Buffalo. The State Not the Animal.

BUFFALO, NY

NY AG DISTRICT COUNCIL  

GUEST SPEAKER: MARK BATTERSON

MAY 14TH-17TH

________________________________________________________

So I hate writing about certain experiences late because things are not fresh in my mind. I love to have the detail down to a literary science; to paint a vivid form of imagery. Whomp, Whomp.

BUT when I step back and think about it, maybe taking time to have things resonate will benefit me in the long run. Why? Because I really recognize what I remember, what stuck, what I truly learned, and in the overall- what changed me.

The obvious excitements include multiple food shacks: I ate buffalo wings in Buffalo (check off bucket list) thanks to Duff’s, I conquered the Mighty Taco with my team and we bore the shirts to prove it, and shellacked my arteries with all things bad- hot dogs and onion rings from Ted’s. Even a place called Quaker Steak & Lube- If that doesn’t deter you, I don’t know what will. 

I saw and did a bunch of things. I did the whole road trip thing, got the privilege to be around Ps Mark Batterson again, connected with a bunch of pastors and AG leaders from all over Long Island (names and faces are finally making sense now), had communion with great people, galavanted around Niagara Falls (pictures coming soon), etc. A lot of random, spontaneous moments too, like visiting places that were important to PT growing up, bowling, basketball games, and meeting a Ranger Fan named Carlo. Oh yeah, the guy that’s going to tightrope across the Falls soon, I saw him being interviewed!

The AG All Things New Conference was jam packed with honorable and moving times: Showing support to our missionaries, a time of refreshing for pastors on LI, testimonies of those from Teen Challenge, and of course ordaining new ministers.

What Sticks.

1a. Great leaders make time for God. No way around it. They are intentional about giving over their mornings to God and devoting that time. I felt prompted those past days to get up early before the days events, head outside, and pray. It was there that I saw some of the most influential people up and about already hitting their knees (figuratively). Now, I am not a morning person by any stretch and I’m not tooting my horn because I got up early but I did learn something valuable. Give your first and best to God.

1b. Yea, I made a 1a and a 1b. So I shall carry on. The importance of prayer and consecrating yourself. Dedication to the service and worship of God.  Making the intentional decision to stand apart from the rest and devote your life goal and passion to the one thing that really matters. And pray hard.

2. A strong burden for people and their stories. Throughout all of the teachings, motivational one-liners, and Biblical insights, I was deeply moved by the personal stories of hurt and transformation. I found myself more emotional. Like a prick to the finger would make me cry, it was like that with my soul. I thought about writing it off. But why? Why push off what God may be revealing to me?  I’ve done that long enough. So I let it be.

3. A heart for pastors. Ever see a pastor emotionally worn down? It tugs on my heart. I had the opportunity to witness many pastors cry out because of celebration and others cry out of pain during prayer. Whatever the circumstance- some pastors get a bad rap. They carry a big burden that most don’t see or give them credit for. Pastors are people too just trying their best to lead a flock. It is challenging to be a leader.

So upon this visit, I gained four things. Two aspects that require motivation, commitment, and action. The other two aspects, passions for people, situations, and their development.

What is God calling you to do today? Are their things you need to change, alter around? Are there other desires that are waiting to be discovered? Be honest with yourself and seek the one who has the answers.

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