Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Building upon the imperishable, rather than the perishable"

This is Ryan Buss. I know that Valerie has been blogging for the last couple of months, so I thought that it was an appropriate time for me to blog! She has done such a wonderful job, I feel like she is tough act to follow. However, I will blog and hope that it is articulate enough for you, the reader, to enjoy and think about with me on this matter :)

I just had a quiet time with the Lord in Psalm 49. It is a wonderful Psalm written by the sons of Korah who have written several Psalms to our Lord that He included in His written Word. This Psalm comes at a very good time in my life as I ponder and consider the future for me and my wife. To be perfectly honest, our funding has been quite slow and hard going, and I have naturally been asking myself if this is the path that God would have us walk down. As I have been considering other paths and careers that I could pursue, God has been very faithful in our times toghether in His Word to remind me to wait patiently and to trust Him!

Every quiet time I have had with the Lord this summer at least one of those themes would come up and I would feel encouraged by Him to keep pressing on and to persever in this time of hardship. Today, it was about my career options in general and how I am doing exactly what I love to do, and what I feel passionately led to do! The Psalm is all about how every single person is under the same inevitability of death and how all of our strivings and pursuits will avail nothing if not with the glory of God in mind. Here are a couple of verses from that Psalm that I have been pondering and have been turning my eyes back to the lifestyle that God has led me into:

Psalm 49
vs. 10" For he sees that even wise men die; the stupid and the senseless alike perish and leave their wealth to others."
vs. 16,17" Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house is increased; for when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not descend after him."

These are intense verses, but they remind me of how transient our life is and how the stuff that we strive for in this life is often stuff that doesn't last and will burn away in eternity.

As I was reading, I was reminded of Paul's first letter to the Corinthians in [1 Cor. 3: 11-15]. He is exhorting the Corithians to build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, because He is the foundation that will last, not the perishable stuff of the world. So, I was thinking of what is imperishable according to the Word of God that I ought to build with upon the foundation of Jesus Christ?

1. God's Word [Isaiah 40: 8]
2. God's Kingdom [Revelation 22: 1-5]
3. Soul's of men

For me, the commands of Jesus that best fits these pursit are found in:

[Matthew 28:19,20] "Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age".

[Matthew 6: 19-21, 31-33] "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither rust nor moth destroys and where theives do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will also."

"Do not worry then, saying 'What will we eat' or 'What will we drink' or 'What will we wear for clothing'? For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father know that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

For me, I see that we are to actively pursue making disciples of Jesus Christ, and that building upon the Kingdom of God with the souls of men [1 Peter 2:5] [1 Cor. 3:16] and knowing Jesus through His Word [John 15:7,8] are the most important things in this life and will last, even after we die! If you are looking to impact the world and leave your mark here, you will fail. If you desire to see people impacted for eternity and to know the Creator of the Universe and the Lover of our souls, that will last!

I tie this all back to what I am doing with my life, because sometimes I feel like it has no impact and that I am wasting my life away with pursuing fundraising and ministry and such. But then I read Psalms like this and take a trip with the Lord through His Word on the stuff that lasts, and am convinced that I have the sweetest job in the world; I get to see people impacted for eternity and I get to spend time with the Lord in His word as a job! So, all the fundraising and trusting of the Lord is just a step I need to take to be able to do what I believe God has led me and my wife to do!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Everyday we as Christians go into battle, every minute I'm at war.

War against my flesh: Rom 7:18 "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."

War against the sometimes "cultural norm": 1 Peter 2:11"Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul."

But above all...

War against a real, true spiritual evil: Ephesians 6:12 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

But how often do I take a moment and really contemplate this fact? Not only that, but how often do I realize the dire significance of this war?

Hardly ever

However, it all goes back to what I truly believe. If I truly BELIEVED we were in a war wouldn't I be more proactive in how I live? That is why I'm taking this minute of contemplation, to help me refocus and remind myself of this battle. Because If I truly believed that this war was happening; then on a daily, hourly, sometimes minute to minute basis I would be consciously putting on my "armor." Eph 6:11 "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."

Just to remind you what our armor is...
  1. Belt of truth
  2. Breastplate of righteousness
  3. Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
  4. Shield of faith
  5. Helmet of salvation
  6. Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
  7. Prayer
Out of all of these, prayer truly seems the most abstract. Paul doesn't try to put it into a metaphoric word picture, he just states at the end of this section to pray. Pray about EVERYTHING!

