Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thoughts from the Beach

So I'm at the beach and it's beautiful outside and I'm staying at this house that is two story and it's overlooking the whole coastline. I'm sure you're sitting there thinking, wow I'm at my computer at home, sounds great (unless you live in Jamaica)! I wish I was there! Ha Ha I would be thinking that same thing and I probably will in a week or so when I'm back...But for now I will sit here with my sunburn and gloat!

It's nice to clear out my schedule and come here to get away. You just need to get away sometimes and hear God speak. I've been reading books, writing songs, thinking, trying not to watch T.V. Here at the house we're staying there is a T.V. with like 500 channels. Still for some reason I just love reading more. I'm reading a lot of Donald Miller. He's the author of "Blue Like Jazz". I like his style. I like how it's funny, straightforward, and random. He's a thinker. It takes time for someone like me to just sit down and think. I want more than ever to experience the deepness and realness of God. I want the religious actions and attitudes to be stripped away. I want to think about Scripture in a way that is applicable, not some knowegable thing that I surprise people with. Like "hey wow, you sure know your Bible", or "Casey, you know the Bible, where do you find the genealogy of Christ." I want people to know me as someone who knows God. Not knows about Him, but knows Him.

I used to be a religious freak. I used to think everyone was wrong and I was right. Kind of like the verse in the Message translation that says something about thinking everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group. Well, that was me a few years ago. When I came back to Bend, OR a few years ago, I met a lot of people who weren't very spiritual, but they knew God. They didn't pray like I thought they should, or read the Bible like I thought they should, they just knew God. They knew His ways, they knew His power, they knew His love.

I started thinking, "why does my life with God have to be so systematic." Donald Miller calls this a sort of "formula Christianity." Where if you do A (pray) + B (read Bible) = WOW YOUR A GOOD CHRISTIAN! I never could actually sit down in one place at one specific time constistently and read my Bible. I thought I was a bad Christian for years because this wasn't working out for me. After my move back to Bend I realized something, God is more concerned with my meeting with Him than where and how it's done. It's relationship.

Take relationship with a great friend. You do things together. You eat, you laugh, you dance freely, you can be yourself (this is huge for me, I value just being me, I shut down when I feel I have to be something else). So back to being friends...You mix it up, you go snowboarding, camping, you talk over coffee, donuts, Costco hot dogs, burritos, whatever. You just do stuff. That's how my life with God ought to be. Once I let go of this idea that in order to be a good Christian I had to wake up every morning at 5:00 AM sit down and read my bible at my desk in my office and then go on with my day, I felt such FREEDOM! This Freedom was found in Relationship and not some religious formula. Now I just want to go to coffee in the afternoon with Jesus, or walk through Drake Park and pray and hang out. It's such freedom. It's the type of relationship that I think God wants with us as well. I life lived out in joy, together learning awesome things from an awesome God.

Friday, April 14, 2006

About Me

So I suppose I should do a more adequate job of explaining who I am...I am a 24 year old from Bend, OR. I graduated from Mountain View High School in 2000 and went to college in Idaho at Northwest Nazarene University for 2 years. After two years I felt God leading me to a church intership at Capital Christian Center in Meridian, Idaho. I took a step of faith, dropped all my financial aid at NNU and started the intership program. It was there that God changed my heart, showed me about the Bible, filled me with passion and set me on fire for His name! A year later after working in a deli at Winco Foods wearing a hairnet and apron:) I got a call from Steve and Bo Stern asking me to join the youth staff at Westside Church.

I've been at Westside as part of the Oneighty staff for almost three years now. I've grown incredibly during the last three years. Mostly from hands on experience, making mistakes and learning from them, and watching the pros!

I lead a lot of music at our Oneighty and Alt (young adult) services and I speak as well. I own a home in Bend and am currently working on my district pastor's license. I see myself helping people, writing songs, getting married, and in general attempting to make in dent for Jesus in planet earth before I die. Hopefully I will get a chance to travel someday as well, we'll see what God does...end blubbering about myself now.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


WELCOME to the beginning of BLOGDOM where every once in a while you can sneak inside someone's brain and see what they are really thinking. This is only the beginning of many random comments, thoughts, pictures, games, scriptures, and ideas that I will post. I would like to welcome all you ONEIGHTY folks who have just stumbled onto something truly frightening. Yes, not only Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays, but now everyday you can peek into a mysterious world...Casey's Blog - WOW! I made that sound so much cooler than it actually is.

For those of you checking this out...thanks! I'm excited that you came. Hopefully this will work out for both of us. Tell you what, I'll make you deal.

You check in and read this as often as I post stuff.

Another profound statement from Casey...Expect more Blog's from Oneighty staff members as well. Even if our lives aren't that interesting we are sure going to make it sound like they are!

Oneighty is the Youth Ministry of Westside Church in Bend, OR. Check us out online at www.180bend.com.