Hey Guys!

Hey Everyone!

I just wanted to publish another post to make sure you’ve seen the new blog location!!

its located at JoshuaFlom.com

Check out the whole site, and i hope you’ll subscribe again if you have before, or perhaps subscribe for the first time!!

Thanks, see you soon :)

 

 

 

 


New website!

Hey there guys

to anyone who see’s this or is subscribed to my blog, I have important information for you all.

My website has been moved to something much more exciting, and I hope you all check it out… the web address is simple, joshuaflom.com

There is still a SUBSCRIPTION option, and I hope you’ll consider re-subscribing :)

thanks for the consistent viewership!

Josh Flom


Mutual Joy in Christ (PERU #5)

From the moment you hit your teen years to nearly the end of your life, we are faced with a particular topic almost every day. Regardless of your race, religion, age, or any other potential affiliation, you are confronted with the idea of dating and someday finding your “soul mate”. The latest trend in this endless discussion is the idea of compatibility or how important it is to have similarities between you and your partner. Have you ever noticed that we tend to skip over the most important compatibility aspect… mutual faith and passion for Jesus Christ.

As you already know, because of the title of this post, I intend on talking about my recent trip to Peru to spread God’s Word. With that in mind, I’m obviously not going to be discussion compatibility in terms of dating someone. Instead I want to share my complete and utter joy in the fact that over 200 Americans were able to share their passion for Jesus Christ with several hundred Peruvians that had a mutual appreciation of our Creator.

There’s no doubt that a Christian is capable of growing through persecution and the “flames” of this world, but for ten days two cultures were blessed and became one people under our Lord. Every Sunday at Grace Church, we experience remarkable worship led by Pastor Brian Vaughan. In Peru we experienced remarkable worship led by another man. But that wasn’t the true blessing. The true blessing was that Americans worshiped with Peruvians and Peruvians worshiped with Americans; it didn’t matter the language of the song, each person knew how to honor God through music regardless the language.

Beauty was found in a crowded sanctuary as two languages sang out to their creator, beauty was found in the magnificence of a God that allowed two cultures to become one unified people seeking their Lord and Savior.


Peruvians Unbeatable Love (PERU #4)

God has blessed me with opportunities to spread God’s Word here at home and abroad in numerous countries. I have seen Americans cry because of witnessing God’s glory in action. I have seen strangers cry upon realizing the saving grace of God’s power. This year I was able to witness a tender-hearted individual cry because she saw God’s love and glory being shown through the people of Grace Church. Make sure you grasp such words, that God was shown through the people of Grace, and it was nothing to do with our earthly nature but everything to do with God’s heavenly nature.

Although you can certainly see the love they have for our being in their country, it’s certainly not the only illustration of their immense passion and love in life. These people learn to treat you as a member of their family, they treat the searching souls of this world as family, and they honor God as the head of their family.

I guess I’m at a loss for words on how to illustrate their love through simple text on a screen. I’ll leave you with an example of the love that has been shared with me. The friends I made 12 years ago remain to this day. They treat me with love and respect despite my absence, and we pretend we never left each other’s side. They share tears with myself and other friends from Grace upon leaving… only a week together and our lives have changed together… Doesn’t matter whether a language gap exists or not, love can be shown and felt despite such a challenge…


A Childlike Love, A Child Like Faith (PERU #3)

Think about our cultures opinions on people and life. In the general sense, most opinions are rather negative. When you look at a high school aged individual, you often assume they are immature or a nuisance to have around. What we forget is how immensely capable they are of caring for others; or more specifically, for Christ.

Childlike Curiosity

In Peru we were required to maintain a very hasty schedule, each and every day was filled with blessings but required every ounce of energy a human could offer. The nights often resulted in each team member falling asleep as early as they could, between 10 and 11:30. I arrived at the hotel rather late, and certainly passed curfew. Despite the late hour, I found almost the entire youth group awake. They weren’t being obnoxious; they weren’t running around making noise, they weren’t even talking about current social topics. Each of them lifted up their Lord and Savior in worship, praising God for a week of blessing and awakening deep in their souls. I gazed in a room of children and teens, but tonight I saw a room of young adults honoring their creator.

