Thursday, December 30, 2010

Forgiveness

So I was going through these really cool websites where people can post anonymous stories. I have it linked to the side. One of the side links off of this website is called Kids Give Me Hope. I began reading and just am blown away by, well, kids and what they are willing do. Here is and example.
                          
       Yesterday, my daughter died in a hit and run.



        She was biking home. A passing stranger found her and called 911.


        Sadly, she died at the hospital from blood loss and brain trauma.

        The doctors told me her last words were "forgive him."

        Her forgiveness and love GMH.


What forgiveness, what love. Yes this was a tragic accident for the family but the forgiveness of the child. Of all the things she could have said like tell my family I love them, or I hate the man that did that, or something else, she opted to forgive that man. How quick are we as Christians to forgive? I mean many times we find ourselves in a battle to come through and forgive and yet she was so quick. So my challenge to you is to look and see how quick you are to forgive, and if God can forgive you so quickly then shouldn't we also forgive? You see, God makes it very plain in the Bible. If you forgive others, I will forgive you. If you don't forgive others, I can not forgive you. So making that plain, where do you stand? I encourage you to forgive freely and to check out both websites to see just what some people are going through.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bored....Spiritually Bored?

I ran into a problem today. It wasn't big, but it definitely was a problem. I became bored. Gasp, what, a teen becomes bored, breaking news! Yea, it happens to all of us and more then we realize. I didn't realize how much time I was going to have on this break and well, I am out of ideas on what to do. This got me to thinking though, about what I can do with my life, like a hobby. I talked with my mom about it and we prayed about it but she did tell me one thing. I wrote both her and my dad poems for Christmas this year. I wrote them at one in the morning as well after I did my devotion time and went through my time that I spend with God. I decided that I wanted to do something different for them, and something with a homemade touch if you know what I mean. My mom told me I had a talent in writing and I should use my time to write. Seeing as I will be heading out of town most likely in the next day and will have zero computer access, it might be a good idea so I don't go crazy. The only problem I seem to have is that I can never sit down and finish something very easily. Even a poem that has four or five stanzas with four lines in each. I know it sounds crazy, but I just can't do it. So I guess my question for you would be, would you be interested in reading some of them if I posted them and should I pursue this? I really do want some feedback because I am not totally sure on what to do.
Secondly, I really started thinking about the whole idea of being bored and how you could apply to your own spiritual life. Take a minute and evaluate your life, do you read the same devotions year in and year out, or maybe the same chapter of the Bible every year? To me that is being spiritually boring. I am not saying that it is bad to go back and look at something again or reread the same thing but I guess it just has to do with your attitude while you spend your time with God. See, our God wants a relationship with us, and not just some flimsy one but a deep and lasting one. There has to be a two way street though, one person can't do all the work. So if you are putting no effort into the relationship with God by taking the steps to further your relationship with him, I am considering you to be spiritually bored which can quickly lead to spiritual sickness if you leave it go to long. So my underlying challenge to you is not to be spiritually bored. Get yourself active in your seeking heart and relationship with God because he will come like a thief in the night, whether you are ready or not. 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Relationships With Others


Everyone in this life wants to be loved, treasured and accepted by the people around them, for the most part. Not too many people that you or I know go around hoping that everyone that they see or meet dislikes them. It is part of human nature, the longing to be loved and accepted. Going into high school I made it a goal to just be nice to everyone and not have anyone dislike me or start rumors about me, you know, that sort of thing. I just wanted to be known as the happy guy that didn’t dislike anyone and that was not disliked by anyone else. I quickly came to realize that you can’t do it. No matter where you are, in work, school, or any public place there is no way that you can have one hundred percent of the people like you. People are always going to have their opinions and their own way that they view you and you can do nothing to change that. Sounds kind of scary, huh? I got really close, to about ninety eight percent or so, but no matter what I did I could never get the last two percent to change their minds. I tell you all of this to say that no matter what you do in life you are always going to have people that don’t like you and won’t accept you for who you are. Most of the time though, we get so caught up in wanting a relationship with that person, or wanting that person to like us and accept us so much that we forget a key fact in life. The only persons thoughts, feelings, emotions, and attitude that you can control is your own, and no one else’s. You cannot make someone like you, or accept you by force. They have to have a change in attitude or feeling. I mean, look at the life of Jesus. He wasn’t accepted by all or like by all. The Pharisees were always trying to kill him, and countless others saw him as a fool and a fake. So after saying all of this here is my challenge: Check your own heart, and your own mind and thoughts. If you think someone is holding a grudge against you check your own heart. Are you holding a grudge against them? Is there a thought in you that is unkind towards them? Remember, how are you going to take the speck out of your brother’s eye if you have a plank in your own eye. Relationships as human beings are important to us and God, so strive to make sure you don’t have a plank in your own eye, so that you can carefully and skillfully take the speck out of the eye of your brother.   

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What is the Meaning?

