New Look To Blog/Agape Week

Posted by JJ Raymond | 7:41 AM | 0 comments »

Hey guys! First off I just want to say thank you for tuning in to this new post. As you can see the website looks a little different. I am still not done with the overall website, but it is getting close. Let me know what you guys think of the new look!

So the last time I blogged it was on how the last couple of weeks have been about the importance of fully relying on the Lord. This week on project, we have been learning about God's true love. The project director Bob Fuhs, had a wonderful message last night. He emphasized on the fact that our spiritual growth is not measured by our spiritual resume. An example of a spiritual resume would be one saying, "oh I have been to two winter conferences, I share my faith everyday on campus, and I am interning for Campus Crusade." This is also known as "dot to dot" growth. All the conferences and days that one shares their faith does not represent spiritual growth. Bob then explained the way that someone experiences spiritual growth is by putting their full faith and reliance in the Lord and living by the spirit. The Christian life is not about trying harder, but is about trusting and putting full faith in the Lord. Bob's talk was very refreshing and encouraged to continue my walk with the Lord and rely on the spirit.

This is also the last week that staff will be on project with us as they will be heading back to their campuses! It is crazy to think that the next four weeks will be all student lead. We were all assigned specific project roles by staff. My new role is an action group leader. As an action group leader, I will be leading the bible studies that my roommates and I have. I will also be there discipler and will be meeting with them individually once a week. I am very excited for this new role on project, but at the same time I am nervous. This will be a stretch in my faith but I know the Lord will provide. What is awesome is that this new role is a grat opportunity for me because I will be leading bible study back in my ministry at Chico State. Tonight, we have training for all of our new roles and I am very exicted for that. In my next blog I will let all you know how the training and first bible study went!

If you have time, please pray for:
For all the students on Ocean City Summer Project. Our new roles are going to be tough and a stretch in our faith.

Everyone on the boardwalk that we have been sharing the gospel to.

Staff as they go home and have safe traveling. Pray that will bring everything that they learned back to their ministry on whatever campus they are on.

For us as students, that we will have confidence in going out on the boardwalk and sharing God's love.

Ocean City Baptist Church. They have been so awesome and brought us in with open arms.

Thank you so much for your prayers and thank you for tuning in!

Reliance In God

Posted by JJ Raymond | 6:26 AM | 0 comments »

Hey guys! Sorry that I have not updated my blog in a while! Things have been crazy and really busy the last couple of weeks on project. Even with the craziness, project has been amazing and the Lord has shown me so much. For those who tune into my blog and follow me on twitter, you noticed that I fasted from twitter for a week.

The twitter fast lasted for a week and it was a result of putting my full reliance and faith in the Lord. That week the Lord stretched me in so many ways! In the last video blog I posted, I talked about how as a project we were in the beginning of our week of outreach. That week I set a goal of sharing the gospel to 56 people in one week. As a project, we set a goal of initiating a total of 4,596 spiritual conversations!

The begining of the week was hard at first. I did not witness that many spiritual conversations; in fact on the first day I spent a total of four hours on the boardwalk and I only experienced two spiritual conversations and no gospel presentations. I felt so discouraged on the first day, but I knew something was wrong. I had a feeling that I myself was trying to hard and not letting relying on the Lord to help me reach my goal. I prayed to Lord and confessed to him that I was not relying on him and from that day forward I will put my full reliance into him.

The next day was just amazing! I was able to share the gospel with a couple of high school students and I also witnessed six people receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior! I felt like God was trying to tell me that effective evangelism will not happen unless I put my full reliance in him.

As the week of outreach went on; we shared the gospel in Atlantic City. Atlantic City was a hard setting to share the gospel, but it was still awesome to see God work in a different part of the country.

By the end of the week of outreach, I was able to experience 57 spiritual conversations with seven people coming to Christ! It was the most amazing week! As a project we surpassed our goal of 4,956 spiritual conversations and ended up with a total of 5,983 spiritual conversations! God totally stretched me in my faith, and now I feel like I can share the gospel to anyone! Glory to God!

