing to sacrifice all He had so that I could be with Him when I die.

Off that I would have to say I am thankful for Calvary Baptist Church. Calvary is not only my place of employment but also my place of corporate worship and fellowship. I have grown so much in my walk with God while attending church here and my prayer is that God will continue to use this church in the growth of my life. I am thankful for the members of this church and I’m thankful for where God is leading us to go next as a church. I am also thankful for the college ministry God has provided for me here at Calvary and the students that it is reaching through Collide.I pray that God will continue to bless this church for the lighthouse it is in the East Camden community.

I am also thankful for my parents and the rest of my family. Without them I would not be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be so stubborn, so creative, so fun, so hardheaded, so awesome… I mean none of that. brother loveMy parents have stuck by my side all the way. I am also thankful for my brother and the friendship and bond we have. I truly understand that a brother’s bond is hard to break. He has helped me through so much and he is always willing to tackle the next project I can think of in my head. He is awesome.

I am thankful for Hanna Murphy. She is not only my girlfriend but she is my best friend. She has been my number one supporter for everything and I can’t say thank you enough for that. She always steers my straight and calls me out when I’m being stupid. She is strong pretty special girlwilled and to be with me you have to be. When I am having a bad day she always knows how to make me see the brighter side of things. And she has such a great sense of humor. Life would not be the same without her. She is a pretty special girl.

I am thankful for the things God has provided for me at such a young age. I own my own home and vehicle. I have food on my table. I have some of the best friends and accountability partners you could ask for and I have to roommates who challenge me to be a better person. And I have the coolest dog ever, Falcon Jack. Like I said I can keep going on and on about all the things that God has blessed me with but I think you get the point. I’m sure if you sit back and take a look at everything God has done for you and the ways He has provided I’m willing to bet you are pretty thankful as well.

I’d like to hear some of the things you are thankful for. Leave a comment sharing the things God has blessed you with.