As we approach the Holiday season and as everyone is going around getting ready for Christmas, it seems that as Christians we get caught up in the world’s way of celebrating Christmas and the world’s meaning of Christmas and we forget what we are really celebrating. Yes, Jesus came to the earth to save the world but this goes so much farther than that. God gave up his only son to the earth to be born in a stable. He came in the most humble way, and yet the point I want to stress is that God gave up his only son, from  the heavenly thrown, and allowed him to come to earth to fix our messing up. I can’t imagine even though I am not a Dad, giving up my only son to save a bunch of people that sinned over and over again and continually mocked me and spit upon my name. I’d have enough trouble just forgiving them let alone giving up my only son to die for them. I want you to take a couple of minutes right now and think about what a sacrifice that this was and what really took place on that night. Think about the discipline of Jesus life, to live it perfectly, and then to die a horrible death. Then just reflect on the people, you and me, which he did it for. He did it to save the sinners of this world, and gave us an opportunity to live with him forever. He gave us a chance to have a relationship with him once again. I challenge you to this; when you get up on December 25th, think about this sacrifice first. I know it will be hard and not the easiest thing as you may think about the presents or the food or all of the cooking and cleaning you have to do for family. Try, and spend some time with him that morning just reflecting on what he did for you and the world. I don’t think you can have the same outlook on this part of the year again if you remember and make what he did the most important thing of all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Bible Study Challenges

Well, another week is upon us. Christmas is right around the corner and now the snow has begun to fall here in Cleveland. The snow also brings cold weather and wind, so we have embarked upon the winter journey that who knows when will end. I have my Bible study in school tomorrow and isn’t it always interesting how we have no idea what God has in store for us when we start upon these things. I may decide on Saturday or Sunday to do one topic but then boom, God gives you something completely different. We are starting to face some light resistance to what we are doing so tonight I have to go online and brush up on the law and the reasons we are allowed to do this and meet in the high school. I also need to let everyone else in the group know the rough sketch of what is going on. I really don’t look forward to doing this because I know that it might get technical but you do what you have to do. I just am really looking to make a bigger impact at school and I want to be able to just let others see God through me. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me and the rest of the group.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

You Won't Relent

You Won't Relent
Misty Edwards
You won't relent
Until You have it all
My heart is Yours

I'll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm
For there is love that is as strong as death
Jealousy demanding as the grave
And many waters cannot quench this love

Come be the fire inside of me
Come be the flame upon my heart
Come be the fire inside of me
Until You and I are one

I really like this song, singing and playing it. It wasn’t too long ago that I finally really listened to the lyrics and just let God speak to me through them. I just realized how amazing our God is because after you and I have messed up time and time again, he is still coming and running hard after us to know us better and to have us have a relationship with him. That he will not relent until he has everything that our life is just blows my mind. The creator of the stars and the universe that is so vast and so great wants to know me and have a relationship with me, a small human being. We were created in his image but still why would he want you and me? He created us to be with him in heaven for ever and to bring him glory and honor with our life. I want this so bad but it seems so many times I start out and then fall flat on my face after taking a couple of steps. We could never do enough good to cancel out our sin; we can’t do any good to cancel any sin. “For the wages of sin is death….” So why live life if we know that we can’t make it through without sinning and messing up? What is the point of trying? God gave us his son, his perfect son, to die in our place. He came to earth and lived a perfect life so that you and I would only have to turn to him and then we would have everlasting life. He conquered death by raising himself up from the grave and then ascending to heaven. We don’t have to be perfect because he is perfect. He has given us the chance to have a relationship with him, it is a free gift. He doesn’t promise that things will get easier and neither will I, but he does promise to be with you every step of the way whether you know it or not. He does promise you everlasting life with him in heaven. All he wants from you is your life and everything that is involved with your life, and a willing heart to serve and grow with him. He is waiting for you, are you going to run to him or walk away once again?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Too Full..... Or Too Empty?

Well, Thanksgiving is gone all too quickly it seems. So is the break from school. Tomorrow everyone heads back to the work force and school to brave out the week. It just seems as if the weekend flew by and we now stare Monday straight in the face. It just seems so hard to take a break from what you have been doing and enjoying. For the next couple of weeks I have to do just that though. I got over my head with involvement in the church and my health took a beating because of it. It just is so hard though not to go up to church and be involved in an event almost every night especially because that is all that I knew for the past couple of months. I had to decline worship band for this Wednesday because I need to get completely caught up with school and I needed a break so I could rest physically. I also did not go to church tonight for our late night contemporary service which is normally one of the highlights of my week. I enjoy doing things so much in the church and I enjoy serving but sometimes you just need to get out of the way so that God can do his thing. You also need to have control over what is on your plate and not have a extra full portion that you can’t eat. I had way too much on my plate and I think it just finally broke me down physically. I need to get back to the basics and what God wants me to do instead of just doing everything. You have to get to a point where you know that you need to say no to the activities that come your way. I challenge you to look at your life and your plate and see if you need some adjusting. Maybe your plate is to full and some things need to come off of it so that you and God can fully communicate and you can be ready to do what he asks. Maybe your plate is pretty empty, and you know that God is calling you to do something and you are ignoring him. Tonight, ask God to give you the right portion and for wisdom to make the decisions to give you the right portions. You could be amazed at the results that follow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fear of Daily LIfe

Have you ever found yourself scared of something, maybe it was the dark when you were a little kid. Well, for school I had to write a school paper that forced me to look at fear and describe it. I knew I had a problem when I used the word fear about 26 times in the first two pages so I decided to go online and find some words that I could replace fear with. Here is what I came up with: anxiety, concern, cowardice, despair, dread, fright, horror, jitters, panic, scare, terror, timidity, trembling, unease, and worry. As I read this list and though about the words and how I could use them I came to a scary realization, that this is what had described my Christian life at the high school and middle school for much of my life until recently. I continued thinking about it and tired to think about why this was and why as Christians we seem scarred of our faith and what others think about us. No matter where you are whether in school or in a work setting we have to deal with this aspect of life. This is what I came up with. When the world hears the word Christian they associated that with perfect, and happy and having everything together when in fact we know for sure that this is not the case at all, we know that we are anything but perfect and that we are far from this. Because of the title that we are given though we feel like we have to live up to this and if we don’t that everyone will hate us even more. In all reality there is only one thing that separates us from everyone else in the world. It isn’t the church we go to, or the way we view life, or the pastor that we listen to on a Sunday morning. It is the God that we worship daily and that created us with perfection and is living in us daily. When you have God in your life, your life should be different and your life style should be different from that of the world but that doesn’t mean that you have to have everything all together and not have any problems. What this does mean though, is that when you do face the problems and hardships in your life you will be able to overcome them and stand through them on our rock and salvation.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fire

