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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Legacies

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what I want to communicate here yet. Just that I want to communicate it. So, I guess we’ll find out together what this blog is all about.

The word “legacy” has been bumping around in my mind today. We went and did Christmas with my dad’s side of the family at my grandparents house in the middle of nowhere Mississippi. Which is actually a charming place. This is the first time I’ve gotten to see this side of my family since getting home from the Race. It got me thinking about who I was the last time I was there.

But it also got me thinking about the legacy of the Powell family. Who we are, what we’ve done, where we’re going. On an unrelated note I found out from my aunt today (from a DNA test she took) that I am 69% British, 32% Irish, 6% Scandinavian, 1% Greek, and some minuscule percent Middle Eastern. So.. Do whatever you want with that.

Uhhh... Home?
I’ve blogged before about the incredible people in my family. Especially my two grandfathers and the way they have modeled how to be a strong Christian man. Both in their own ways. I’d have to say I get my fire and conviction from my dad’s dad, Hiram. But my observant eye for detail, and the compassion I don’t talk about much comes strongly from my mom’s dad, Pat. The legacy I have received from them is how to do well in this world. How to live and help others do the same. How to fight for what is right, and persevere against all odds. How to walk the road less traveled and walk it well.

I know this is true of them because it is how my family has walked. Both sides. The Powell and Thomas (mom’s family) clan has walked strongly in the path that God has laid before us. We’ve all deviated and stumbled. Everyone one of us. But we have all come through, or are coming through. Even if times have seemed bleak, we are a powerful and indomitable group of people. We will always stride forward.

Often I speak highly of my family. You have to know by now that I don’t really embellish. If they were a less than stellar group of people you’d probably never hear about them. But you do, so take stock in that.
Though, being Greek might not be so bad.
Why have I been thinking about this? Why legacies? Why talk so much about my family?

Because I’ve been thinking about my own legacy. Where I’ve been, and where I’m going myself.

Looking back I’ve lived an interesting life. I would even say a full one up until now, even if you weren’t looking at the World Race. Everything I’ve done has shaped me up until this point. But I can tell now that I’m still climbing. The way I think has changed. When I was having Christmas two years ago I was a very different person than I am now.

Attribute that to AIM, the Race, CGA, or divine intervention if you want but the fact remains. I don’t think about how unfortunate things are, I think about how to fix them. I don’t wish people would feel better, I pray for them. I don’t hope something crazy will happen in the church, I ask God to come down.

I’m bold.

A kid that grew up timid, a bit anxious, and on the whole terrified to be the center of attention has become bold. Become willing to do something crazy. Something rowdy even. Something unexpected. For me at least.

I’ve lived a full life, sure. But my legacy is lackluster in my eyes. I’ve done plenty, and done good but it isn’t enough. I’m feeling fiery this evening. Feeling like I want to change the world. Feeling like I’m about to get the chance.
Regardless I'll always just tell people I'm Irish.
Who knows what my legacy will be looking into the future... But I hope it’s something bold. I hope it’s something incredible. Not for my sake, I don’t want the attention. But for the Kingdom. For people. To break the cycles of hate and evil that seem to be ever increasing in our society. Of sin and darkness in myself.

I still don’t really know what this blog is about, but I want to implore you to try something.

Ask for more. Pray for bigger things. Get rowdy with your faith. Do something unexpected. A theory I subscribe to is 20 seconds of insane courage. Do it. Go wild. Let God take complete control. Then tell me what happens. I wanna know!

I guess this is my final thought. If you looked at your year on Facebook and saw nothing to report. Or if you saw the most marvelous things you’ve ever done. Push for more. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. Create your own fantastic legacy.

I wanted to type whatever came to me. It was what you see above! In essence, I’m tired of feeling like I could do more. And I imagine I’m not the only one. That’s what this blog is about, I guess. So... There ya go! 

Charge forward
Seth





Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shadows in a Good Season

I’m in a good season right now.

Like a really good one.

I’m going into my first real job. I’m finally doing something where I feel like I can have a tangible difference that caters to my specific skills and abilities. I’ve made great community here. I feel like I’m right where God wants me to be. Made amazing friends and more!

It’s just good.

I have a hard time being content. I’m constantly (frustratingly) thinking that there is something I can be working on. Something I can be doing or fixing. I sometimes don’t leave well enough alone. But for whatever reason in this season I wasn’t like that. It was more like I thought everything was going so well that I didn’t want to move too far to the left and mess everything up. So I stayed still. Or rather have been staying still.

Only lately had I been thinking about what could be wrong with this. I had been driving forward so hard on my professional and personal development that something had been left out of the equation...

