One Thing: Summer Letter 2013

“Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”
~Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)

Dear friends and family,

Grace University Prayer Room
Grace University Prayer Room

What an exciting, yet challenging year this has been! I hope you are all doing well and are continuing to grow in your walks with the Lord. For me, the period of time since last summer has consisted of many thrilling opportunities. During the school year, I served as on the Student Body Association at Grace University as the Campus Outreach Coordinator. Basically, my job was to oversee the aspects of spiritual life on campus, including prayer, worship, and spiritually-geared campus events. As part of this job, I helped to start up and refurbish new prayer rooms on campus. I plan to serve as the Campus Outreach Coordinator this year as well.

Bethel Prayer Center
Bethel Prayer Center

Additionally, in the midst of my college schedule, I was able to go on five trips with my dad as part of his ministry, Anointed 2 Go MdM (Multi-denominational Ministry). These trips were to Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and three trips to Hugoton, Kansas (with one of them including a stop to minister at Harvest Supernatural Ministry Training in North Platte, NE, too). The trip to Sacramento also included several days spent at a conference at Bethel Church in Redding. What an amazing opportunity it was to experience what God has been doing there firsthand! This past year, we also ministered at numerous locations in the Omaha area. Through these opportunities, I led worship quite a number of times, but I also had the opportunity to speak a few times to different groups of people. In January, I began serving as the prayer coordinator for the ministry’s new strategic intercession team. God has been continuing to grow me and stretch me by using me in new avenues of ministry. Click here to watch/listen to a recent worship set of soaking prayer music that I led here in Omaha.

Hanging with My Campers
Hanging with My Campers

For the past two summers now, I have volunteered as a counselor at Covenant Cedars Bible Camp, serving both years at the 5th/6th grade camp, and serving this past summer at the 1st/2nd and the 3rd/4th grade camps too. Camp ministry has been an amazing experience for me, and while I am supposed to be the one teaching the kids, I have found that the kids teach me just as much! My experiences at camp have reminded me of just how much I love to be part of training up the next generation as warriors for Christ.

Running Free Cover Front (2)            One big milestone of this past year is that I published my first worship album, entitled Running Free. Recorded at Dry Creek Studio in Omaha, this album features eleven songs that I wrote plus one modern rendition of a public domain hymn. I have dreamed for years about recording a CD, so this was an awesome fulfillment to that dream. You can see the bottom of this letter for information on how to listen to and order this CD.[1]

Downloads from Heaven       Willing to Yield Cover     Who Will Ascend Cover Finally, this year consisted of involvement in three book writing processes. For starters, I helped my dad write his first book Downloads from Heaven by conducting the first editing process. Next, I helped him with his second book Willing to Yield, also conducting the first edit on this book. The third book process has been for my own book. Right now, I am in the process of printing a full-length spiral-bound edition of my first book, entitled Who Will Ascend. The book is about prayer and how prayer relates to mountaintop experiences (such as those experiences of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus upon mountaintops). Also, it includes several personal testimonies of how I have seen God answer my prayers. This book will be printed soon, and it is currently available for pre-order. You can see the bottom of this page for information on how to order these books.[2] I also began writing this blog last year, Chronicles of Prayer. Feel free to follow this blog to receive regular posts and updates to your email.

Looking ahead, we are excited for my mom, who is starting a new teaching job at St. Paul Lutheran School in Omaha. After a year of not teaching, she is grateful to be back in the classroom. She will be teaching kindergarten and first grade combined, which could be challenging, but it will surely be an exciting adventure for her in this avenue of ministry. Additionally, my family is excited to be involved in helping with the new 18–29 year-old group at our church, Eagle’s Nest Worship Center. We will be helping on a regular basis with the teaching and worship aspects of the ministry, and we are eager to see how the Lord will continue to work through this opportunity.

