“Giving & Seeking.”

My heart is aching real-real bad.

For USA-loving, people loving Muslims that are as innocent and American as the rest of us. For the LGBT community. For the lost that have a false sense of what the Gospel is because of the way we act and react.

Coming off of the worst mass-shooting in US history by a devout American-born Muslim. It’s hard not to be angry and selfish. 

As I’ve opened up my bible and prayed after reading articles filled with so much hate and anger; I’m frustrated, sad, and hurt. We aren’t doing this right. If this isn’t another sign that our country is in desperate need of the true Gospel, I don’t know what is. 

As I was reading I came upon this: Romans 12:9-21.

“9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Genuine-fervent love, produced by the Gospel, detests evil and pursues good (12:9). In the most difficult of circumstances, love overcomes through hope, steadfastness in suffering, and prayer, yes, continual prayer (v.12)! To love genuinely is to live compassionately toward others in the way that Jesus himself has already treated us. Love others, do not curse them (v.14)! Weep when they weep (v.15). Having been loved so well, our delight is to love in return. We are not loved because we obey; we obey because we are loved: “knowing that you were ransomed” (v. 18).

I’m a broken dude who needs to hear the Gospel daily. I deserved wrath but received love. Jesus hung from a cross, in my place, before He rose from the grave. All of that, after He lived a blameless life that I could never live. Jesus will ride in on that white horse and evil will be taken care of. We just have to love. I just have to love.

I pray that we respond to this tragedy with love. We must love our Muslim neighbors, our LGBT neighbors, and our enemies just as Christ loved us. Let our hearts hold on to and share the truth. 

Join me in praying for the friends and families of the victims, the injured, the shooters family, and all affected during this horrific time. And for the church, that we don’t let this event fill this gap with hate and anger but it be filled with love and compassion.

Love, Dil

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“A Flat Tire and the Gospel.”

First off, this season of my life has been tremendously difficult. No pity party, I’m good. Seriously. I fall more in love with Jesus every single day. I delight in God, the Holy Spirit speaks to me through scripture. I’m growing spiritually, I have two jobs, I get to carve out time to pour into high school students multiple times every week, I have a great family, and I have amazing friends.

I’m so happy that you now know so much about me! Enough of that.

Before today, I’ve never gotten a flat tire while driving.  That’s low key one of my fears. Today, I was on the way home from job #1, going 70 mph down I20 straight to the house. Boom, “low tire pressure,” pops up on the dash. My first thought was, “It’s hot outside. This digital thingy doesn’t know what it’s talking about.” I’m reluctant to acknowledge the fact that I might have a flat tire. I’m thinking there is no way this is stopping me from getting home.

I finally realize that I might have a problem. I decided it would be a great decision to stop and check. And geez, was that thingy on the dash right; the front tire was completely FLAT! First, I had to figure out where the jack and tools were for me to swap out the old tire with the spare. I changed it. (By the way, this was in misirably-hot South Carolina weather.)  I got back on the road and hesitantly made my way to get the tire repaired. The guys at the shop fixed the hole, making my ride ready to roll again. HA!

Think about this. You can’t fill up a tire that has a hole that hasn’t been repaired. If you do that how far do you expect to get? You can’t expect too much. You’ll start the vehicle, begin to move forward, and you’ll be limping along until your tire is inevitably depleted of air again.

I think this relates a lot to us and our hearts. Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed something, I’ve noticed how broken we are; the people around me, and myself. We accumulate these deep scars in our hearts. Following the scars, we put our heart in a box then lock it away and put a huge wall around it. I’ve always been a vulnerable person, but I’ve looked and there are some EMPTY people around me that just aren’t ready to reveal those scars and let them begin to heal. This includes myself at times. It isn’t safe, it isn’t fun. Putting a bandage over these wounds lets our joy leak.



There is a bigger story
The Gospel is clear.
God has given us Jesus. Jesus lived a perfect life. Jesus was beaten by hands that He gave power to, Jesus helped create the mouths that spit on Him. He was tortured and hung to die on a cross. Jesus could have stopped all of this, but He willingly gave up his life and 3 days later rose from the grave. Jesus defeated death and took upon himself the wrath of God that we surely deserved.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have the opportunity to be healed, though the healing may take time, to have our hearts repaired and filled with the Holy Spirit. To absolutely love and serve God through Jesus. We can’t ignore the hole in our tire, we can’t ignore the hole in our heart. If we ignore the hole, our joy leaks, and we can’t fully rejoice in the life, death, and resurrection of our one true King, Jesus.