This week, we are being introduced to need of ministry in different parts of the world. The Lord has already shown me how important to share the gospel to the different groups of people around the globe. As Americans, we have more skills and talents within the faith than others. We are ready to go out and share the word of others and spread the perfect love of God. The only thing holding us back, is ourselves. I do not know if the Lord is calling me to do ministry in a different part of the world, but I have definitely praying about it and how I will fit into God's plan.

I know this is a long blog, but there is so much more that I can tell you! Thank you for your prayers! There is another picture slide show in this blog. Some of the pictures are from the week of outreach and our softball game against staff. Thanks for tuning into my latest blog!



Hey guys! So I am trying something new; this post is a video blog! I was pretty excited to post this (FYI you might want to turn the volume up high when viewing the video)... I am planning on doing more of these! This post also has some more picture from Ocean City, so check them out! Thank you for tuning in!









The first week of summer project is officially over and now entering into the second week! In my last blog, I talked about how I was trying to find a summer job. I was looking for a job on the boardwalk as it would act as a good ministry sight. However the first couple of days of job hunting did not go so well. Most of the stores and shops I was applying at said they did not need anyone or to come back in a couple of weeks. I have to admit, I was stressing out but this would change soon. The next day I had a job interview at a retail store called Sun-N-Fun and was given the opportunity to work there! The Sun-N-Fun sells a whole bunch of beach toys/supplies, board shorts, skin boards and get this, we even sell hermit crabs! Even though I was stressed out about not finding a job on the first couple of days, it really opened my eyes to trust God and know that he will provide for me. My first day of work was today and it was amazing! Today was mostly training behind the register and get use to the environment. My co- workers (Laura, Bruce, Sharon, and Marylyn) are awesome! I am very excited to be working this summer at the Sun-N-Fun!

Another cool thing that took place during my first week at summer project was our first day of outreach on the boardwalk. We had a day of training to prepare us to share the Know God Personally booklet, also known as the Four Spiritual Laws. After the training, my roommate Jake and I partnered up with each other to share our faith on the boardwalk. We ended up talking to three groups of people in an hour and half. The first group of people we met were not interested in accepting God and developing a relationship with him. We then met Scott; who was a believer and was walking with the Lord. It was really encouraging to talk to Scott about what the Lord has done in his life. The third group of people we met was Jordan and Megan.

Jordan and Megan are from Philadelphia and just graduated high school. Jake and I developed an awesome relationship with them. But what is awesome is that we got to go through the Know God Personally booklet. At first Jordan and Megan were not interested in having a relationship with the Lord, but by the end of going through Knowing God Personally booklet they wanted to develop a relationship with Him! That same day, Jordan and Megan accepted Christ and now are walking with the Lord. Later that day, I had follow up call with Jordan; he was asking how can I get develop a relationship with the Lord if I cannot make it to church, and will I not be able to have a relationship with God if I don’t go to church? I said, “You still can have a relationship with the Lord if you cannot make it to church, but we need to find an alternative way.”

I found Jordan some online sermons and free online small group bible studies that he can access whenever he wants to. I emailed the links to the small group bible studies along with an online sermon of Louis Gigilo on how great is our God. It was amazing to see God work his magic with Jordan and Megan!

I am definitely happy to be on summer project here in Ocean City. God has already shown me so many amazing things along with my flaws which have been surprisingly awesome. I am really excited to grow in community with other students and develop life lasting relationships. Thank you for all of those who have supported me through prayer and financially. Also, thank you for tuning into my blog; I will post a new one soon! If you would like to view online sermon on “How Great Is Our God”, it will be posted on this blog. It is five parts, but it is totally worth watching it. If you are also interested in the online small group bible studies, the link will be placed below also.

This link is to the free online small group bible study.
http://www.looktojesus.com/

And this link is to how you can start a relationship with the Lord
http://www.startingwithgod.com/

How Great Is Our God Part 1





How Great Is Our God Part 2





How Great Is Our God Part 3





How Great Is Our God Part 4





How Great Is Our God Part 5



First Ocean City Blog

Posted by JJ Raymond | 9:01 PM | 1 comments »

The first two days of Ocean City has been awesome! However the plane ride to project was horrible. The group from Chico and I were suppose to be in Ocean City at 5:45 pm, but didn't show up til 10 PM due to plane delays. I have met so many new people and everyone has been so friendly and open. I was assigned to an impact group. My impact group is a group of guys that I share a room with. Right now, I have three guys in my action group (Jake, Kyle and Elliot), and one more student from UC Davis will come later in project. Our impact group leader (Josh) also lives in the same room with us. I also shared part of my testimony and how God has been working in my life in front of the whole project. I was nervous, but it was so awesome! Right now one of main objectives is to get grow in fellowship with the other students and find a job. Tomorrow we start evangelism training and I am really excited for that! Project has already been awesome and I am already growing in my faith! Here are some pictures from project that I have taken.