Childlike Passion & Zeal

We can look down upon our youth, question their zeal for Christ during a trip to Peru, or even demand extensive rules be placed upon them to maintain order. In reality, it was the youth that led spontaneous worship sessions, it was the youth that has been impacted for life, it was the youth that made countless eternal friendships, it was the youth that sought God’s heart in an indescribable way.

The youth of our trip grasped the idea of worship; they took it upon themselves to thrive in their Lord’s presence.  We can be angry that curfew was broken, but then your missing the point.  God calls to the children of our world, and the youth of our trip answered such a call.  They grew in God’s Word, they grew in their worship of Him, and they grew in community because of Him.

Childlike Faith

I thank God for giving these kids a childlike love. I thank God for providing me an example of what my life has been missing and how simple it is to achieve the faith I desire to have.


God is a Protector… (Peru #2)

Protection during arrival to Peru
The lights come on and the people in the plane begin to stretch, six hours of flying and we’ve finally made it to Peru. Although our team desires nothing more than a comfy bed to sleep in, we still have security… customs… and the drive to our hotel before bed is even an option. Regardless of our sleep deprivation, the team is filled with joy and anticipation of our arrival.

Gathering our bags went smoothly, progressing through security showed no challenges, and the caring people of Peru had nothing but our safety on their minds.

Leaving the airport we approach our buses, illuminated by the glow of the city. We circle up our team and mix together with our Peruvian brothers and sisters. Prayers break out; prayers for success in sharing our Lords message, prayers for peace and faithfulness, and certainly… prayer for protection while ministering in Peru.

The bus is filled with silence, nothing but the engines roar is heard in a bus filled with sleepy Americans. I lean my head against the window, hopeful of catching up on some sleep during this hour long drive. My mind is awakened by the sight of beaming lights circling over our bus. Bear with me and attempt to visualize the words. The street lights were extended into an arch encompassing our bus. Technically, this was due to the bending of light in the bus windows… but it was a vivid illustration of our Lord surrounding us with his protection. These lights encompassed our bus the entire way to our hotel, and God’s protection remained constant for the next ten days.

Janelle Elise Photography

Protection for the Americans and Peruvians during a God honoring trip
Whether it be my father witnessing to a gang leader, a remarkable man of God sharing God’s story in the house of a man who recently murdered several people, painting in one of the more dangerous blocks of Callao, or any of the other scenarios we allowed ourselves to be in, God remained a constant protector for over 200 Americans and several hundred Peruvians.

I thank my Lord for the memories created in Peru this year; I thank my Lord for the 12 years of memories created in Peru since 1999.
I thank my Lord for protecting the people close to my heart and for bringing new believers into His Kingdom.


Don’t Forget What Has Formed You (Peru #1)

Experiences Form Our Lives…

With the sun beaming through my bedroom window, my eyes slowly open to the beauty of this world and the blessing of sleeping in. There was no alarm going off at 6 A.M., no rush to get breakfast before the bus’s leave for Callao, no need to pack snacks for a day of endless movement and little opportunities to regain energy. I lay in a bed that is surrounded by peace and silence in Eden Prairie, though a longing for the ambient noise of car horns and loud engines from Lima Peru oddly exists in my mind. Perhaps this is hard to understand, but I believe the 203 missionaries that experienced God’s glory with me are capable of understanding exactly what I mean. For 10 days I lived with little sleep and food during the day, constantly moving from place to place and learning how to use a bathroom with no seat. Now I’m back in America, but I worry that I have learned nothing and take for granted everything.