I’m really not sure on what I am going to make this post about. I just wanted to make one though because I hadn’t posted in a couple of days. I’ll tell you, I am pretty tired from the just past day. I am so glad we only have two days this week because I am not so sure I would make it past that. Anyways, I was reading in Hebrews today, and I came across chapter 10. This chapter just seemed to really stick out to me because it was talking about sacrifice. Now that might seem weird on how that had anything to do with me, but just hang in there with me. I was reading about how they had two tents and one was for the sacrifices and the other was the holy of holies that only was entered once a year. Then it when on to say that when Jesus, our sacrifice died on the cross, they no longer needed the priests of the day to offer the sacrifices for the people. Jesus had been the final priest and offered himself as a sacrifice that was the final blood spill for man’s sin and there repentance, and now we could have a personal relationship with him.  He tore down the curtain blinding the common man from him. He enabled us to become as one with him, to when people look at us to see God instead of you. It is something so hard to grasp sometimes in my own mind but God gave me this body, it is his, and I want to live as if I don’t own it, as if I no longer posses any of my mind but that it is totally devoted to him and what he wants for my life. I want God to burn inside of me, not my own will or passion, not my own wants or needs. I need to realize that every other fire that is inside of us will fizzle out and will not succeed, but that God will reign and triumph over all. And when judgment comes, and believe Him when He says it is coming, I want as many people to be ready to stand up and to be called into his kingdom with him forever. Shouldn’t this be our ultimate goal anyways? Think about it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Priorities in Life

What is number one in your life? Well, the Sunday school answer would be God, right? But truly look at your life and tell me what is number one. Is it your car, house, kids… or maybe it is a friendship or other relationship? Why isn’t God first? What could you do to change that? God needs to be priority and you need to run to him and go after him with everything that you have, and anything that hinders you should be cut off. Maybe this means to literally get rid of it, and to discontinue it in your life. Or maybe you need to take a break from it to cast all your attention on God and his plans for your life. I am striving to make sure that God’s plans are the plans that in my life I follow and that it is his wisdom I seek, not man’s. If you can’t run this life’s race going after God and you let other things hinder and distract you, you may find yourself running the course the wrong way. So I guess my question for you is, are your priorities straight, and are you running after God with him first in your life? That is my goal, to follow him with everything that I have and to do his will. What is your goal?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spiritually Sick

Well, things just seem to be going from bad to worse as far as my health may be concerned. As weird as this might sound for a teenage boy, I want to go back to school. I am sick and tired of being sick and doing nothing all day. I know though, that if I go back I would never have enough energy to get through the day. I just hope that when I go to the doctor tomorrow, that all that is needed is a stronger antibiotic and that it isn’t something worse. I just know that I need to trust in God through this situation and just allow him to take over.
Enough of that, I’d rather use my time to blog about something important. While being sick I have lost a lot of my physical strength. Just from not eating as much and being somewhat dehydrated. I got to thinking though, can we be spiritually sick? And if we can, will it slow us down and have us make less of an impact around us? I guess to answer that question we have to decide what being spiritually sick would look like. Maybe it’s the thoughts that you think or the things that you say, or maybe it is the lack of God’s word in your life or prayer. All these things affect you and your spiritual walk with God. If you don’t read God’s word, which could be compared to food and drink, you can lack strength when the devil tempts you or threatens you. This could make you vulnerable to his attacks and the thoughts and deeds that he brings with his attack. I guess in all of this what I want to say is to stay strong in your walk with God, especially when reading his word and going through your day. Glorify him with your words and attitude because it is him that gave you this day and it is him that could take it away. Stand strong my friends and be careful not to fall spiritually ill.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tough Decisions

Have you ever had a really tough decision to make? One that you knew was going to hurt you and another person or other people? I had to make one this week and it wasn’t easy. I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t want it to happen but I realized after prayer and talking to other people that this was the best thing. I realized that I wasn’t strong enough to continue to the situation and to continue forward so I stopped it. Now I have my doubts though, like if I should have done it. I know it was right but is it wrong to doubt a decision that was made? I don’t regret the time and the energy that I put into this situation, the situation was a good thing that I have no regrets about. I guess it was just too close and too dangerous to continue and now that it is over I look back at it with satisfaction, knowing what I gained from it. I am glad that I made the decision and that the conversation was had, but there is still some doubt and longing still holding on somewhere deep inside of me…

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Not Letting Satan Have His Way

Have you ever felt that if something could go wrong it would go wrong? Or that Satan knows that something good is going to happen and so it seems he does everything possible to make sure it doesn’t. Like take tonight as an example, the homecoming dance we are doing for kids to have a clean atmosphere. I got pneumonia.  One of the other band members fell ill last night, unsure on whether she will come or not. The last thing I did to myself was bruising my finger from playing too much guitar. It is black and blue and swollen. Now I am icing it but I just wanted to ask for prayers that everyone gets through tonight. I know that God has something amazing in store for tonight and I can’t wait to see him move in amazing ways!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Monster

So I just finished learning how to play “Monster” by Skillet. I really got to thinking about the song as well. When you think about it, we all have a monster that is inside of us. Whether it be anger, lust, greed, selfishness, or a combination of other things, we all should be able to indentify our monsters. I guess the whole point of me writing this is that I want to make sure that your monster is dealt with. You see, if you leave it inside of you and no one finds out about it then it just really makes you miserable and forces you to put on a mask all the time. I am sick and tired of putting on masks for other people and I really just want to be myself and just not have to worry about what others think. If you were to indentify one area in your life in which you are putting a mask on an inner “monster”, what would that be. How are you going to deal with it? Are you going to lock it away inside or let it out so that the world can see and it can be dealt with?

