Tuesday, June 15, 2010

strong till the end

Wow! where did the time go?! Has it been six months already?! Seriously? It seems like just yesterday someone was stealing my food.. Or was that yesterday? oh well, forgive and forget, but seriously; I'm almost done! Something to the tune of 14 days! YAY! But for me this is a crucial time. This is actually a deciding time, one in which I could legitimately choose to slack off, or stay the course and finish strong. I'm going to be honest, I have a slight case of almost-finished-itis. If you can remember back to high school or college, right before graduation, most people tend to get a case of Senioritis: The fatal disease in which you're so close to being done that you can taste it, and everything else suffers because you're almost finished and can slack off. You've been accepted in to college, or gotten a job (or have plans afterward) and you can just coast, or even (dare I say it) skip a class. I mean, not like I'VE done that or anything... But I could seem myself coming down with a case of almost-finished-itis.
Now granted, I wanted to do this internship. The lessons I've learned have been invaluable. The time I've spent before God has been priceless. The love of the Father God that I have experienced I would never give up. But there is something about almost being done that can sometimes make me wanna back up and relax, instead of go full force for the prize; can I get an amen? I think there is something in all of us that wants to look at our accomplishments, look back at all the trials we have overcome and not necessarily gloat, but enjoy how far we have come. And believe me, I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong with that, I believe that we should always remember where we came from, and celebrate the victories we have made, but we must always keep our focus and our disciplines and our eyes set on the One who holds us up and can present up faultless. I am learning that we have to develop these daily disciplines in the mundane so that in these times we can stand till the end.
I have been thinking about this for a while, especially within the last three weeks because I'm about to be DONE with the internship, (halelujah!) but making sure I finish strong is something that I want to develop as a discipline in life. I don't want to be one that gets comfortable in my accomplishments only to slack off of the disciplines that have kept me going strong thus far, and then falter when it matters. Especially in standing for my faith, my family, and the things I believe in, I want to be strong till the end, in every situation: this internship, and the internship that is life.
I have been studying the book of Daniel in the Bible, and I am amazed at Daniel's life. Alot of times, we tend to think that the Bible is just a collection of fun stories or folklore that a lot of us learn in Sunday School, watch on VeggieTales, or maybe have never heard at all. We forget that the people that are in the Bible were once real people, with real problems, real adventures and real lives. Daniel was one of those amazing people. After he was kidnapped from his home in Jerusalem and taken to an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar language and thrown into unfamiliar customs, he was made a slave and expected to learn the ways of a unfamiliar people and thrive. One astounding thing about Daniel is that he trusted in the God of his people and did not waver from the way he was brought up. From the young age of 15, he chose not to indulge in the ways of the people whose country he was in, because he knew that it would lead to his own heart's destruction. He and three friends of his, decided that they would keep to their strict regiment of fasting (for very good reasons, and they turned out healthier than their counterparts that were eating the rich, and food previously sacrificed to idols) and decided to continue a life of conversation (read: prayer) to the God of their fathers. They embraced the mundane disciplines, followed the rules they needed to ascribe to, and continued on with their lives. Pretty soon Daniel and his friend were faced with a strict edict, one in which if they didn't respond, they would face their death. They continued to follow their practice of fasting, prayer, and sought God specifically for their answer. God answered and delivered them from death. But that was the first of many trials they had to face. In this book, it consistently tells of Daniel facing very hard trials and situations and overcoming by the hand of God. If after one of these times, Daniel had just relaxed and said "I'm just going to take it easy this time. I mean, I don't need to pray every day, just when it's important or when I need something..." he may not have had to strength to stand when the time came. In his life, he faced the lion's den when he was in in his 80s. Having that resolve of trusting that God would take care of him didn't just happen because he prayed when he was in a crisis or needed something. It was because he cultivated a life of discipline and prayer where he knew that God would never let him down. He stayed strong till the end.
That reminds me of Jesus. In one of my earlier blogs, I spoke of Jesus being faithful in the mundane. He daily prayed to His Heavenly Father for strength and kept his disciplines. And when the time came in which he decided to lay down His life for those he loved, us, He finished the course. He didn't have to do it, and He chose to give His life for us. He kept His eyes on the prize, partnership with us, and stayed faithful, even unto death. Wow. and I'm just trying not to break what seems like meaningless rules of a six month internship by not being late.. That puts things into perspective that makes me want to finish strong till the end, in everything.
Here's my prayer:
Lord I want to be faithful in everything, even when it's convenient not to. Help me to maintain my daily disciplines and give me grace to keep them. Help me to be faithful in the day to day trials so that I can be faithful when it really matters. As I fulfill my goals, let me not look back with a lackadaisical sense of accomplishment, but pressing toward the mark of the prize. Help me the stay strong until the end, just like You did for me. In Jesus' name, amen.
Aiight, you know what to do; let me know what you think and send me your prayer requests! 2 weeks ahhh!!!
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much love and many blessings!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The hope of the father.