Horrible-sad things have happened to us in this broken world. We are foolish enough to not play the game to our advantage with the cheat code we’ve been given. That wall that we put around our heart isn’t a safe place, God is our safe place, Our Refuge.

Let your “flat tire” be repaired so that you can get back on the road. Lets stop ignoring the fact that we just might have a flat tire that is stopping us from reaching our full spiritual potential. Stopping us from fully rejoicing in Jesus. I’m not saying that there won’t be bumps in the road along the way. It’s not easy, it isn’t supposed to be. I am saying that having the hole in your heart repaired makes the ride a lot smoother. Be set apart and full.

“..Blessed are all those who take refuge in Him.” – Psalm 2:12

Love, Dil

“What is finished?”

I’m so excited to share with you how Jesus moved in my life this weekend.

First off, 180 Weekend was incredible. My buddy Carlos Bedoya aka Loso, an artist from Tampa Fl, was our guest for the weekend. We spent a lot of down time just hanging out having great conversations and building up our friendship.

Loso asked me why did Jesus die for me. I said because we are sinners and the price of our sin had to be paid. Loso said, “Dillon, think, think about it Dillon. I know you know the answer bro just think deeper. What was the last thing that Jesus said on the cross?” I told him that Jesus said “tetelestai,” which is a greek word that translates to “It is finished.” He said, “Right, what is finished?” So we continued and talked through everything.

Loso left me with a great example of “What is finished.”

Think of God, think of Him having a bow and arrow drawn back. God is holy, we are unholy. Those two cannot have anything to do with each other. The front hand of God is love, begging us to come home. Pleading. The back hand is his wrath that has to be given unto whatever is unholy. The target is us. Jesus stepped in front of us and took the wrath upon himself. WHAT? What a beautiful analogy. Think about that. The wrath was given. Jesus lived a perfect, blameless life, obeying all that he was supposed to. Took the wrath of God. And now God looks at us and sees us obeying him. Wow, how incredible. Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. Amazing right?

We continued talking, “When you read 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath, what is that story speaking into you? That we are David, and Goliath is whatever we are up against, right? “Dillon, think, I know you know the answer bro just think deeper.” This is what Loso said to me all weekend with these questions. So He said, “We’ll talk through it, we’ll figure this out together.”

Loso was helping me think through what the deeper symbolism of this story was.

David was an Israelite. Goliath was a Philistine. The Philistines and Israelites were fighting in the Valley of Elah. Goliath came out and was calling out the Israelites. David walks up, sees what’s going on, jumps in there and takes care of Goliath, defeating him. Sound familiar? Jesus.

When we look at this story, who are we? We aren’t David, we are the Israelites terrified in fear. Jesus is David. And our sin and unholiness is Goliath.

As I was serving him this weekend, Loso poured his love for Jesus into me. I’ll never forget that, and I am so excited to continue growing and building up our friendship!

The GOSPEL is everywhere.

Love, Dil

“Practicing balance.”

This blog has been wonderful for me. It has been an amazing platform to keep everyone updated and share more of my heart. It’s not just a platform but a learning experience also. I want to continue to learn through this, while maybe helping someone along the way.

I’m currently working on a couple of posts for this blog. One is called, “What is the why?” I spoke about this in my second post on this site. I don’t want to rush this post, it is definitely coming soon though. Thanks.


 

If you know me personally, awesome, you probably know how energy-driven I am. I talk loud on accident. I’m not shy and I’m definitely very playful! Laughter is medicine for my soul. Sometimes my personality can be taken as immaturity, when in all actuality I’m attempting to make everyone comfortable. My job, I don’t know. Beneficial, sure. My personality, absolutely.

I know this is okay, but there is so much room to improve. I believe recognizing weak points can encourage tremendous growth; spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I’m learning that in being a leader, I have to practice balancing that part of me with the serious leader that I want to be. The leader that I’m called to be. In this season, I’m learning what exactly that “leader” is.