Something important...

Something I couldn’t put my finger on...

That something was God.

I had felt that with everything going so well I didn’t need to try to get better or grow in any areas. Everything is good! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Right? Ehh...

I had confused contentment and fortune with complacency.

I had gotten so caught up in the gifts I had received that I didn’t take time to thank the Giver.

I became so enamored with the things that God had given me that I forgot about He who gave them.

I fell into a trap. The trap of a good season. The trap of not recognizing where good fortune comes from. Where good seasons come from.

In this too, I was protective of my season. I guarded it. I was willing to defend it at all costs. Even if that meant defending it from God himself.

After a solid talk with God on the lake today I remembered my place in the world.

He gives and takes away. But above all, He has a plan.

Just because things are going well doesn’t mean I can’t strive for more. Strive for spiritual growth and to keep being better and better. To keep running towards being the man God has called me to be. Good seasons aren’t time to sit still and drink tea and sigh a happy sigh.

You can still learn a great deal in a good season. You can still grow and be stretched. You may just do it with a smile on your face this time around.

My good season isn’t ending, I want to make that clear. I’m still doing incredibly well. And will as long as my Father wants me to.

But trusting God with any and all possibilities is key to enjoying a good season well. Enjoying what He has given you, and understanding when it ends. Knowing that His plan goes beyond you and how you think it should go. That the ending of a good season will eventually yield to a better one. A much better one.

Don’t let yourself live in the shadows of a good season. Protecting it like your life depended on it.

Give God the freedom to do with you what He will. Placing your life and the things of your life in His hands makes your life easier in some ways. Takes a bit of the thinking out of it. And for someone who thinks too much like me, that’s a blessing.

Stepping back into the light,


Seth

I am fundraising for this shiny new season! I am looking for people interested in partnering with me financially through monthly giving. Please prayerfully consider partnering with me. If you're interested send me an email at sethtpowell13@gmail.com. Or just donate one of two ways:  https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace&desc=Seth%20Powell or by sending a check made out to "Adventures in Missions" to:
PO BOX 742570 Atlanta, GA 30374-2570 with my name in the memo line.

I am excited to drive forward into this job and do what I can for the Kingdom. I'd love for you come alongside me and help me with it! Thank you and hope to hear from you!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Full Speed Ahead (What's Next for Me!)

This short season is coming to a close.

CGA ends in less than 2 weeks. 2 weeks! That’s insane.

This has been a great time in my life, full of learning and growth. For one of the first times in life I feel like a genuine adult, which is weird. By that I mean, I feel like I have a true grasp on where I’m going and how I’m getting there. The Lord has laid out a plan in front of me and I’m in step with it.

It’s a pretty cool plan, too.

I’m excited to announce that this coming January I will start a job with Adventures in Missions in the World Race department! My position will have two main themes. Most of my time will be spent doing development in the World Race. Improving it, doing projects, problem solving, and just trying to add value wherever I can. The other part of my time will be spend doing Squad Logistics for the World Race Fusion route.

This is a great fit for me, I think. I love problem solving. I love streamlining and developing things. It was something I tried to do a lot while working with campus ministries in college, and something I’m gonna enjoy doing in the World Race. My goal is to help bring the Race further and further until it reaches its full potential. I’m still very much passionate about the American church, and I think in order to change the church and thus the world then my generation is going to have to do a bulk of the work. As such, I want to help tons of people in my generation have an amazing experience on the Race and then come back ready to change the world.

As for Squad Logistics, I’m just as excited. World Race Fusion is a brand new route/program in which people from many different nationalities can come together to make a squad! There will be people from all over the world making up the Fusion squad! It's incredible! I loved doing logistics on my Race, and will love getting to be the contact for the Racers on the Fusion route as they live out their journey. Basically I will be their in-office resource. I will help them figure out logistics and finance stuff and be a constant contact for them. I also will encourage and support them any way I can. Something I truly, truly eager to do.

Needless to say, I’m excited.

For this position I will have to raise part of my salary. The Lord continually provides for me, and I know He will in this season as well. I’m (again) excited for the opportunity to bring more people into my journey by partnering with me financially and prayerfully.

If you’re interested in partnering with me prayerfully or financially please get in touch with me! My email is sethtpowell13@gmail.com. I’d love to talk more with you and explain how the process works. Or if you’re just curious about the job, or even just wanna talk shoot me an email!

Here is the link to the Fusion route so you can see more what it is all about: http://worldrace.org/?tab=routes&subtab=wr-fusion

Thank you so much for supporting me throughout the Race, through CGA, and now into my time working with Adventures. God has truly affected my life through you for something big, and I’m so thankful to have you right alongside me in it.