As I write to you this summer letter, I cannot help but reflect on the goodness of the Lord and remember my utter desperation for Him. The cry of King David in Psalm 86 (quoted at the top of this letter) to know and fear the Lord is also my heart’s cry. I love the last line of that verse: “Unite my heart to fear Your name” (emphasis mine). As I read that passage, I mused to myself about what that could mean. What does it mean for my heart to be united? I don’t normally refer to my heart as being one that is united. After all, it’s one heart—isn’t it already united as one by default?

But then, as I began to think deeper, I realized that it is very possible to have a divided heart. In our world, distractions are constantly around us. These distractions try to steal our attention and divide our hearts so that God only receives a portion of our affection, rather than our wholehearted dedication. It is much more difficult than one might think it is for a person to have a united, undivided heart set wholly upon the Lord. As I look back on the past year, I can recognize times in my life when my heart was united in pursuit after God, but I can also recognize times when it was very much divided. I’m guessing you can too.

The encouraging words of this Psalm remind me of a modern-day worship song entitled “One Thing.”[3] The lyrics are as follows:

Single minded, whole hearted, one thing I ask:

That I may gaze upon Your beauty, Oh, Lord;
That I may see Your holy face;
That I may know You in an intimate way;
And follow after You all of my days.

Because all of life comes down to just one thing:
That’s to know You, Oh, Jesus,
And to make You known.

             I absolutely love the lyrics of this song because I believe them to be such an accurate description of the point of life. As God’s creation, we are to seek Him diligently and pursue Him wholeheartedly, in a lifelong quest to know Him more and more intimately. When it comes down to it, all of life is about knowing God and making Him known so that others may know Him too. However, as I write this letter to you, I personally am convicted that I have far too often allowed my heart to be divided. The more I grow up and the more things I experience in life, the easier it is for my attention to become divided. This reminds me of a true story. It goes like this:

Now it happened as they went that [Jesus] entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38–42, NKJV, emphasis mine).

             The more I think about this passage, the more it cuts me to the heart, for I am increasingly coming to the realization that I exhibit a tendency toward a Martha lifestyle. Something I catch myself doing repeatedly is worrying about many things. As I worry and fret about all these things around me, my heart is no longer united. It becomes divided. As my heart becomes divided, I lose sight of that one thing that is important: To know Christ and make Him known.

Even in thinking about the many things I was involved in this past year, while it is awesome to remember what God has done through it all, it is also a reminder of just how much is going on all around me. In today’s society, with all the busyness of life, we need to be consistently intentional about setting time aside to focus on the “one thing” that is important: Knowing Jesus and making Him known.

It is not wrong to do many things. In fact, it is biblically sound for us to be fruitful and productive, and not idle or lazy. Yet, in the many things we do, we must frequently stop and ask ourselves this question: Are the many things I’m doing pointing me toward the one thing that matters most? If they are, then I should keep doing them. If they aren’t, then it is time to cut some things out. It is just as possible to be unfruitful through busyness as it is to be unfruitful through laziness. Our busyness leads to rubbish if we are not being driven toward the one thing that matters.

What’s your one thing? What is driving you? What is the point of your life? If knowing Jesus and making Him known are not at the center of your life, then it’s time to readjust, change your priorities, and cut some things out in order to make room for what He desires to do in you. Seek Him today. Focus your life on knowing Him and making Him known.

For His cause,
Jason West


[1] You can order this CD (Running Free) for a suggested donation of $10 plus shipping by writing me at runningfree@cox.net. You can also gain access to these songs by clicking on the following links to CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube.

[2] Downloads from Heaven is available for a suggested donation of $10 plus shipping. Willing to Yield is available for a suggested donation of $15 plus shipping. Who Will Ascend? is available for a suggested donation of $10 plus shipping. Please email me at runningfree@cox.net if you are interested in any of these books!

[3] Hall, Charlie. “One Thing.” Worshiptogether.com Songs, Sixsteps Music, 1999.

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