Monster
Skillet

The secret side of me
I never let you see
I keep it caged
But I can't control it
So stay away from me
The beast is ugly
I feel the rage
And I just can't hold it
It's scratching on the walls
In the closet, in the halls
It comes awake
And I can't control it
Hiding under the bed
In my body, in my head
Why won't somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I hate what I've become
The nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep
Hid under lock and key
I keep it caged
But I can't control it
Cause if I let him out
He'll tear me up
And break me down
Why won't somebody come and save me from this?
Make it end!

I feel it deep within,
It's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I hate what I've become
The nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I feel like a monster

It's hiding in the dark
It's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me
It wants my soul,
It wants my heart
No one can hear me scream
Maybe it's just a dream
Or maybe it's inside of me
Stop this monster!

I feel it deep within,
It's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I hate what I've become
The nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I
Feel like a monster
I feel like a monster

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Week.....

So I am making up for my lack of posting in the last week. This past week for me has been absolutely crazy.  First of all, we had the After Life Event at my church on Saturday and I was there on Friday from 4 to 9. Than on Saturday, I was there at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and didn’t leave till around 11:30 that night after the concert. Oh, and by the way, the concert ended at ten. Then I went to church on Sunday morning at 8:30 in the morning and then went home at 7:30 at night. Just slightly crazy. So as you can see my last weekend I lived at my church and maybe that’s what helped me get sick, I’m not really sure. Then our school on Tuesday started a Bible Study that went really well. I really think that God is going to take the Bible study and the people in it to just grow and show his love in the school. I can’t help but think of the song “God of this City” that Chris Tomlin sings.
You’re the God of this city
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation
You are

You’re the light in this darkness
You’re the hope to the hopeless
You’re the peace to the restless
You are

Chorus:
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have still to be done in this city
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have still to be done in this city

You’re the Lord of creation
The creator of all things
You’re the King above all Kings
You are

You’re the strength in the weakness
You’re the love to the broken
You’re the joy in the sadness
You are

Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have still to be done in this city
Where glory shines from hearts alive
With praise for You and love for You in this city
Greater things have yet to come
Greater things have still to be done here
What does he have in store for your life and the people around you? Have you ever thought about it? It might be time to start thinking about it before life passes you by………..

Tired, Exhausted, Sick, But Still Pressing On

So I went to the doctor’s office today and found out that I have pneumonia. Although I do miss school tomorrow, it kind of stinks as I can’t sleep through the night well. This weekend though, I have to run lights and play at a clean homecoming that our church is putting on for high school students that want to honor the Lord with their actions. I have to be drugged up and on plenty of Tylenol which dosen’t like me when I have to take it more than once in a day. I normally get pretty tired and out of it so running the light board for that night should be plenty fun. To make matters more complicated I have to get through a band practice and I have to play for worship to close the night. All I can say is that I better do a plenty of praying before I go up on stage. I think everyone else ought to pray as well, because it could be a very interesting night. I am so tired and it is only seven o’clock. I have to wait for my other medicine first before I can go to sleep though. Homework? No, not till tomorrow, I am much to tired and would rather focus on God tonight with the little energy that I have.  

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Letting God Use Me


Have you ever gotten to a point where you want to do something in your life, or how you want something to go like a conversation with someone or an action or gesture? You go over it what seems like a thousand times in your head thinking it out, fantasizing what it is going to be like and then when it happens it isn't anything like you though it was going to be. Or maybe you chicken out completely and it never happens. Maybe too, it is something that God is calling you to do or say and you just want to scream because you don't do it. God told me to do something tonight, something that is going to need guts on my part and a lot of praying and then God's all-knowing helping hand. I may lose some friends, or I may gain some followers and respect, but either way I am jumping into something for my Lord and Savior and I just want you to pray for me as I get ready for tomorrow. I know what I need to do and I know that God wants me to do it, but the question for me becomes, am I going to let God use me?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Renewed Strength

Today I watched the Louie Giglio video that we watched a while ago at my youth group again, I can't tell you or even begin to describe how much it lifted me up and how much I just appreciated hearing the message that he gives. He talks about how God is going to be with you through the storms and through the times of doubt and even when you let go of him he is never going to let go of you. I just needed to hear that again and I needed to just here how big and how amazing our God is once again. If our God is for us, then who could be against us? I continue to pray that he will hold me through this storm and I know now that all anyone has to do is ask for his wisdom and guidance and he shall receive it. How big is your God?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Does it End?