So lately I have been finding what it means to hope. Like really hope. not just like the passing word of hope like "I hope so" or "hopefully I'll be able to..." but the real belief that something is going to happen and putting trust in something unseen. Dictionary.com says that to hope is "to feel that something desired may happen" and that when we hope we believe that "the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best." I mean we all hopes and dreams of some form or another whether it be for a new car, that perfect job, world peace, great skin, an amazing mate, or new experiences, whatever they may be. But does it always have to be material? What is the depth of what we hope for and where is the evidence of the things that we don't see.
I'll get this part off my chest first, I have recently been re-awakened to hope. For a long time, I didn't believe in the power of the practice of hope. I feel that for a long time, because I had hoped for many things and didn't see them come to pass, that I wouldn't ever receive the things that I had hoped for. Whether it was an amazing show, a great apartment, the hope of more money, relational hopes of the perfect woman, the hope of never being betrayed by friends or experiencing loneliness, or the hope that things would turn out right in the end, I felt that because at a young age, this didn't happen for me, that I wasn't supposed to hope in things. I know this seem backward, but for many people that have consistently seen disappointments, this is how they feel and what they believe. I felt, even as young as 11 or 12, that if I didn't work hard for the things that I had, I would never see any of my hope come to pass. I felt like I had to do everything for myself; finding jobs, performance opportunities, rides to dance classes, acting coaches, an agent, gymnastics lessons, and to a certain extent, there was truth to that. Whether it was true or not, I felt the burden of pulling myself up by my bootstraps. So after a while of hopes dashed, I just felt like I shouldn't reach for bigger things because at some point in time even if I had seen life in some areas, or seen good things so much that I could taste them, my hopes would soon be crushed and I would be just where I was before.
What did this come from? At what point did my lack of hope turn into despair? This is a process I am trying to figure out. A couple weeks ago, I went to a conference where the focus was in hope, and as seeing God as a God of hope. It was almost offensive to me because I have always hoped for things and seen God as one that who wanted us to hope for things, but wouldn't give it to us. Almost that he created hopes just so that they couldn't be reached and we would have to keep striving just to attain something great. But at the same time I wanted to be re awakened to hope. I didn't want to believe that everything I had spent time on to be for nothing. I don't want the things I've worked for or longed for to be something I would never reach. I didn't want my belief in God to be for nothing. I decided that I would give this hope thing a try. While at the conference, the speaker, Bob Hartley, mentioned that another door to experiencing Jesus' love was hope, and being a hopelessly romantic man in need of God's love, I needed to see Him in that light.
I was in class tonight, and the talk was about the Father God's love for us. A lot of times, the way we see our earthly fathers/authority figures is how we view God. We pick up all their deficiencies, and the good qualities, and take that as how God sees us. And I have to admit, as good as the "fathers," including my own earthly father, tried to be for me, they all still falter and we can have wounds from mistreatment. One of the big ones for me has been seeing those figures as wanting good things for me. Like I said earlier, I could just see the view of "God" that I had in my mind of a dude sitting up in heaven on a recliner, drinking a Dr. Pepper out of a bendy straw with his leg over the arm of the chair watching me on TV like "Oh, I'll just dangle this good thing in front of Gabriel, just enough so that he gets a good taste of something