Hey guys sorry I have not posted a blog in a while! AH! I have been really busy with school, but lets play a little catchup....

So last night was Chico CRU's last event of the year! It was awesome but kinda sad. We had an awesome barbecue and swim party at the Rystrom's house! Also Steve and Chuck from the Dog House came out and cooked us some delicious hot dogs and chicken sandwiches. Add in the crazy but amazing pineapple salsa; it was one of the best chicken sandwiches and hot dogs I have ever had! Everyone can not forget about Steve Myer's belly flops in the pool last night. I was definitely twittin' that last night ahah! If you have not seen the video check it out in this post!


CRU end of year bbq.3GP on 12seconds.tv


Project is less than a week and half away and I am very excited but nervous at the same time. I haven't even started packing up my things yet; I need to get on that! I am very excited to see what the Lord has in plan for me this summer and to grow in my faith. Things have been crazy lately just because of finals and school work. I just want to this semester to be done with.

But like I said I am very excited for this summer and this year in Crusade has been awesome!

Support Goal Reached!!!

Posted by JJ Raymond | 6:13 PM | 0 comments »

Hey everyone! I just want to let you know that as of today, I have raised the total amount of money to go on the summer project to Ocean City! Thank you for all of those who have sent support money and have been praying for me. Raising the money was definitely a step in my faith, and it was amazing to see God provide. If I receive any more money (over the support goal) it goes to other kids going on the summer project who are short of the total amount. Some of the others who are going on project do not raise the total amount of money, so it would be awesome to help them out. Thank you again so much and God bless your hearts for helping me and other students embark on a life changing summer! Please stay tuned into my blog, I will keep on updating it :).

March Madness

Posted by JJ Raymond | 4:01 PM | 2 comments »

Fill out your brackets and join your pools, because March Madness starts tomorrow! The NCAA basktball tournament is known to be one of the most tuned in sporting events. Last year college basketball fans witnessed for the first time in NCAA history, four number one ranked teams in the final four. The four teams consisted of University of Memphis Tigers, University of Kansas Jay Hawks, University of North Carolina Tar Heels, and University of California Los Angeles. Most viewers thought that North Carolina was going to come out on top with All American Tyler Hansbrough; but the Jay Hawks would prove everyone wrong. The University of Kansas beat North Carolina by a womping 14 points, putting Kansas in the Championship Game. Then, Derrick Rose left a posterizing dunk in Kevin Love's memory as the Memphis Tigers defeated the UCLA Bruins by 15 points. The 2008 Championship Game; The fast pace and atheletic Memphis Tigers against the one of the best half-court offense and defense of the Kansas Jay Hawks. Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush lead the Jay Hakws with the victory over Derrick Rose's and Chris Douglas-Roberts's Tigers. Most of us remember Mario Chalmers coming off the "dribble-drop" and hiting the last second three point shot to send the game into overtime. With last year's exciting game, how will this year's tournament turnout? Here are my Final Four predictions.


Final Four/Predictions


Louisville
First off, I have Louisville going all the way to the Big Dance and winning the National Championship. Louisville has one of the best defensive sets in the nation. Add in their back court press, they will frustrate their opponents and cause turnovers. Rick Pitino has done a great job with recruitment and adapting to different styles of game. The run and gun offense lead by Terrence Williams will be hard to slow down by any team. Terrence Williams in my opinion is one the best all around players in the NCAA. He can score, rebound and pass the ball. Yeah thoes all sound easy but it is not. Williams can hit the spot up jumpshot and has the ability to penetrate and score in the paint. He also has great rebounding IQ and has the overall strength and athleticism to rebound on both sides of the court. Add his rebounding skills, scoring capability, with excellent court vision; he is obviously the catalyst of the Cardinals. Now add in swingman and forward Earl Clark, who can rebound and score inside and oustide, the Cardinals have a great shot at winning the National Championship.