Does it ever end? Will it ever go away? I have had to deal with fourth deaths now in a matter of a week. I am going to a wake for my uncle's sister. Never knew her, but I sure do know my Aunt and Uncle. This is beginning to get hard. I don't trust people at school with my emotions or issues. Don't get me wrong, I do let them out but I would rather get help from a Christian then a secular high school teenager. How long will it be until people begin to see through the mask that I have put on at school, how long? Only time will tell but this is going to be a tough Friday to get up out of bed, especially when I feel like shutting the world out and spending it alone in bed. I am looking to God and asking the question, "Does it End?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Doubting God's Will

Call me whatever you want, but the last couple of days I have been thinking about God’s will and questioning it. Our youth group has suffered three deaths in the matter of a week. From co-workers, to fellow students, to family members of students, which is just so hard to comprehend why we would have to go through this. I know that God has bigger plans and I can’t see them yet because my eyes are still blinded by tonight. Tonight I am off to a funeral for a fellow student that had his dad die. I don’t even know the kid but I am supper upset and my head isn’t straight right now. So if you could just keep me in prayer for the next couple days as we struggle through this. All the support that we can get right now as a youth group is appreciated.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creation

One Wednesday night at youth group an awesome video was shown to wrap up our creation serious that we were doing to kick of the new school year. It was really awesome because normally we don’t do videos for our messages and it really just summed the entire series up. What it talked about was how big God is. I really hope that I can get it up on here but it was just amazing to see the stars and how big they are .It really gave me an in awe moment as I watched it. It gave me a small feeling and showed me how small in comparison to the rest of the universe that I was. The best part about it though is that the God that created the universe and the God that made the stars by speaking them into existence is interested in me. He made my life, my body, unique so that only I have it and that only I am ever going to have the exact DNA that I have. The God that made the universe and the God that is the creator of all is coming after me and is seeking me out to have a relationship with him and all I have to do is turn around and meet him right where I am. I can never do anything to make him stop loving me and not want him and I can never make him stop running after me and pursuing me. I mean, it just is making my head spin as the creator of billions upon billions of stars made a tiny planet and put his finest creation on it and now wants to have a relationship with a tiny microscopic part of his creation, you and me. This has to be a two way thing though, it can’t just be him coming after you but you have to turn around and meet him. You have to want the relationship and want to have him as your father and not just use him as a get out of hell free card. He has a perfect plan for you and wants you to be with him forever in heaven one day. I challenge you that if you have not accepted Christ and this movie moves you in such a way that you wish to know him I would pray and hope that you would seek out someone in a church in your area or drop me a comment and I will help you through step by step. But I also challenge you that if you are hurting or if life just stinks right now that you would also stop and just know that the creator that created you wants you and will be with you to stick it out to the end. Hold on tight to him and don’t let go, but if you do let go always know that he will never let go of you. We worship and praise an amazing God that I cannot even fathom. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Beautiful You

Jonny Diaz - More Beautiful You
From the album More Beautiful You

Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight
her body isn't fake And she's always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care
your skin your body your hair
Are perfect just the way you are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you've
already done Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel that you are

Chorus
So turn around you're not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It's not too late you can be saved

If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forgets
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who's strong can right your wrongs

Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with his light he will show you truth
And again you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

Sometimes we struggle with this, our appearence and the way that we want others to look at us. Humans in nature will go to extremes to be liked but I am hoping your outlook on who you are changes after you read this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

God's Will

God’s will is sometimes very hard to see. Sometimes we feel like he has it all wrong and that our plan is better. Someone in your family dies, but you were praying for God’s will; What makes us upset at God then? Sometimes, or all the time, as human beings we only see the smaller picture. God sees the full picture and the full effect of everything that happens in life. When Jesus was in the garden praying, he prays that God would take the cup away from him and let him not have to go through what he had to go through. The end of his prayer though shows how our attitude should be. He prays that not his will but his Father’s will. I know that you may think that God has it all backwards and I know that I cry out to God at times and go “What are you doing?” It is so hard to see his will and accept it. I wish I had a way to help out or a solution that allows you to hand everything over to him and his will but I don’t. I got it all mixed up just like everyone else in the world. My favorite example is from the movie “Letters to God”. In the movie Tyler has cancer and is dying from cancer. Now if you haven’t seen the movie and you still want to see it and not have the end ruined then you probably want to stop reading until after you have seen it. The whole movie is about Tyler’s struggle and his families struggle. He writes letters to God that get into the hands of a postal worker that is taking over the job of someone going on brake. The postal worker reads them and sees the faith that Tyler has and the way that he prays for the individual people in life. In the end Tyler dies. If that isn’t touching enough, kids from Tyler’s school and from all over the area start writing letters to God. So many people saw the hope that God gave them and wanted what God had to offer. There were so many letters that the postal office had to find a place to put them. You see if we just focus on Tyler dying we miss so much. We miss that God had a bigger plan and we miss so many people that were around Tyler. A single death brought hundreds of people to Christ. The best part of this movie is that it is true and actually did happen several years ago. If one life, one struggle for survival, has this much impact, what could you do in your life if you started looking for God’s will? I pray that you will find him and ask him to see the bigger picture, to see into his will.

Monday, October 18, 2010

God's Night

There were a couple of songs that I was listening to tonight that really struck me and had a good message. I just hope that you take the time to read what I wrote, but also to look up the song and see what God tells you through it. See what you can find, and I know that you will find something. Don’t give up this week no matter how tired, because you just might miss what God has in store for you.

More Beautiful You: Josh Bates

There is so much that I have thought about tonight. I guess that it is just one of those God nights, one of those nights where you just feel so close to him and nothing can tear you away from him. A lot of times I find myself so busy and thinking about all that I have to do that I miss something so important, my life. I miss the point of living for God and I miss everything that he wants to do in and for me or the people that he wants me to talk to, all because I am so busy. I realize it seems almost every day that God wants me more and more. There is so much to do and the harvest is great but the workers are few.

