Each spring as we see the small sprouts of green emerge from the snow-melt saturated soil, we are reminded of new life and new beginnings. Often changes of season are marked with excitement but also unknowns, challenges, and risk. Such it is with life. Yet we press on for we know that often the unknowns bring pleasant surprises, challenges bring adventure, and risk brings reward.
As we embark on this new adventure and season of life, I would like to thank the many people that have help shape me, teach me, encourage me, and challenge me. It truly has been a joy to get to know and work with so many great people.
Thank you to all my family, friends, coaches, and teachers who believed in me.
Thank you to all my bosses and co-workers at Kohler Engines, Tesoro, and ConocoPhillips that made work enjoyable and memorable.
Thank you to my wife Emily and 3 kids Eli, Braden, and Josie who have always stood by my side, believed in me, and even put up with all my crazy shenanigans and ideas.
Thank you to Jesus for saving me, giving me purpose and direction, and for the continual love and grace you show me.
THANK YOU ALL! I hope to see you around town, at the COMPASS COFFEEHOUSE, or maybe out on the trail, the mountain, or the river.
And now, on to new adventures…THE COMPASS
“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Rolling out THE COMPASS on Facebook was a stark reminder of the world of connectivity in which we live. In a matter of 12hrs we had almost 50 shares and a couple hundred likes! We connect to WIFi. We connect on gaming systems. We play Connect 4…well at least we used to…maybe a better illustration would be the game Candy Crush. Though I’ve never played it, I think the goal is to connect similar candies and make them 'crush'...or something like that!? In engineering we connect the pipe, we connect the wires, we connect the signal so the valve, robot arm, engine, or other gizmo does what we want. And when things don’t connect right, we get frustrated and sometimes abruptly connect the object with another object.
As our connectivity with other things increase, it seems like our connectivity with each other (on a deep personal level) in diminished. This is where we find many youth today. They may have hundreds of friends on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, or Snapchat, or whatever else is out there, but inside many feel completely alone. One of the primary objectives of THE COMPASS is to connect with the heart and soul of youth. Everyone needs to know that they are loved, appreciated, and valued. We also want to connect the community, the businesses, the churches, and the organizations to come together and make a better place to live. We may not all agree on everything but I think most everyone agrees on wanting to see the next generation rise up and become healthy, productive, and well-rounded adults.
We invite you to partner with THE COMPASS. Let's connect our youth and community on a path to a brighter future for all of us.
A little over six months ago, we embarked on a journey with the purpose of helping youth in our community 'navigate' life. What I didn't realize at that time was how much I would learn when I allow God to navigate my life. My constant prayer the last 6 months has been for God to go before me, open doors, and give me the clarity and faith to walk through them. This might be easy for some people, but for me it is a great challenge to not press on ahead in the direction I think I should go and bust open the doors I think should be opened. Learning to wait on the Lord, trust His timing, and trust His direction has resulted in greater faith and peace in my life. As I type this, I find myself amazed and humbled at the many doors that have opened and how things have come together.
Without a doubt, the main highlight so far have been the incredible support I have received from many pastors, other non-profits, friends, and family. Prior to The Compass, I had never been part of a non-profit other then a church and definitely had never been involved in starting one from the ground up. I was in much need to have people with experience and knowledge help guide me and the people God has brought into my path to help The Compass get going has been nothing short of miraculous...I couldn't have imagined it any better and am thankful that I for the most part have stayed out of the way and let God be in control.
In the last six month we have been able to develop a website, incorporate with the State of Alaska, form a Board of Directors, get set up to accept donations, put together Bylaws, among many other things. We are planning on submitting our application for our 501c3 by the end of the year. After that we are transitioning to finding a location, fundraising, and setting up the organizational structure.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and prayed for The Compass as well all the rest who will do so in the coming weeks and years. We couldn't do this without you!