I've really wanted to expand my prayer life this year. I've read some books, talked to some people, tried a few new things and learned alot during this journey. However, it just baffles me both how powerful prayers is, and yet how underused it is in my life.

At Harvest Bible the main topic of discussion was based on prayer and one of the pastors read some excerpts from "Do You Pray?" by JC Ryle. This was a great article that I'd recommended to all of you. Anyways, It really reminded me what a amazing gift prayer is.

Lately, in my personal life and in my relationships with people I've been more aware of the spiritual battle going on. It's actually kinda scary at times, to know that circumstances beyond your control are at work in my life and the lives of people around me. However, a verse that comforted me today was Psalm 140:7

"O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle-"

I'm not alone.
God is fighting my battles.
God is fighting the battles for my friends.
But above all NOTHING is out of His control.

All I have to do is pray. Pray and remember ALL of us are in a battle. Are you ready for battle?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Only a few hundred feet, that's how close were to the barge in the bay that shot off the fireworks.For the 4th of July we headed to San Diego, our home, arguably the largest vacation spot in the US right now. We had a really fun road trip with Gabe and Paul, our (brother and brother-in-law respectively). It was pretty sweet.

Once in SD, we grabbed some Woodstocks pizza and chilled. It was really cool to show Gabe around town knowing that this will be his home in just a matter of months. Sometimes I get so excited I just want to show him EVERYTHING. I have learned to love the city and campus God gave us so much that I can't help but want to share it with everyone. I'm so excited to share that same passion for our home with Gabe, my brother and one of my closest friends. My prayer is that my love for the people in SD will grow more and more like Jesus' love for people.

The next day, Krystal, a friend of ours from the ASU ministry drove down with her sister Maxzi from her home in Long Beach. Now that was a blast! We had so much fun just hanging. It was so good to be able to just sit and be ourselves with no agenda or expectations. I met Krystal (now a Sr. in the nursing dept) in a freshman bible study a few years ago. It was my first "go" at leading a bible study and I remember thinking many times what a blessing that study was in my life. It's been awesome to see Krystal and the others girls grow in Christ throughout the years. If anything reminds me why I am in college ministry it's those girls. I'm still close to many of those girls and they "refresh my soul in Christ" everytime I see them.

We hung out at a park for a bit with some of the Molascons. Watching Dave play with his kids, I'm reminded how grateful I am to have him as our campus leader. You learn so much from a person when you see them interact with kids. Dave is such a great dad, he plays with them, treats them with respect, and even disciplines them gently when they're not quite getting it. I can't wait to get to work with him and his family again this fall. My times with his wife Heather last semester were amazing, and I really hope our relationship just continues to blossom. She's an amazing women.

Afterwards a couple students came over, along with our teamate Ann (now newly engaged). I almost forgot how much I enjoy hanging with the students and our teamates. They really have devolved into great friends. God has totally blown me a way with the friendships he's already given me in SD. I think I just needed to step away for a moment to fully appreciate the relationships God has given us. It makes me even more excited to see what other relationships God has in mind for us in SD

Now the fun part. We decided to jump on the trolley to go downtown by the harbor to watch fireworks. It was a first time on the trolley system, so it was pretty exciting. Thankfully our friend Jenelle, an expert in the arena of public transportation, came along. Jenelle's friendship this year has been such a gift from God. Both her and Alison have really made me feel loved and excepted in my new home. So it was even more exciting to hear that she is pursuing an opportunity to join staff with the Navigators over in Maryland. How cool!

Anyways, we walked around the harbor and ended up only a few hundred feet from the barge that was to shoot up the fireworks! We were so close it was amazing. It was, bar none, the best fireworks show of all time. All I could think afterward, was how thankfully I was for the people around me that shared in the experience, and how exciting it is to think of who God will allow me to experience it with next year.

Ryan and I can't wait to continue the work at SDSU this fall. Please continue keeping us in your prayers. Fundraising, as you can imagine, is extremely difficult in this economy. However, we've decided that unless God very bluntly directs us in a other path, we will be back on the campus of SDSU come this fall. We need your help to do that though. Even $10 a month makes a huge difference because no gift is too small. We can't do this without help, so help us to continue building relationships at San Diego for the Kingdom of God.