great, and then take it away. Then I'll see how he handles it, if he does it in the right way.. Now that, that's good entertainment!" Having that view sucks. Is that how I see God for my life? As insensitive about the small things that matter to me; uncaring about my feelings; demanding; mentally abusive; and unavailable? In my class, we started reading about God's fatherly heart. In the story of the prodigal son which most people know: The son takes his inheritance and leaves, squanders it, works for someone and tries to eat pig slop because he is so poor, comes to his senses and moves back home to be one of his father's servants, only to have his father run to meet him, fully accept him and throw him a party because he is back. Normally we think of this as being a story about the son, but it is so much more; it's just as much about the father. The father in the story loves his son so much that he is overjoyed that his son comes back that he throws a party and gives him his best. If that is supposed to be reflective of God the Father's heart than that's exactly what I need. One that loves me in spite of.. one that will hold me every time I come back. One that looks at me with love and gives me the best things every time. That's the type of love that I need. That I long for. The type of love that I had been hoping for. I need to see God the father's face in the facet of hope.
So now what do I do? I can't quit hoping. I can't stop trying. I won't stop believing that God has the best intentions for me. Some times that means that I have to push through the pain. Sometimes, it means that I have to accept what seems like it could be painful because God is working something that will produce good character in my heart. It also means that I have to make a conscious decision to change my view of God the Father and let go of all the things that happened, or didn't happen in the past. And that hurts. Letting go of something that made you feel a false since of security or a wrong identity, even if it is bitterness or pain, can make you feel all the things that you were trying to push down, and the only way to heal is to allow God to fill those spaces. All I can do is lean on the Father, try to work out my what I thought about Him by reprogramming what I think about him. I'm starting to speak who He is according to the Bible, and believe that even though I may not see it, He has good things for me. I'm allowing Him to reawaken hope in my life; believe, feel and desire again. Even if it hurts and we don't see the expected end/outcome right away. Even though I don't always understand at the present time, but hope and believe that the outcome is going to be glorious.
This time I am believing that God is a good father that is overjoyed when we look to Him, and desires to give us the good, no, the best things. I am believing that even though, just by viewing with our present eyes, that even when I think He is far away He is really right there holding me. I am choosing to believe that He will never let me down, even though there may not be an immediate outcome. God is love, and that's what He does best, and I am choosing to receive that love. Now that I have readjusted my view, I feel like I am on the right path to start healthily hoping again, or at least opening to explore the subject of hoping, because this is probably only the tip of the ice burg...
Sooooo here's the prayer:
God, I want you to reawaken hope in me. Let me see you as a good father who delights in loving me and giving me what will help me grow the most, which will be the best things for my life. Forgive me for not seeing you this way and help me to break the lie that says anything otherwise. Let me lean on you, and trust you every time, even though the loving discipline, the hurt, the growth, and rejoice with what you are doing in me because I believe that you aren't just sitting on your throne and picking on me, but because everything you do is out of love. Help me to see the good things you are doing in me and trust your leadership. Let my hopes and dreams be pleasing toward you and let them meld with yours. And let hope be the anchor of my soul. In Jesus name.