Praise You in This Storm: Casting Crowns

Each storm that I go through seems to bring me closer to my creator. It may seem like everything is falling apart and maybe it is but never forget that God is holding your life together and in his hands. Even when you can’t carry on and even if you can’t find him listen for that whisper, and you’ll hear it. Praise God in this storm because God is big and powerful and can do so much more than we could ever do on our own and he will never leave your side or you out in the cold. Look up to heaven for your help, because he is all powerful and he can do all things that we could never imagine. Praise the God that can do it all and that will never leave you for he is awesome. Even if you don’t feel him don’t give up because he never left you.

Walking Her Home: Mark Schultz

God is going to give you special people to help you through life. Maybe you’re married or single, dating or yet again single, but don’t let those special people slip through your life and go right on by. God is going to let you know who those people are and you just have to be ready to listen for him. I know it can be tough and maybe you just want that relationship so badly, but trust in the Lord for all things and he will provide. Give those special people, no matter who they are, what they deserve and always love them like God does through the ups and downs. Don’t give up on them because God never gives up on you.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Value of People

This was a pretty awesome thing that I wrote during study hall today and it was completely God driven. I am not sure if you are going to follow it because it is in some way random and doesn’t follow a regular though process I don’t believe. I hope that you enjoy.
I cannot believe some of the things and ways that God will get your attention, such as when yesterday my youth pastor was talking about suicide. Now it really never hits home until you confront it face to face an realize that this is not a fake issue that only certain kids deal with. A sad fact is that a school in my area lost a total of four kids to suicide in less than two years. Maybe this is just a so what, big deal, kind of issue to you but it isn’t to me. Those four kids that may be in hell and four families and sets of friends that are hurting and in great pain because of the lose that they suffered. See, so often we value people and some are worth our time and effort and others are not. The best example that I can think of is from the movie To Save A Life. The youth pastor in the movie named Chris stands up and asks the kids what they would do for twenty dollars and the list some fun and kind of absurd things that people wouldn’t just normally do. He then continues on to ask if they would do the same things for a penny. The normal response is no way because it wouldn’t be worth it. We tend to give closer people our time and others we don’t value as much so we end up giving them very little time if any at all. There are so many people in the world that are hurting and so it would be my prayer that you would ask Go to open your eyes to those people who are hurting and you just might find someone in need of a helping hand.
I hope that this challenges you and inspires you to start looking at people in a different light as it has inspired me. I pray that you would come to value everyone and to love people the way that God loves us.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New Week

This is going to be brief but hopeful inspiring. I am just trying to pump you up for a new week. Whether you are going back to school or work see how you can view people differently and remember who is on your side and is helping you to overcome all evil. God will never leave you, always keep that in mind.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

James 1:12-18

Well, I am really excited because it is the weekend and I have a short school week next week because of some days off for different reasons. I am so relieved to get here but I know that things need to be done for my creator this weekend that could be hard for me. Enough about me lets jump into the second part of James Chapter one.

James 1:12-18

12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one would say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of that heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
I really like how this starts out, with a blessing. Not any blessing though because this one is something that everyone struggles with to some degree, trial. It also makes a promise to those who persevere through the trials of life, that they will get the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  When you stand through trial atop God, whether it is persecution from school or work, or possibly a troubled family time, it doesn’t say that if you try hard enough, or if God has time, it says “he will”. It is so awesome to know that our God will not back down on his promises and he will be by us as we endure the hardships and trials of life. The next verse, verse 12, was pretty cool. It sounds so simple and it almost makes you want to have a duh moment but it holds some good meaning. It says that man would not say that God tempted him, which is obvious, but it goes on to say that God cannot be tempted by evil. This shows us that we have a perfect and all powerful God and if he cannot be tempted by evil, then he could certainly help us out of our own temptations. it also states who tempts us, which is our evil desire. Many times we now that something is wrong or displeasing to God but we do it anyways, most of the times feeling guilt later. After we have that sinful desire or thing it leads to sin, which as you probably know leads to death. The other thing that we also know though, is that we have a savior that was crucified with all of our sins on the cross and then rose from the grave three days later conquering death and allowing us to one day live in his presence forever. The verse goes on to say that every good gift comes from above and that God does not change. Everything on this planet undergoes some sort of change, whether physical or emotional. God reassures us that He will not change and that he will be the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be tomorrow. He wants us to be His children and he wants us to know the truth. That he is the Lord and has created all things for His glory including us.  

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

James Chapter 1: 1-11


I really enjoy the book of James and I think that it has a lot that we can take out of it and apply to our lives now. Not that the rest of the Bible doesn't but it just seems like I always get so much out of it and I really wanted to share what I got out of it with you so that maybe you could get something out of it as well. I also wanted to start incorporating more Bible verses and studies on them into my blog so I decided to start with the book of James. I hope you enjoy.

Here is the first chapter, and the first 12 verses in the NIV version.


