What are you Worth?

Worth. Is it something you gain? Is it something that you earn? Is it something that is inherent or is it completely something else? When I used to think about worth, I would think about having a skill or a talent, being able to contribute something to society. That it was about being the best of the best at what you did. When I met Jesus though, my definition changed, completely.

I had gone through most of my life before the last couple years, focused on being good at something. I excelled at many things but I was never the “best.” No matter what it was: tennis, writing, sports, I was never “good enough.” This left me depressed and feeling “worthless.”

One day though a man came to me and blew my mind with His definition of worth. He said that I was worth something because He had created me. That I was worth something because I was not good enough and could never be good enough, but that He was good enough, perfect. That my worth was not tied into what I did or who I knew or who my birth parents were, but that Jesus Christ saw me as worth something. He saw the potential I had, that no one else could see. He saw the love and compassion I had that no one else could bring forth. He saw the purpose He had for me and He saw that I was totally worth it. It being, dying on the cross for me. When I was worthless, Christ saw me as a child of His. He saw all my aches and pains and facades that I would put on for people, but He loved me for me.

So my question is to you: What are you worth? If you take away all the accolades and all the awards and prizes and fame that you have gained, underneath all of that, what are you worth? Well the answer is, you are worth a lot. We have been created by God and for God. He has made us worth something. He loved us and chased after us while we were still sinners.

So, today as you think about your talents and your worth, I encourage you to think back to Jesus picking His disciples. He did not pick them for their talents or for their knowledge. They were lowly fishermen and men that held other mundane titles, men that had not lived up to their potential in the religious leaders eyes. Jesus, though, looked past their failures and their not good enough mentality, and called them to Himself. He is doing the same thing for you today. He is calling you to Himself. No matter what your past is, or how much you have failed, Jesus is calling you. In Jesus’s eyes you are worth a heck of a lot. He died for you. He died so that you could be in a relationship with you.

Will you accept Jesus’s call to you, to come join Him on this adventure of sharing with you how much you are worth? Jesus wants to show you how much He loves you and cares for you, more than anyone else in this world. It is something Jesus is still showing me, how much I am worth, everyday.

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9)

Remember your worth today.

Finding My Role in a New Place

Well, I have been at North Greenville now for six days. In those six days, Christ has brought me an abundance of community. I’ve been blessed to already find a church up here and to be living in a house off campus with 14 other guys in a place called the “snake pit.” We’re sort of an unofficial fraternity, because there are no “real fraternities” allowed on campus. God has brought me an awesome freshmen roomate that I now call my brother. He is an encouragement to me and I to him. We have been praying together for about 15 minutes before we go to bed each night, something I have never done before.

This is my first experience living in a house with a bunch of guys. These guys are talented too. A lot of them are singers and play instruments. Some of them are really athletic. And so my question recently has been, “What is my role?” I know God has called me to this house and to this place of community, for this time period, so how do I love these guys? How do I become truly a servant and wash my brothers feet? I’ve been contemplating over this verse that I heard on Sunday.

“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)

So I’ve been contemplating on this verse and how it applies to my life right now and it totally applies. I’m a very competitive person and its hard for me to just take a loss or not be frustrated when someone else is better than me at something.

For example, Saturday night I was playing ping pong with some guy I thought was a lot worse than me and I was being so arrogant and then I lost. It does say pride comes before a fall. But it was so stupid. My pride completely just took over.

So I guess in regards to this semester and this year, for me personally I’m learning what it means to be apart of a constant community, which is hard but is great at the same time. Its about loving the guys in the house and seeing them as better than myself. Truly its about being a servant at all times and loving these guys with the sacrificial love of Christ. I’m still learning what my role is in my new community and in my new school but I rest in the fact that my worth and role does not rest in my talents, but in that Christ created me. No matter if I might not be as talented as these other guys in this house, I have a purpose and it is continually being revealed to me as well as my role.

Have a blessed night,
Joseph Hulsey. 

Dear Charleston

Well, it is finally here. After waiting months, days, hours and minutes for this, the day has finally come to leave Charleston and pursue God’s next chapter in my life in Greenville. Over the past days and weeks I have had the opportunity to hang out with old and new friends alike and reminisce on the power and grace of Jesus Christ. So to remember Charleston and remember what God has done here in the only way I know how, I write Charleston a letter.