Aiight, let me know what you think, and send me your prayer requests. Also, I am here at IHOP-KC for another month, so if you would still like to partner with me while I'm here, you can click this button and


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

sometimes I don't wanna have

Patience. So everyone always talks about how much patience is a virtue. How good it is to be patient. That good things come to those who patiently wait. I even use it when people are waiting on me to do something that isn't done and say something to the tune of "Be patient, it's coming..." Everyone wants some sort of patience to be exercised in their life at some point in time. But you know what? If I'm honest, I don't always necessarily like patience. Patience is hard. Patience sometimes means that I have to lay down something for the sake of others, keep doing the same things even though the result doesn't appear right away, or wait to get something that I want. Or I may have a feeling like whatever I'm hoping for isn't going to happen. I'm not gonna lie, sometimes that roommate gets on my LAST nerve and I want to pop them in the jaw if they say one more thing, snore one more night, or eat another pack of my gushers without asking! (I'm praying that I don't have that reaction though:-) I mean, I want what I want when I want it, and don't want to sacrifice for the good of others all the time, but if it's really something that's good for me, shouldn't I at least try to something that's good for me?
We all have opportunities to be patient. Whether it's giving up our space in line, holding the door, not ranting while in traffic, or weighty things like praying for that friend that looks like he/she will never change, we always have opportunities for patience to be worked in us. But the question is, will we allow it to work in us where we don't have a negative reaction to a hard situation? I know I have done things in the name of "patience" only to grumble because I wanted my will to be the final outcome.
Recently, I have been looking at the life of Jesus, and trying to model my life after his. In my last blog, I talked about how he lived his life everyday and honored doing the mundane things in life. He lived his every day life for his first 30 years doing day to day things, not really doing anything spectacular, making tables and furniture and stuff. Spending time with his family, learning from his heavenly and earthly father, and developing relationships. And he did all this while knowing that one day soon his time would come to walk in all that God had for him. He took the very nature of a servant even though he knew he was destined to be the greatest man ever born. He probably knew of all the miracles he was going to do: the healings, feeding scores of people, walking on water (which is pretty stinkin cool), but he still chose to make sure that he was ready for what he was going to do and in the right time, chose to reveal himself. In addition to that, he dealt with alot of people that were out to get him, he dealt with haters saying stupid stuff about him without any reason, and with friends (disciples) who made bad decisions, and betrayed him. I'm sure he wanted to smack Peter upside the head a few times because of the stuff he said, and still didn't, and again for that, Jesus is a much better man than I. And yet he was still overflowing with love and served them even to death. Wow. If anyone exuded patience, it was him. And he did it because he loved the people that he was around, and the ones he served.
And of course that got me to thinking, maybe patience is a virtue because it causes us to love others. It really shows that we can put others needs before ours. It helps us to get through the feelings of injustice that we feel if things don't go our way. It gives us hope when we feel like nothing ever going to happen, that just like Jesus did, that in the right timing, we can trust God that he will supply all or our needs. UGH! I need more patience because I am definitely not there yet! (but still marching for that prize). Jesus really loved others and he laid his life down for others, even in the simple things, and grew into all that God wanted him to be. And if it's good enough for Jesus, its definitely more than good enough for me.
So my prayer for this one (and I didn't write this one, it's right out of the fellowship prayer book, by Mike Bickle, I'm still getting there...ha ha, patience...):
Father, strengthen my inner man with endurance (patience), that I may do your will with zeal and diligence, and that I might not quit pursuing the deep things of God. Direct my heart into the patience in which Jesus walked. Give me strength to follow through in my commitments to you and to fulfill my calling, even in the small things, even when it's difficult. In Jesus name.