Chapter 1
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings, 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. 9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

We can start right with the first verse. So many times people just blow past the intro and want to jump right into the passage but look at what the first verse reads. The first thing that I notice is that it says servant of God. James doesn’t call himself an apostle or a superior writing to the lesser people, but he calls himself a servant. So right away you can see that he has a heart for God and that he is on this earth to serve other people but ultimately God. I have to admit right before I started writing this I blew over the first and second verses not really paying attention but looking for other things past that to focus on. But verse one is a key verse that has you already in your head setting the mind set and tone that James is going to use throughout the book. Later in the first verse he then goes on to address to who the letter is specifically meant for. In this case it is meant for the twelve tribes are scattered. I really like the choice of the word scattered as it shows how these people are dispersed throughout the land, and how they are separated but the message still applies to all of them. When we get to verse two, the into is over and we have now moved on to beginning the advice and encouragement of the body of the letter. When you read the verse you may be going, “Well how am I supposed to consider in pure joy when I am going through trials? How can I be joyful during a trial in my life?” And if you just stopped there and did not continue to read on to what he is saying that you would miss out on his meaning and on everything that is behind him saying that. In verse three James said “because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” Perseverance is sometimes hard to come by especially if you are like me and lack patience. I will admit it that I don’t have the most patients and if it doesn’t work the first or second time that you try it, well that means it will never work and time to move on. That is my mind set and I know that it isn’t right. But anyways, enough about me, back to the passage. It talks about how perseverance must finish making us complete, or not lacking anything. Making us complete is have a mutual relationship with God, and having found everything that he has wanted you to find. it is also developing character traits such as patience which I lack. You see, it is going to take a lot of perseverance to develop and completely be perseverance, or not lacking anything. if you think about it, no one will ever be completely mature in the Lord and have complete spiritual maturity by God’s standards except for God himself, but that you should strive to become and now God as well as you can and to be growing in your spiritual life. The fifth verse goes on to say that if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask God for it and it will be given to him. Don’t we all lack wisdom? Don’t we all have decisions that we are not quite sure on how to make? He goes on and reminds us that our God is a generous God who wants to pour out his love and blessings on us and bless us. He reminds us that if we are one of God’s children that he finds no fault, no fault no matter what, with us. The next verse though is one that I imagine people get tripped up on; not to doubt that it would be given to you. This could trip you up either way as you could have doubt and not be sure if God is really going to give it to you or maybe He didn’t answer a silent prayer the way that you wanted him to, and so you doubt his sincerity and whether he really will give it to you. Maybe you are on the other side and you see someone ask for something, such as wisdom, and it is not given to them or maybe it is not perceived to have been given to them and you immediately turn to this verse and say well there was doubt, that is why God did not give them this or answer there prayer in the way that they wanted. We have to imagine for a second God. Now some people see him as a vending machine that you can go up to slip in a prayer and he will give you whatever you just asked for. This is not how God works at all! He is not something that you can use to further yourself in life and to try and make your own life better. He will answer your prayer according to his plan, and purpose and even if it doesn’t seem right to you his plan is so much bigger and so much better and so much more complex that you and I could never even imagine it. James goes on to talk about the doubter and the doubter’s relationship with God. He says that he is like the waves tossing and changing in the ocean. He also says that this man’s mind is troubled and is unstable in everything he does and that he does not believe that God will really give his what God wants to give him and that he is just asking because the Bible says to and he really doesn’t plan on God giving him anything. I pray that you and I would not be like that but that we would know that our God is great and that all we have to do is ask and God will give to us. The last part of this short passage talks about the humble man and the boastful man. Now the word boastful man doesn’t come up but he is talking about rich and prideful. He compares the prideful man to a wild flower that the sun scorches and is gone. Have you ever walked or seen a picture of a field of wildflowers? I am not talking about something that has one here or there but a field that has them just littered throughout. Can you imagine that one right in the middle of a pack dies and falls to the ground. Are you going to notice? Are you going to care? No because that one was just like the others and you will probably never notice. The rich and proud on earth are high but they take a low position in God’s mind as they will never enter his kingdom because they had so much and did not think that they needed him. However, the humble are low in life but have a high position with their Father in heaven who is proud of the way that they lived their life on the earth to glorify and honor him.

So I guess there are three underlying questions:

1: Are you persevering through trials to grow closer to God and are you finding joy in your tirals?

2: Are you a doubter, on that doesn’t believe God will give unto his children, in either example I gave?

3: Which man would you associate yourself with and be honest, the rich man who has everything but then quickly fades, or the humble man that will get his reward in heaven?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Prayer

How long will you keep pretending that everything’s ok?

How long is that fake smile going to stay upon your face?

How long can you continue to look into the mirror and hate yourself?

How long until you come to know me and my overflowing love?

How long until you open up what’s been tearing you apart?

How long until you tire of the wrong wide road?

How long until you shut everyone out from the real you?

How long until you come to know me and my overflowing grace?

I will always be there for you. To wipe away the tears that no one else sees.

Everyone bottles up inside their fears and anxieties, but I see and know everyone.

So think of everyone you pass each day and about what their hiding, than stop
and think about how much they need to know me.

-God

Frustrated Today

Have you ever been super upset or frustrated? Well it happens to everyone and it is something that you just have to deal with. You really need to control this frustration as well as making sure that it does not turn into anger which causes you to stumble in your walk with God. Whatever frustrates you can be easily handled by God. You have the most powerful being in the entire universe on your side and so what can go against you and be bigger than you and beat you? Nothing, if you keep to our awesome Father’s guidance and protection. I really just felt that this was needed, especially because everyone gets frustrated at one point in their life. Keep in mind who is behind you and who has your back.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Never Alone

BarlowGirl - Never Alone
From the album BarlowGirl

I waited for you today
But you didn't show
No no.
I needed you today
So where did you go?
You told me to call
Said you'd be there
And though I haven't seen you
Are you still there?