North Carolina
There is no doubt that Roy Williams has one of the best, if not the best starting lineup out any team in the tournament. With Ty Lawson running the point and improvment of the jumpshot, the Tar Heels have an elite point guard to set the tempo of the game. However with recent injuries, when will Lawson be back in action. According to Coach Roy Williams, it is highly doubtful that Lawson will play in tomorrow's game against Radford. Now everyone can not forget about Tyler Hansbrough. The All American who decided to stay his senior year after falling short in the 2008 Final Four. He is determined to cut down one of those nets. Adding Lawson's quickness and pentration skills, with Hansbrough's rebounding and hustle, and with Danny Green's athleticism and spot shooting accuracy, the Tar Heels have a great chance of winning the Championship. However, I have them falling short and losing to Louisville. North Carolina is notorious for not playing great defense; add in Louisville uptempo game and back court pressure; I see North Carolina struggling.

Memphis
Coach John Calipari said that the 2008-2009 season would be a rebuilding one. Surprisgnly, the Tigers are ranked second in their region and have a great chance of making it to the final four. Yes the leaving Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey was a big lost. However Memphis had excellent recruitment year and snagged top ranked Tryeke Evans. With Evans's quickness and ability to get the basket, along with Robert Dosier and Shawn Taggarts strength and rebulding skills, ontop of the Tigers defense and run gun offense, I predict that the Tigers will make it to the final four. I have Memphis losing to Louisville. This game is going to be exciting to watch! Two similar styles of game going head to head. Louisville has more talent and does a decent half court offense putting them over the Memphis Tigers.

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is definently up there with Louisville, North Carolina, and Memphis. Dejuan Blair does a great job pounding the ball inside the paint and has enough strength to finish consistently. Sam Young is all around a great player who can score off penetration or off spot up jumpshots. Pittsburgh does have a decent half court offense, but defense is another thing. Dejuan Blair downfall is foul trouble. If Blair stays out of foul trouble, then the Panthers have a great shot at beating North Carolina. However if Blair does get into foul trouble, the Tar Heels will pull out with the win. This should be great game to watch the matchup between Tyler Hansbrough and Dejuan Blair. I predict Pittsburgh losing to North Carolina in the Final Four. North Carolina I beleive has overall more tallent than Pittsburgh. If Pittsburgh can slow down Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, and keep Dejuan Blair out of foul trouble then Pittsburgh has an excellent shot in going to the big dance. However, I think these tangibles are asking too much and are difficult tasks for the Pittsburgh Panthers.

I just got my first batch of returned support letters today! When I checked the mail today and noticed there were returned support letters, I had a big smile on my face! I was so excited! As of right now, I am almost 16% complete to the total amount of support I need to raise! Thank you to all of those who are supporting to me to go to Ocean City and experience a life changing summer! You guys are awesome! Please pray for my friends (David, Stephen, Lauren, Amy and Brooke) and I; we are a little nervous about raising this much money and going to Ocean City! Thank you again!


Pie Chart Support 1


(The values in the chart are in dollars)

Week of Outreach

Posted by JJ Raymond | 4:43 PM | 0 comments »

This past week, I had the great opportunity of being involved with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) in the Week of Outreach on Chico State's campus! Through out the week, friends from CRU and I went out on campus and shared our faith with a handful of Chico State students. Most of the interactions went well, and some did not go as well. Overall I thought the week of outreach was a huge success! I was able to go over the Four Spiritual Laws (the Bible broken down into four points) with a couple of students and it went really well! CRU also had a graffiti board posted in the free speech area with the question written on the board "Does God Care, Why or Why Not?" Chico State students posted their opinions and thoughts on the board. It was very interesting/encouraging/sad to see some of the students posts. But the big success was that some new people came to CRU's weekly meeting and received a great message of "Why God Cares." It was awesome to see Chico CRU work together as a community and share the Word of God and share our faith with students! Right now I just can't beleive all the amazing things God has been doing for Chico and CRU!