Aiight y'all! Send me those comments, and prayer requests! I know what I'm praying to receive! ha ha! and if you feel like it, hit that donate button to give a tax deductible donation of any denomination. Big love!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Start(s)

When don't we have these? Every minute of every day is a new start. Every time we wake up; every time we take a shower; put on clean clothes (or dirty clothes for that matter); every time we call a friend; go to a store; you get the idea. We have so many chances to have a new start to everything we do. Everything. The past doesn't matter and we can look to and walk toward the future, making new and better and more informed decisions. Not to fall back and make the same mistakes and press toward a new, or the same prize, afresh everyday.
But then there's this thing called "everyday life." The thing that wakes us up but makes us want to roll back over and pull the comforter over our head to not face the day. The alarm clock. The job. The phone. The kids. The chores. The traffic. The bills. The Schedule. The Day. The mundane. All the things that seem to suck out all of the newness of Life that makes it fresh. Everyone deals with this, just as much as they deal with the newness. The same, over and over and over and over and over... Just as much as we want to rejoice in the newness we have to deal with the mundane. But how can we be satisfied with our lives when the newness seems like it's going to be the same yesterday, today and forever?
So I'm doing track II of the Fire in the Night Internship and when it started I was like "YESSSS! Finally something DIFFERENT!" I mean as much as I like being in the prayer room for 6-12 hours a day, it is so nice to have some spice and flavor in the schedule! This track, in addition to being in the prayer room, and at the Awakening Services (see other posts for references) we are able to do some service. And I got super excited... I mean in addition to singing on a worship team (Brandon Lautzenheiser's team... Go to www.ihop.org click on the webstream link and look at archives under his team name and you can see yours truly. Shameless. Self. Promotion;-) I get to go out into the community and help others! On Mondays, we go participate in an inner city prayer service called Hope City. On Tuesdays we serve a children's ministry called The Daniel Academy, and during the week, work in the children's ministry at church. When we started, I was like alright, I get to do something else. And I started with excitement! I was like "I am gonna be an awesome children's helper and rock out at the prayer service." And at the start it was cool, and new and exciting! Week one goes by. Week two goes by, and I start to get settled. Week three goes by and it starts to be normal. Week four: normal. Mundane. What happened to the excitement? To the newness of something different?
I prayed about this in the prayer room recently and was like "What happened to the excitement of starting something new? What happened to the joy of something different and exciting? And how did something I was looking forward to become so lackluster?" and in the quiet, I felt that maybe it was me. And not just me, but society as a whole. We are so eager to look for the next big thing, the next excitement, the newest trend to follow. Maybe my perception of newness is a little off kilter. Ok maybe not just a little, but I'm trying to make myself feel better.
"Then how do you find the newness of life in the mundane/everyday/boring? Sitting in the prayer room and following the same schedule everyday is not exactly my idea of fun." And as I was reading the bible I remembered a verse that I had heard but had never really thought about, and in the context of my life, it fit. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The normal context is that God was the same God in the beginning, the old testament, the new testament, now, and in the future, all of his attributes are the same. But what does that mean about Jesus the man? How did he live in his life? He was human, but did he really do the same things as us? Then I thought about that verse again... Wow, wait, he was the same? What does that mean? Then I thought about it. What did Jesus do before all the miracles and excitement of his life? What did he do when he wasn't walking in like a 75 mile radius teaching and stuff? He worked and built chairs and tables. He fished with his friends. He ate and did chores with his family and built his earthly father's business. He put on his pants (or maybe it was a tunic, whatever they wore back then) the same way we do. He went to school, and probably learned the Torah. He played with his siblings. He woke up every day and went to bed every night. It was, DUN DUN DUN, the mundane. Life. He did it everyday. But he still walked in the joy and newness of life everyday. Every prayer that he prayed was new. Every person that he came in contact with was genuine and refreshing. Every time he turned a temple inside out because they were selling goods that didn't need to be there was boring. Well, maybe not that, that's kinda awesome... but you know what I mean. He took joy in walking out the day to day and the disciplines that we take for granted in finding the newness of life.
That took me to Ecclesiastes, the emo book of the Bible, the one where we get the Mama's and Papa's song "to every season turn turn turn" and talks about a time for everything. And it says this: (Ecc 3:11-14)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