In past trips to Peru, I have failed to maintain a journal or to truly reflect on the experiences that were evident in my time abroad. This time I was sure to not allow for such a mistake to occur again. I realize that in this world, we have a tendency to reach an immense spiritual high and drop back down to a lowly cultural standard once we return to our everyday life. In the coming days and weeks I will be posting specifically about Peru and the experience I (and others) had while sharing God’s word in this beautiful country. I hope you check back often to learn about the experiences of Grace Church, and as always, feel free to share these posts on Facebook and get the story out of how God used over 203 people to share the Word of God.

Many more Peru related posts to be coming very soon


Few Nights Compare…

Each day we wake up and begin another day that makes up our year, one of the thousands of days that make up a person’s life. I hate to say that I have a particular format to them, but if we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that many days are pretty routine. We wake up, head to work, finish work, and then find an activity we find pleasure in to end our day. Occasionally, we break the mold and experience a change in that perpetual cycle. Some days are a blessing in the midst of our world’s norm. Some nights are so unique that few could compare.

A day of errands and a schedule that allowed for minimal social interaction slowly changed into a night of joy and brought the gift of a memory. Walking towards the Music in Plymouth concert there were few expectations on my mind. In fact, I was hoping for a simple hang out time with friends. This simple night turned into the escape I had long desired. The night brought back all the emotions that had recently taken a vacation from my life.

From wandering around the crowded park, the continuous live music in the background, a gorgeous Minnesota night summers are made for, and the endless topics covered with a dear friend… The night was considered a blessing before an hour passed. To be honest, I believe genuine conversation is challenging to achieve in our world. So often the topics are aimed towards our popular media and the trivial aspects of our life. It’s rare that people can engage in extensive conversation about their dreams, life experiences, spiritual/personal/political/and moral beliefs, and many other areas of discussion. It’s conversations like these that provoke my passion for relationships with the people in this world, a passion to utilize every interaction as a chance to grow within myself, a chance to better the person next to me and myself.

The night could end right then, and it would have been a memorable few hours, but God gave more than I believed was deserved. Surrounded by more than ten people I hold dear to my heart, we enjoyed the soothing classical music echoing throughout the thousands of people in attendance. The sun began to fade away and we were left with the serenity of a blissful musical night. I may be considered odd or cheesy for loving a chick flick such as August Rush, but that movie was on my mind for most the night. The two were rather similar in experience and emotion… but allow me to include a disclaimer. I didn’t find my long lost love there, and the child I didn’t know I had was not directing the entire orchestra… though that sounds rather exhilarating.

Again I’ll say the night could have ended here and it would have been considered a remarkable blessing. But once again, God decided to out do Himself. I sat back, staring towards the heavens that have always provoked wonder and the feeling of peace in my soul. Fireworks began to light up the night sky,turning the night into brief moments of stunning daylight. As I laid back, enjoying the wonder that comes from such magnificent explosions, a childish smile was unable to leave my face. There is something about fireworks that erase the thoughts and worries that can tend to flood my mind; the world is in silence for the brief moments of astonishing light.

A bonfire illuminated the faces of the men and women I would lay down my life for. The backyard was filled with the chatter of true friendship and some Jackson 5 emerging from the speakers as my dad played his favorite playlist. The night went from enjoying genuine communication with a remarkable person, beautiful music played for the thousands of people sharing a rare experience, night shattered into day through a spectacular fireworks display, to the bonfire that warmed the people that have grown to love each other in a way that few people are capable of understanding or grasping.

God blesses our lives in unique ways and we would be foolish to overlook such remarkable experiences that occur in the midst of a casual Wednesday night.

The thankfulness I have for these people cannot be explained through words that appear on a webpage…
The thankfulness I have for God’s role in this night… in this life I strive to live… cannot be explained within the limits of my human existence.