Oh, and thanks for reading too! It means a lot!

Going full speed ahead,

Seth

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Raise Your Shield

Ephesians 6:16 – “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Shield (noun) – 1. A broad piece of armor, varying widely in form and size, carried apart from the body, usually on the left arm, as a defense against swords, lances, arrows etc. 2. A person or thing that protects.
(verb) – To protect (someone or something) with or as if with a shield.

Turn on the news. See anything positive going on? Probably not. Or if there is, there is little. Not enough to break through the gargantuan issues and atrocities of war, racism, murder, genocide. I could go on and on.

Maybe don’t turn on the news then? Try the internet. There you see nothing but the biting, vicious attacks of peoples opinions toted around as fact. Seeking nothing but tear the opposing worldview down.

Basically, there’s a lot of badness out there right now. But lets face it, there always has been.

I’ve posted a great deal using war imagery. Fighting for the Kingdom. Fighting for our fellow Christians. I still believe we should! But I want to discuss a different concept I’ve been mulling over.

The shield.



The church/Christians in general quote Ephesians 6 a lot. The full armor of God. It’s a powerful part of scripture. Truly. But where I think we tend to get hung up is with the sword.

The sword is an offensive weapon. Made to cut down enemies. To strike down that which opposes you. I think for a time we needed to be the sword, and in ways we still do. I think there have been times where we’ve needed to bring down the evil of the world with the Sword of the Spirit. I can personally attest to it’s need and how I’ve used it.

Where I think we’ve gone a bit off is that we think that we need to attack any perceived threat with the sword. Whether God or the Spirit is in it or not.

We attack those who attack us. We lash out at those who are different. We decided that we have human enemies who need to be defeated. We decided that we are persecuted and need to fight back at all costs.

Through this, we may do some good for the Kingdom sure. But mostly it seems that we cut all those around us to ribbons. With hate and anger, not in the Spirit. We use the sword to cut down our fellow man rather than destroy the forces of the Enemy. We seek not to understand, but rather to assimilate with the aid of our sword.

I don’t think this is how the Sword of the Spirit was meant to be used.

So lets talk about the Shield of Faith.

A shield is made to defend. To keep yourself safe from all that comes at you. In the context of our own Christian walk, the Shield of Faith allows us to endure trials and tribulations of all types. We can lean into our faith in Christ and remain safe. Sometimes the trial will get to us, maybe circumvent our shields, but the shield will hold. Just as our faith will.

The shield can not only protect you, but “extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.” You don’t even need to draw your sword! Just hold fast behind your shield and it will keep you safe from the things of this world.

But by no means are you to cower behind your shields. Shields are weapons in their own right. You can certainly beat something back with a shield. Try taking a good hard shove from one of those and see how you feel!

Shields also allow us to unify in our faith against a common evil. When we lock shields together we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. We can take the brunt of the Enemy’s attack and then repel it. We can surge forward together as a body of believers. As a church.

A shield is a powerful tool. One we need to utilize more.

Seeing an issue, a difference, something you don’t agree and hacking it to bits with your sword is not what we are called to do. Be stronger than that. Be more mature. If you feel adversity headed your way, simply hoist up your shield and endure it.

We were not called to destroy ourselves. Neither were we called to berate and attack those who disagree with us. There’s a difference between speaking the God-given truth in love and bringing others down with shame and hatred. If you take a good look at yourself I think you’ll know which one you tend to employ.

Stand resolute with your shields held high. Repel the attacks of the enemy. Endure adversity with love. Protect those that cannot protect themselves. Do not seek revenge. Don’t lash out. Put away your bloodstained swords. They’ve done enough for now.

The world is changing. Not always for the better. We do not need to be the ones to attack and slash our way through it. We need to march forward strongly, with our shields in hand. Marching toward those in need. Towards those whom are broken. We need to defend them, and show them the absolute and perfect love of Christ. And then we need to keep marching on.

Stand strong.

Seth

P.S. I paraphrased some from this lesson on the Shield of Faith. Take a read, it’s great stuff! http://www.freebiblestudyguides.org/bible-teachings/armor-of-god-shield-of-faith.htm

I still need $300 to be fully funded for this CGA season. Thank you so much for those who have partnered with me financially. We're so close! If you feel led to partner with me financially you can do so by following this link:
 https://www.adventures.org/give/donate.asp?giveto=worldrace&desc=Seth%20Powell or by sending a check made out to "Adventures in Missions" to:
PO BOX 742570 Atlanta, GA 30374-2570 with my name in the memo line.