Little Updates In The NBA

Posted by JJ Raymond | 10:01 AM | 0 comments »

Let's first start with my favorite team the Sacramento Kings. Recently the Kings have waived 6 year forward/center Drew Gooden. After the game against the Charlotte Bobcats on Feburary 25th, Most Kings fans thought, wow Drew Gooden is a great player who brings rebounding, quickness, and even some signs of knocking down the mid-range jumper. Gooden had an amazing 12 point 13 rebound game in just 26 minutes of playing time. The Kings seemed to score another diamond in the rough. However, the Kings requested to waive Drew Gooden and clear up salary cap. After just being waived, Gooden then signed with the playoff contending San Antonio Spurs. It is obvious that the Kings are going to try to land a big name player in the 2010 free agency. The Kings are also in a rebuilding process having much faith in their rookies: Donte Greene and Jason Thompson.

The Phoenix Suns. Well since the of firing coach Terry Porter, the Suns are back to their run and gun type of game and their philosophy of scoring under seven seconds. However, will the Suns be potential play off contenders without Amare Stoudemire for the rest of the season? According to Stoudemire's doctor, Dr. Pravin Dugel, Stoudemire should not see any action for the rest of the season. Stoudemire obtained a torn retina on Feburary 18th in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dugel suggests that the four-time NBA All Star sit out the rest of the season, due to the recovery of his injury might take months to fully recover. Without Stoudemire, the Suns lack the explosiveness and the ability to finish around the basket.

Yes there is Shaquille O'neal, but the Shaq Diesel can not carry the team. The Suns are not only missing Stoudemire but facing injuries with Steve Nash. So the question is, where will the Suns be in the playoff rankings and will they be contenders? My answer is they will be a low to mid level seed in the playoffs and no they will not be contenders. I can see the Suns maybe making it into the second round of the playoffs or even facing elimination in the first round.

A game that you NBA viewers should watch is this Sunday, The San Antonion Spurs and The Phoenix Suns. Two West Coast Rivals facing head to head. My prediction is that the Spurs will pull out the win. The Spurs just signed Drew Gooden to a 7.1 million dollar contract. Gooden will add some rebounding and quickness to the table. Gooden's last game, with the Kings, put on the stat sheets an amazing 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 26 minutes.

Thank you for tuning in to my blog today on the NBA, feel free to post your thoughts!

YouTube Videos

Posted by JJ Raymond | 5:04 PM | 2 comments »

This video (David After The Dentist) definitely should win YouTube Video of year!







And this Jordan Brand commercial, Field Generals is my favorite commercial of the year! Check it out and make sure you watch it in High Definition by clicking on the HD tab. It should be in 720P Resolution.



Hey everyone! I posted my Ocean City Support Letter on my blog so you can view it online! Just click on the link below! You will have to download it from the file sharing host site, do not worry, I checked out the site before using it and it is safe to use! No addware or spyware! If you want to help support me, please email me at jj.raymond23@gmail.com and I will send you an address where you can mail contributions to! Thank You!

JJ's Ocean City Support Letter

This morning I dropped off my support letters at the post office to be mailed! I was very excited writing and putting together my support letters! It is definitely a step in my faith to write the support letters and have faith in God that I will raise enough money to embark on this life changing summer. I will be leaving Wednesday May 27th morning and coming back on Sunday August 9th in the evening. I also bought my plane tickets today, which was very exciting! To be honest, while buying the plane tickets, I got a little nervous. But I know everything will be okay and summer project will be a blast and great step in my faith. Thank you for following my blog! I will be posting new blogs soon!

My First Blog

Posted by JJ Raymond | 2:36 PM | 0 comments »

Hey guys!
Well it is official, this is my first blog! Let's play a little catchup with what is going on with my life right now...I am a sophomore at the California State University of Chico with a History Social Science major. Chico has been awesome and I have made so many new friends! This summer I am going on summer project with Campus Crusade for Christ at Ocean City, New Jersey! I am very excited for this summer as I will be serving the Lord and growing in my faith. I will be posting my my support status of the project; during the summer you can also keep up with how my experience in Ocean City is by checking my blog! Please do comment and I will get back to you!