Give a little… Take a little…

When the sun begins to peer into my window, slowing waking me from a heavenly slumber. There is a distinct emotion that will never leave my body, I will never allow it to leave my body; its far to important to allow that. That feeling is one of desire, drive, passion; the need to progress further in life and always move a step in the right direction. The day I wake up with a stagnant mentality, the day I wake up and decide to always be passive, that is the day I lose the right to succeed. So often in our lives we grow used to what we have, eliminating our desire or “need” for anything more. This is a concept I believe applies to our jobs, faith, families, certainly relationships/friendships, and many other areas we deal with in life. Lets break down a few of these.

work

I know I’m not in the professional workforce at the moment, but I still have an understanding on the scenarios that are encountered. When I desire to write a book, I must actively make the effort to gain progress. The moment I decide that I don’t need to worry about my book is the moment that book fails, and it’s become a waste of space on my computer’s hard drive. If I decided that I didn’t need to run regular updates on my clients web-sites, I’d be fired and loose significant credibility with my employer and the clients that have trusted me.

god

Imagine approaching our faith in Christ with a stagnant mentality or with a lack of passion. Our faith would never have the urge to grow, it would remain in a relatively infant phase for the extent of our lives. God’s Word tells us that the lukewarm will be spit out. How do you expect to get on fire for Christ when you put no effort or care into the relationship you desire with Him.

friendships

Finally, the same applies to the friendships (and relationships) in our lives. So often we wake up without realizing the importance of some people and the role they play in our lives. We approach their friendship in a “you’re always going to be there” mentality; which is a remarkably dangerous thought process to follow.

Ryan has been a part of my life for many years and he knows that I have an invested interest in his life. If I stopped calling him, hanging out with him, and basically withdrew my side of the investment… how long do you honestly believe he would remain? Give and take is an expression because it has become so widely used over the  years, and it’s used because it accurately describes the process of investing in a relationship. We must give and take in the friendships/relationships we have. If you only take, always expecting something from someone, that person you believed would always be there will eventually be gone the next time you turn around; it may not be tomorrow, but few people will stay around for a lifetime of neglect.

In work we must give effort to receive that desired paycheck
In our faith, we must give God our love, belief of the unseen, and repentance if we are to expect eternal life
And in our friendships, we must give to our friends if we expect to receive anything in return from them… I’ve lost friendships because I failed to understand the need to put in effort, and I urge you to avoid such a foolish mistake.

The more we give to others in our life, the more we will be blessed in our own lives.
If that’s not a win-win, I don’t know what is.


A Chance To Grow Together

I’d ask how challenging it is for each of you to plan meetings with a big group of friends, but I’m sure I already know the answer to such a question.  Trying to organize several different lives to meet on the same day and at the same time can occasionally seem… impossible.  Although it shouldn’t be the case, it’s often times even harder to get friends together for things such as a Bible study.  What if there was a way to simplify the learning of God’s word as a group, would you embrace it?

Recently I came  to the realization that many social groups (not just my own) have challenges when it comes to scheduling a Bible study, and getting the conversation desired to emerge during the meeting.  What I mean is simple, some people are not quite as honest about their lives because they may not be fully secure within that particular group.  I wanted to find a way to grow in God’s word and my faith with others.  I wanted to eliminate the confusion of planning days to meet, and eliminate the the feeling of judgement on each other because we may have made mistakes in our lives.

I believe this can be accomplished through the website Biblical Stranger.  This website is a “community” blog if you will.  Simply put, it allows people to post about Christ (devotionals, prayers, challenges, anything!) anonymously.  That’s right, no one will know you’ve posted that particular post.  Therefore, this site allows you to read about people’s walk with God and allows us all to grow together as Biblical Strangers.

If you go to the website, there are several pages that explain the entire concept and how you can contribute as a poster or a reader.  There is a Facebook fan page also.  If you are already friends with me (Josh Flom) on Facebook, you can find the necessary log-in information in my information section… or just Facebook message me.

Biblical Stranger is a chance for people to express their thoughts and emotions about Christianity and their faith, and allows them to do so without individuals being capable of judging them for it.  Check out the site and consider contributing!

BIBLICAL STRANGER


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