Saturday, December 25, 2010

1st Quarter of SBS Montana has studying 8-12 hours a day going?

Well, we finished the first semester (the School of Biblical Studies is three semesters...a tri-mester if you will). So much has happened. I made another video : ) (click on the link to see it) about what life has been like in this first quarter and wishing you a Merry Christmas. Here are just a few highlights from the 1st quarter.

We've gone through 18 “books” of the New Testament. Studying Paul’s life was like taking him out to coffee. I was able to really learn his heart and situation and to know the hearts and situations of the believers he was writing to. And when we went through the book of Hebrews I felt like I got so close to Jesus that I touched the holes in his hands and in his feet. He has become so much more real to me as I've studied the New Testament this semester.

Over-all though, God has continued to impress on me that even more important than knowing so much about the Bible and having these incredible experiences is actually applying to my life whatever he is teaching me.

We had a time of prayer for healing and I saw with my own eyes a guy’s leg extend out to the same length as his other leg (I asked him about it a week later and he said that it was sore that week because of the change in muscles being used, but it was starting to feel normal). That really challenged me in my faith in God's power to do miraculous things through ordinary people, even today.

We had the first snow. It had been two years since I saw snow falling and it was really weird, and also really fun for me. There were many epic snowball fights after that.

I taught a section from 2 Timothy (specifically 2 Timothy 2:22-26). I shared a story of when I was attacked verbally in the UK by an entire shop of people for being a missionary. I was able to share that as those who trust God through Jesus, when we are affronted by people who challenge us or mock us in what we believe we shouldn’t be argumentative. Instead we need to be kind to everyone and to speak the truth and correct with gentleness.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of November Update

Hey friends and family,

I know this is long. Feel free to skip through it here and there.

Things in Montana
Things here in Montana have been very busy in studying and learning about God through the Bible. I've really grown deeper in my relationship with God through this time as I've come to understand who God is from Paul's perspective, through cultural and historical context. And of the early church who through persecution from their countrymen were learning to follow Christ within their cultures and contexts.

It's really been challenging. If there was one word I could use to describe my time here so far it's "deeper".

Who Would Come Here?
The range of ages doing this school is between 18-30. We've got people from South Korea, Ukraine, Nepal, Kosovo, UK, Canada, but most are from the States. Some have never been to college, others left in the middle of college, there are married couples. One guy is a mechanic, another is a musician, and another a missionary. Some don't even know how they got here because they've never been good with school and struggle with studying.

God is pouring into our lives and through us. We're all learning to live humbly with God, to serve one another and trust him. One guy said, "The last thing I was expecting to get out of this school was that my leg would grow out to the same length as my other leg." This happened instantly during a time of prayer for healing, and I saw it with my own eyes (yeah, I couldn't believe it). And with this we recognize and seek after the greatest way described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, and that is love.We're here to get deeper with God, to set aside all that we've been taught about him and learn who he is through our fathers who knew God and who God chose God above absolutely anything the world had to offer in terms of wisdom, greatness, wealth, popularity, etc. And who chose to write these documents that have been passed on and put together to make up the Bible.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all!!! I went to Washington for Thanksgiving with family, which was really amazing. On my way back to school here I realized that I oftentimes told my family that I was very thankful for this time in the School of Biblical Studies. I really am thankful for this time of study.

First Snow
We had our first snow a few weeks ago. It was amazing. There were probably over 20 people outside in a massive snowball fight tackling each other and whatnot. I haven't seen snow falling in nearly two years, so it was really exciting for me.

Hope this letter finds you well.


Monday, October 11, 2010

SBS Montana: First Few Weeks

if it doesn't work you can click here.

Thought of the day from studying Acts: The first believers of the Way -- recorded in Acts -- responded to God's love and grace by asking, "How can we give?" rather than, "What can we get?"

This nine months of study with YWAM is about trusting and listening to God, taking what we learn through prayer and study of the Bible -- his heart expressed through others -- and applying it to our daily lives.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hey, my name is Joel. I’m a musician, writer, and teacher. For the past two years I’ve been serving as a missionary around the world.

Growing up I was "the small kid,” and was teased constantly for it. As a result I came to the conclusion my life didn’t matter. But halfway through high school things changed.

I stopped trying to do life my way and asked God about his way. In the mornings I prayed that God would use me to show His love to others. And things started to happen. Peoples’ lives began to change around me, and they were saying it was because of me. I couldn't believe it.

In college, during a time of worshiping God, the Holy Spirit sat me down and told me to open my Bible. He directed me to 1 Timothy 4:12 where Paul wrote to Timothy, “Set an example for all the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” I could feel the Holy Spirit speaking those words directly to me.

Throughout my life while learning to trust God and changing my focus from myself to loving Him and loving others He's made it clear that the plans He has for me are far from small or insignificant. But it isn’t what I do that makes me feel “significant.” It’s Him.

Since I graduated from college I’ve served in missions on the six livable continents. I've spent time with youth living in streets and helped men and women left to die on sidewalks and train platforms. I’ve shared my relationship with God in the States and abroad, in churches and schools, on planes and taxis, in offices and the wilderness. Now from Sept. 2010-June 2011 I'm receiving a stronger Biblical foundation through Youth With A Mission to prepare myself for what's ahead.

I know that we cannot save the world; we cannot end poverty, disease, loneliness, war. But we do have the open arms of a God much bigger than our comprehension inviting us to become a part of an eternal hope, love and redemption He offers. I hope that together, in putting ourselves aside, we can allow God to do His work of transformation through us in our communities, our schools, our workplace, and the world.

Thank you for your time and your prayers. Grace and peace be with you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Things I've Made to Sell

Music CD

I recorded a music EP titled SUNSHINE about a year ago.

Unfortunately I sold out, but I can send you the songs directly through the internet (8 tracks).

Just let me know how much you'd like to donate and I'll send it your way. You can contact me at

To get an idea of what my music sounds like you can check out Open Mic Night in Australia or go to my Music Website.


I designed a t-shirt that will be selling in a week or two. The design is built off of this picture and is titled "we are the branches".

Soon you'll be able to order the shirt on-line at If you click on "TEAM" and then on my picture you'll get to the shirt I designed. You get a free music EP if you purchase a shirt : )

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How I Came to YWAM Montana

When I got to South Korea in August 2009 I started to feel a strong desire to know God more through studying the Bible. I began, for the first time, to read the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation.

While I was in Australia with Youth With A Mission I saw some people in a training program focused on studying the Bible. My initial reaction was, "Wow, I'm so glad I'm not in that school." Later I was told about another training program YWAM provided that was devoted to studying the Bible even more in-depth. This is the School of Biblical Studies (SBS).

Though I was nervous about it, I was drawn to ask questions about the program. First I learned that the students read the Bible at least six times in the course of 9 months. I then learned that it was focused on teaching the big picture as well as important details found in every paragraph of each book integrating historical and cultural background. For a few months my fears of getting overwhelmed in the academics of studying the Bible in such an intensive program kept me from accepting it as a possibility for the next step.

Finally, one week that was particularly stressful God told me to tell a few specific people to pray for me about the SBS. Later that week I woke up with an unexpected peace.

Since then I've applied for the School of Biblical Studies have been accepted.

I'm excited to be in a program that will strengthen my foundation in my relationship with God and help me prepare to be used in more ways to fulfill Jesus' calling for as His disciples and God's children.