Dear Charleston,
When we moved here almost five years ago you were a breath of fresh air. You were a new start. You came with new areas and new friends, a new school, new church. I got my first job here. I thought the answer to forgetting the past, was to live for the present. To live a wild, rebellious life, full of sin. To be arrogantly loud and shout crude jokes throughout the air. I thought I could escape my past here, the things that had entangled my life for so many years in Savannah, by running from them but they caught me and tried to kill me. I struggled mightily, and the once new buildings and new smells and new colors, faded, just like Savannah. I began to push everyone away as I struggled mightily with depression, anger, and numbness. In just a few short years in Charleston, my life was falling apart, because under the surface in Savannah, it had already started. No one could see though, no one saw the anger and the depression and the loneliness and rejection that I suffered in Savannah. It all came down in Charleston though.  I was addicted and there was nothing anyone could do about it. Like a disease it would run its course. And it did. For years I went through life, numb. Numb to feelings and emotions and even people. I could lie to one’s face and have no remorse because this is who I was and I was used to it. Charleston, people inhabit your city that love God and others, and I encountered a lot of these people during my time here. Strangers became family in ways I can not explain. People reached out to me, old and young, with the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. When that happened I felt like I belonged and eventually on January 6th, 2012, I entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, becoming a part of the biggest family known to man. In Charleston, I received a new name, a new hope and purpose, joy and peace and rest. I received my calling here, ministry. To reach out to those who once like me, had no hope. To share the love that had been shared with me. I’ve battled my past and my addiction here, day by day. I’ve walked past my past so many times, that God has turned past failures into victories and grace. I became a part of the community here in Charleston, belonging somewhere for the first time in my life. I became an ambassador of Christ here in Charleston, I shared my faith with anyone who would listen. I saw my family restored to me in Charleston, and my gpa restored as well. I saw healings here and miracles. In two years a place of hopelessness, death and destruction, became a place of life and new identity. I thought I would die here, ending my life, because of the hopelessness and bondage I felt but instead my life has been restored to me. This year I enjoyed sunrises and sunsets on my way to school. I enjoyed friendships that last a life time. I have seen strangers become family here and broken friendships restored and the walls that were knocked down in my life have been rebuilt.

That being said, its time to leave. Its time to leave the beaches and the wonderful nature here, that exudes the grace and glory of Jesus Christ in my life. The past two years have been for this reason: preparation. It is hard to leave Charleston, but I trust God in His sovereignty to bring more community in Greenville, to grow me even more there and to let me never forget the grace I’ve received in Charleston. I never thought I’d be able to ever walk out of a city with my head held high but now I can. I am walking out of Charleston now with my head held high, no regrets, only grace poured over my life.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from my time here in Charleston:

Thank you Charleston.
Blessings to you,
Joseph Hulsey. 

Final Gatherings

Wow how the summer has just flown. I am now just 4 days away from North Greenville. Starting yesterday, I began to start the process of saying goodbye to Charleston.

Yesterday I stood up in front of my family, my church family. I said thanks for the blessing that they had been in my life and the part that they had played in my salvation. It was awesome as people came up to me afterwards and thanked me for sharing. The body of Christ coming together for encouragement. Even though it was sad to be leaving City Church, I was excited about the community that God would bring me up in Greenville. 
Today I woke up early, 5 am haha and met some guys from the Sunday Bible Study at Isle of Palms. We just sat on the beach and worshiped the Lord for about twenty minutes, singing songs of praise to Him. Then the sun came bursting forth from behind the clouds. It was great and magnificent. 
The Bible Study that had started out last summer had now come full circle as God blessed us this summer with guys who were committed. We had at least four guys every Sunday. It was amazing. So today, as we all sat around, watching the sun rise, we knew this was our last summer in Charleston, for most of us. It was crazy as we were all going different ways, different paths the Lord was taking us. 
Also today I had lunch with one of my good friends from Nicaragua. It was great and refreshing hearing about his summer. I’m looking forward to more of these visits over the last few days of Charleston. 
Overall, it was a great summer of community and encouragement. My next post will be about summer lessons and scriptures that I have come across this summer.