The mundane is a gift from God. The everyday is a gift to enjoy. The small things are a blessing, because if we think about it, it's a blessing to wake up every day. It's a blessing to have a job and to drive and take phone calls and interact with people. It's a blessing to stay in a room all day and talk to the Creator of the universe who gives us good things to enjoy. And I thought, maybe I can find joy in that too. DING DING DING! There it is, folks: the newness of life. Looking at Christ and saying that if he can find contentment in the mundane, maybe I should try to. Gazing upon His holiness is not a light or boring thing. I mean, look what I wrote about in this blog, and it was probably because I had nothing else to do (but pray. I'm praying too. that's what I'm here for. just to clear that up).
I'm going to take a cue from http://quarterlifecalm.blogspot.com/ and give my prayer
Abba Father,
Let me experience the newness of life in the mundane. At times when everyday seems to run together, or when the exciting things grow dull. Let me live everyday with the excitement of new life. It's by your grace that I can live, breathe and have my being. Let me look at you and your beauty when I am bored with the every day. Let me remember your great, extravagant love for me when the excitement of new things falter. Allow me to experience your love in new ways that keeps me excited about what you're doing, even in the things that happen every day.
In your Name, amen

Alright friends: give me your feedback let me know what you think, and send me your prayer requests so that I don't have to experience the mundane! haha! also, if you would like to give a tax-deductible donation of any amount by credit or check card, click here:

blessings and much love!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

I haven't forgotten about you! Well maybe neglected you, but with really good reason: I have been crazy busy experiencing God in a new way that is changing my heart. Like I had written before, I am really learning how much God loves me, and actually delights over me. How I don't feel like I am perfect, or sometimes like I will ever be perfect, but God says that He has made me perfectly and He still loves me. Wow. Who am I to not love myself, when God says that he loves me?!

Anyway, I have been busy. Track 1 ended a couple days ago, and it sent me in a whirlwind. In addition to the class schedule where I am learning these amazing truths, I am in some crazy-amazing services that are huge displays of God's power. Not only do I feel awesome, because I am not ashamed of who he made me to be (a strong, confident, loved, loving, blessed, talented, handsome, humorous, spontaneous... you get the point... man) I have truly seen miracles. I was healed in my right ear of hearing loss, and have seen awesome things happen to others. I saw this lady's tumors fall off, saw a friend's leg grow out, saw a back straighten out, and gold dust cover this lady's hands! Seriously! it was awesome! I'm also singing alot on a worship team. it's awesome! (http://www.ihop.org/ go the prayer room, look at archives and look at Brandon Lautzenheiser"s team) This week I have started track 2, which has all of the same, but includes inner city and children's' services, and it rocks. We are really putting hands and feet to God's work to bless and encourage other people's lives.

I am learning how much God wants to answer our prayers, if we would just come to him and let him! All we have to do is come to him and let him know what's on our mind. Not gonna lie, being in the prayer room for a while is hard, but when you think about the creator of the universe listening to you, it makes it easier, especially after learning what's in the first paragraph.

So, blog, sorry I haven't written, but I am learning and experiencing so much, I knew you would understand. Also, don't forget about my mom's foundation, Leading Scholars Scholarship foundation, which you can give with a credit or debit card to scholarfoundation@yahoo.com on www.paypal.com if you would like to give a tax-deductible donation. And I would love to pray for you, so tell all of your readers to send me those prayer requests! blessings



Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hey everyone, there will be a new post coming soon, but I just wanted to update you on giving! I have partnered with a scholarship foundation: Leading Scholars Scholarship Foundation, and they will be receiving any donations for my time here at the International House of Prayer. Soon I'll be updating you with more information about this amazing non-profit, complete with a website, but donations are accepted now by either check, or by paypal (credit and debit cards).
To donate by check send it to
Gabriel Mudd
c/o Leading Scholars Scholarship Foundation
4956 Windy Ridge Ct
Liberty Township, OH 45011

or on paypal

And of course, all donations are tax deductible.
Be blessed, send me your prayer requests, and I"ll be posting soon!