No longer I
I don’t know how many people might actually read this but I write this more for me than any reader that might happen upon it. As I sit here a couple months after God revealed the change of course for my life, I can’t help but wonder about who these youth will be that one day will walk through the doors of The Compass. What will their stories be? What hurts will they have? What will be their passions? It’s humbling to think that God can use us, as misfit and insufficient as we may be, to change the trajectory of their lives. We know that it is not us but He who is in us. Gal. 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Just today I read a story of a pastor that attends a Waffle House every morning. His impact wasn’t broad and he didn’t get the masses to attend his church. The impact he did have, however, was deep. It was true. Will we at The Compass take the time to really listen, feel, and cry with those that are hurting? Will we meet them where they are and not where we think they should be? The prayer of this pastor is what struck me the deepest: "God, please send me today the ones that no one else wants.” Will we pray the same prayer or will we ask for the well behaved kids that seem to have it together? I mean, are we really willing to deal with the hurt, the garbage, and the offensive outbursts of the marginalized souls?
My prayer is that we meet every youth that walks through the door with the love that Jesus showed us. With open arms, open ears, and an open heart. That they might walk away knowing that at The Compass, they truly belong. It’s not that we accept that they stay where they are but can we really offer the hope we have unless we accept the hopelessness they may have. Life is a journey and God calls us to come along side others and help them navigate it. When we selflessly do this, often God ends up blessing us more then we could have imagined.
The Journey Begins...
Welcome to my first blog post ever. I know, an engineer writing a blog....how exciting could that really be? I'm not so sure, so I guess we'll find out together! Let's go!
I've worked with youth in years past and it was always a passion of mine, however, due to certain circumstances, the last few years had me fulfilling other roles and duties. During these last few years, I have tried to follow what I felt the Lord was calling me to do, but often felt that I was being called to something different. I just had no idea what that was to be or the timing of it. Well, recently God made it clear. Please join me on this journey of life, faith, and 'The Compass'.
Below, is a letter I wrote right after the defining time in my life that led to 'The Compass'.
My name is Todd Brigham. I am a husband, a father, a son, an engineer, and an avid outdoorsman. A lot of things of this world can define who we are. On April 26th, 2017, while sitting in my office on the North Slope of Alaska, God started to break down walls in my heart. Over the next two days God proceeded to work on me and build me back up a changed person with a changed purpose. On that first day, God tore down walls in my heart that were causing me to put Him second in some areas of my life. He called me to make Him first in everything. The Lord gave me the image of Jesus sitting in the "I am Second" chair weeping. He was just where in many ways I had told him to be. I knew at this moment that for me, this meant some major changes and a step of faith into the unknown. If I was truly to follow him I had to surrender all to Him. My mind and heart was in turmoil thinking what this could mean and where it would take me. On day two the Holy Spirit overwhelmingly welled up inside of me. Through the tears, God clearly started laying out the future calling for my life. It was none of the many ideas my mind had been thinking of the previous day; rather, something much different with a very clear purpose and a very specific name. This is the moment "The Compass" was born. The Lord was clearly telling me that it was time to start a Christian based youth center in Nikiski and help our youth navigate through life and point them towards Christ. It was clear that it was time to fully pursue who God was calling me to be. It was time to roll up my sleeves, hit my knees, and prepare for the unknown. It was time to fully submit not just some of my time or some of my money or some of my passion...but rather submit all of me. On the third day, God raised my spirit with a peace and a plan that surpassed understanding and expectation. And so it began...
A compass is a simple tool used for centuries to find one's way. It takes you from where you are to where you need to be. Without one, the vast ocean, the deep valley, or the thick forest can prove insurmountable. And this is where a large portion of our youth today find themselves. Many are lost spiritually and wandering without purpose and direction in life. Jesus says, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE". The purpose of "The Compass" is to show youth the WAY, teach them the TRUTH, and help them find true LIFE in Christ. We also want to help youth navigate through the practical challenges of life so they can find who God made them to be. Jesus changed the world from little ol' Nazareth. We believe, with His help, we can change the world from little ol' Nikiski, AK. And that's exactly what we plan to do.
Please join my family and I on this quest. Help us navigate by praying, help us overcome obstacles by giving, or even come join us in serving at "The Compass". We'll set our compasses toward Jesus and whatever hills and valleys come, we shall overcome. To God be the glory now and forever.
Jesus in the WAY,
Christian, husband, father, a few other things and...a 'blogger'...or not...