Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Leap

I have stepped over the line,
The boundary is crossed
I won’t look to the left or to the right
I will look to the lost

I am the sanctified
By The Spirit baptized
For the world who is searching
With hope in my eyes

I will run the race
I will not grow faint
I am strengthened by God’s
Glorious inheritance in the saints

The task ahead
Is to much for me
But I am not alone
It’s the cross I see

Death has lost it’s sting
And life has lost it’s fear
Danger seems so close
But The Spirit is oh so near

The task seems heavy
But His yoke is light
Brothers and sisters
We’re not alone in this fight

United as one spirit
As one body we stand
We leap into darkness
God provides the land

Bond servants for Christ
But have never felt so free
We move like leaves in the wind
To wherever His will may be

Bruised and broken
But still going strong
The Kingdom is coming
The time won’t be long

Committed to His cause
Til’ death do us home
When we can throw our crowns
At the feet of His throne


You murmur under your breath, swearing
Staring out the window swearing
That someday you’ll be like that airplane
Flying high, doing whatever it wants
Freely, no one stops it but everyone just looks with wonder
But you wonder if you will ever be
Someday you say, someday that will be me
And I’ll be free, just me, just to be what I wanna be
Flying over the skies and the sea
And everyone will see and wish that they were just like me

Come to find out that you live in reality
That all those classes that you were daydreaming in before
Turned out to be that low GPA that you got on your report card
Everyone always told you that you were smart,
But what seems easy for everyone else is no trophy on your shelf
You work twice as hard and get called average

But what you forgot is that combat isn’t competition
And that a warrior looks ahead
Not to the left
Not to the right
But straight ahead
And you’ll know who your brother and sisters are because they are doing the same

What you forgot is that there is no such thing as a better dream
And that popularity doesn’t equal quality

What you have forgotten is that the church
is one body
Sure the eyes look nice, but without the feet
They’re not going to get you anywhere
Sure, the hands are precise but it’s the shoulders that carry all the weight
And they are the first thing others come to cry on when they need it

What you forgot to do is look up to see where you have to go
Because it gets pretty confusing when you are looking around
And when you are looking up and heading in that direction
You’ll know who your brothers and sisters are because they will be right there with you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A little more about myself.

Dr. Fink had us write a short autobiography for our 350 class. I really enjoyed writing it so I figured I would share it:

My name is Josh Cushing. I was born on Christmas day, 1987. I have seen the videos of me as a newborn baby, bundled up in a Christmas stocking in my mother’s arms. I probably didn’t realize at the time how much of a blessing my mother and father are to me, but other than Jesus Christ, they are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Both of my parents live their lives in honor of their Lord Jesus and I couldn’t thank them enough for it. My mother, Susan, was raised in the church but came to know the Lord when she was about eighteen I believe. My father, Clarke Cushing, experienced Christ as his savior and redeemer in the midst of a battle with cancer thanks to a faithful Catholic nun. It was thanks to them that I grew up knowing the gospel of Jesus. I remember embracing it when I was a young child. I was laying on my bed thinking about how I needed to ask Jesus into my heart in order to go to heaven. I think I actually pictured a little Caucasian Jesus sitting in my heart, but my theology has improved since then.
Not only was I raised by Christian parents but I attended the same Christian school from kindergarten until I graduated (I wish I hadn’t sometimes because it makes me seem really sheltered and my public school friends always brag about their experience like a rapper brags about the ghetto). I was a pretty good kid too. Growing up I was quiet, obedient and never really caused many problems. All of my teachers would tell my parents that I was always a pleasure in the class. I even remember another kid in my class acting up and the teacher told him to come sit next to me so that he would behave. There aren’t many more emasculating things to an elementary school boy when all your friends act bad to be cool. I’ve never met a young boy who actually wants to be nice more than he wants to be heroic or tough. My teacher didn’t understand that. I got the same treatment from my friends too. I was well liked, but when I think about it, I didn’t necessarily have the playground respect that every kid wants. I remember getting made fun of because my aim in dodge ball was about as dangerous as those cheap squirt guns you buy at the dollar store.
With all this in perspective, how would a God-fearing young man treat this kind of reputation? Rejoice that the Lord has given me a gentle heart and seek Christ as my strength and confidence? Of course not! I tried to prove to everyone how tough and daring I was (at least in my own mind) by listening to tough guy rap and angry metal, getting my parents to by me clothes that were cool, and working out on the bowflex. I wasn’t nearly as tough as I thought I was, but girls started to notice.
When I got to high school, I began to express how cool I was through apathy (I know it’s pathetic but it made me feel like a real free thinker at the time). Along with that I received an in-school suspension for skipping classes to go to the movies (I told you I was bold). To make a long story short, I lost my parents trust and realized that all of my stunts weren’t making my life as cool as I thought they would. This was my turning point. I was about 17. I remember laying on the floor of my room and asking God for help. I knew that I needed to actually give my life to Jesus forreal. I always knew I would eventually. And I knew that it had to be now. I remember asking Jesus to take over my life. I didn’t care if I lost my friends or anything else. I just wanted him to take control. I had known all of the right church answers up to that point and yet I suddenly felt like I had known nothing before. It felt like I had just been born. My life has never been the same since.
I soon noticed that I wasn’t the only one of my friends who the Lord was working on. Groups of us were soon meeting at people’s houses once a week just to worship God and talk about Him. I remember someone turning on a CD of worship songs and we all began singing. I began singing to God with all of my heart. I was lifting my hands to the Lord, not caring about anyone around me (remember, I am an introvert, so that was a big deal). I looked around to find that everyone was doing the same. We lived for that one, Thursday night every week. I remember at one point, we had 50 kids packed into someone’s basement, worshipping God. 50 highschoolers having church on their own free will!
Jesus became my life and has been ever since. I started dating my first girlfriend my senior year. It was a learning experience. In many ways, we tried very hard to glorify God with our relationship. In other ways, we were immature and lacked boundaries. We broke up the summer of my senior year. To this day I still think she is a wonderful Christian girl. She is still a friend of mine and we have both grown in Christ since. However, we didn’t break up because we wanted to. We broke up because I wanted to spend a year at Teen Mania’s Honor Academy. It is a really exciting, pre-college discipleship program with one catch; all participants make a commitment not to date for the year they are there. We broke up, I left for Texas, and my world was changed from the things I learned. I went through a lot of heartache, I was humbled by the things I learned, and it helped me to be disciplined and my pursuit after Christ.
When I left the Honor Academy, I wasn’t home for three days before I left for my freshmen year at Liberty. I wasn’t at Liberty a week before I became a prayer leader (without really even knowing what a prayer leader was) and was heavily involved at Liberty.  I changed from wanted to go to medical school, to being a business major, to where I now happily reside in the religion department, working towards a bachelors in Philosophy and Biblical Studies. My time at Liberty has been a testing time. I have been learning a lot about myself and leadership through being an RA on campus. My faith has come to a point where I am attempting to understand it rationally and learning to love God with my mind without neglecting the emotional passion for the things of the Lord (which I have come to believe is, to an extent, very necessary). Where I am currently is that I have learned that I have a lot to learn. I am daily struggling to make less of me and more of Christ and trying to understand how I can best serve the Lord in the short life I have on this earth.