We all have special gifts that we’ve been given to use. First, you have to find out what that gift is. There are many people that have similar gifts, but I believe each of us have a “sweet spot” within that gift. A way that we can best use that gift and grow to our full potential. The “sweet spot” is that place where our greatest passions and our talents or abilities intersect.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not in a hurry. I was once told, “Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint.” And that holds true in all that I have learned and experienced. I think it’s safe to say that we all want to be as effective as possible in what we do. Right? Why wouldn’t we want to be our best self so we can best bring glory to God?

God deserves all of the Glory along the way. But tweaking and critiquing yourself daily is part of the growth process. You learn everyday, so intentionally evaluating everything you’ve learned and applying those lessons. Boom, GROWTH!

Where is your intersection? In my case, I’m learning, I don’t think the sweet spot is 50/50. And with time that “sweet spot” will become more clear.

What is your gift? Where does it intersect? What is your “sweet spot?”

Love, Dil

“I’m thirsty.”

Wait, no, I don’t mean thirsty in the way that probably came to your mind. I’m not desperately seeking attention.

I’m thirsty for Jesus, my eyes are open to how much I truly need him. I want to grow in him, to practice my talents to better bring him glory. I’m pressing into him and the word; to better understand how to bring him Glory in everything that I do.

The past few weeks I have been learning how to balance an extremely busy schedule! Raising support for my residency that is coming soon in May, helping at Element Student Ministries, getting ready for 180 Weekend, work, loving others, and focusing on pouring into myself.

That last part can get very difficult right? Remembering to stop and think about why you are doing what you’re doing. You can’t be a leader running on empty. That’s not healthy spiritually, mentally, or physically. I learned that a long time ago.

Creating and maintaining healthy spiritual habits is “key.”  🔑

Here are a couple tips:

  1. I need the Gospel daily! Remember the Gospel. This is why we do what we do!
  2. Pray. How is your prayer life? Don’t forget this part.
  3. Study. Make time to dive into the word.
  4. Have 2-4 solid people around you supporting you and pushing you.
  5. Breathe. Don’t get overwhelmed. If you have too much on your plate cut stuff out. Make sure 1-4 are part of your plan.

We’re all works in progress, masterpieces being painted. It’s up to you, what that masterpiece points to.

Love, Dil

“The Ooey Gooey Foundation.”

..As I’m digging and pressing into Jesus, my heart is breaking more and more. The past few weeks; the burden on my heart has been overwhelming and beautiful..


 

Up until September of last year, I had lost focus of the things that meant everything to me. Through growing up my heart changed, I changed. I valued success, CONTROL of my life, status, image. I didn’t want to be in the spotlight, but I was living a life I thought was okay to live.

Last year was eye opening to say the least.

I bought a house. Four months later, I lost my job. Something that had been so important to me. The thing that I had worked so hard for, because other things became more important. I was drowning in selfishness. Not a selfishness of not doing for others, a selfishness of subconsciously thinking that I was more important than Jesus.

Come September, everything in my life that I had held together for the past 3 years, completely fell apart. EVERYTHING CAME CRASHING DOWN AROUND ME. My heart is my gift, through all of the disappointments; torn family, BROKEN RELATIONSHIP, feeling like a failure, loss, LONELINESS, and just everything that I had held in for a long time. I BROKE. I literally fell to my knees and prayed, repented, asked God to forgive me for everything, especially for not letting go of the control that I loved so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so thankful for everything that I learned in 2015.

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

-Francis Chan

Fast forward four months.

As February comes, I’m sitting here reflecting, breathing, embracing. Thinking about the specific people placed in my life to pour into me, the people that I’m pouring into, helping with the youth group, loving on leaders, my small group, sharing life with friends, consistently chasing and choosing Jesus in every decision that I make. I’m stoked to have the opportunity to move to Columbia SC and take part in the Residency at Midtown. I’m amazed at what Jesus is doing in the lives of those around me, and what He is doing in my life as well.

As I’m digging and pressing into Jesus, my heart is breaking more and more. The past few weeks; the burden on my heart has been overwhelming and beautiful. I’m realizing just how important every moment is. I’ve finally answered the “Why?” I’m full of joy and excitement. Thank you for walking with me through this season.

Love, Dil