Chorus
I cried out with no reply
And I can't feel you by my side
So I'll hold tight to what I know
You're here and I'm never alone

And though I cannot see you
And I can't explain why
Such a deep reassurance
You've placed in my life.
We cannot separate
'Cause you're part of me.
And though you're invisible
I'll trust the unseen.

Chorus


This song really shows how we sometimes go through struggles and we aren't really aware of if God is there and I just felt it showed great faith and what faith looks like.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hell , A Real Place

So today I looked around my school and just kind of took a step back. Have you ever stepped back and just looked at something. Well today what I thought about was pretty horrifying. Have you ever stopped and just thought about, well not to come across as harsh, but about everyone around you that is going to @#!*% . It isn’t that God isn’t loving or sends you there because of maybe one thing you did in your childhood, but because he is holy and can have no sin in His presence. Maybe it isn’t our responsibility for others actions and decisions but it does make you want to start telling people that you maybe have been avoiding. I mean if you haven’t ever thought about the people that you pass and what there fait is if they don’t have a relationship with our Lord and Savior I challenge you to take a second and do that. If it doesn’t move you I really don’t know what will. Sunday we were talking about authenticity. I know that it is a big word but basically what it means is being passionate about your faith and not just calling yourself a Christian on Sundays. It’s talking the talk and then walking the walk. I think one of the ways that we can be so authentic in our faith is basically telling others what we know and what we have. It’s a free gift from God that we should readily be giving to others. So I challenge you in two ways; the first is I challenge you to think about others fait and what you have to offer to them. My second challenge for you is to be more authentic in your faith and walk. (Trust me, I need work in both as sharing my faith in my high school still scares me quite a bit and my faith is not where it should be, or not to the degree that I wish it to be. I guess I have a lot of praying to do tonight!) I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope that your day reflects the God that we serve.   

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Patience

Patience. We all struggle with it to some degree, whether it’s checking out at the grocery store or waiting for the light to turn green. It’s a fruit of the spirit so it has to be important, right? Yes, but why is it important? Why does God want us to be patient? The answer just isn’t so simple. Patience is hard to come by, and this is (in my opinion) one of the character traits that many people, including myself, struggle with. Psalm 37:7 says “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” God knows that he has given us an amazing gift in his son and ultimately in his son. He tells us clearly here in this passage that if we wait for this gift and trust in him that he will give us this. He also warns us though that the world will look better and that it will seem like the people of this world have succeed as well in the things they pursue. We know though that this isn’t the case; that the worldly things only lead to destruction and to hell. A second verse in Proverbs 14:29 says, “A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.” You see, God tells us that with patience we gain understanding and that we will be able to see and assess a situation before we jump right into it. If we have no patience and just jump right in, we could get ourselves into great trouble in many ways. So be patient and ask God to further your patience with the people you come into contact with each day as well as the situations that you might endure.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

God Gave Me You

Dave Barnes - God Gave Me You
From the album What We Want, What We Get


I've been a walking heartache
I've made a mess of me
The person that I've been lately
Ain't who I wanna be

But you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

There's more here than what were seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel lovely
Could somehow fall for me
You'll always be love's great martyr
Ill be the flattered fool
& I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you

On my own I'm only
Half of what I could be
I can't do without you
We are stitched together
And what love has tethered
I could never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I've lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it's true
God gave me you, gave me you.
Gave me you.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No Matter What

Kerrie Roberts - No Matter What 
From the album Kerrie Roberts

I’m running back to Your promises one more time
Lord, that’s all I can hold on to
I’ve gotta say this has taken me by surprise
But nothing surprises You

Before a heartache can ever touch my life
It has to go through Your hands
And even though I, I keep asking why, I keep asking why

No matter what, I’m gonna love You
No matter what, I’m gonna need You
I know that You can find a way to keep me from the pain
But if not, if not, I’ll trust You
No matter what
No matter what

When I’m stuck in this nothingness by myself
I’m just sitting in silence
There’s no way I can make it without Your help
I won’t even try it

I know You have Your reasons for everything
So I will keep believing
Whatever I might be feeling
God, You are my hope, and You’ll be my strength

Anything I don’t have, You can give it to me
But it’s ok if You don’t
I’m not here for those things
The touch of Your love is enough on its own

No matter what, I still love You
And I’m gonna need You


I really liked this song because it just showed how no matter what we do in our lifetime God is still going to be there for us.

The Lord Strengthens us in Great Trials

Every day, week, month, year, and life is filled with trial. Whether big or small, for a day or for a couple of weeks, we will endure trial. Trials are God’s way of growing us spiritual and helping us to stay fit in or ways. God is never going to give us more than we can handle and he is going to stand next to us as we face each trial. Maybe we have become so caught up with the worldly things in our life that we have stopped having time for God. Or maybe there is a death or sickness that was unexpected. No matter what it is we always need to remember that God is always going to be on your side to help you out and you can call on him whoever you need to. God is waiting for you to turn to him and he wants you to turn and ask for help because he knows that you cannot do it on your own.
Proverbs 2:6 NSAB
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
You see, God wants to help you and he wants to be there for you in the trials. The sad thing is that, me included, as human being most time we block God out when we need him the most. When we are facing the trial is when we try to do things on our own and I have been guilty of that recently. My accountability partner explained in a way that made perfect sense. “If you have a full plate without God, and then you put God back on the plate, than you are going to have a plate that is overfilled. This is going to stress you out and is going to make you start doubting yourself and your abilities. But you see, when you add God you have to take something off the plate that you replaced God with.” When he explained this to me and I had time to think about it it made perfect sense. So maybe you are overfilled right now and maybe you are stressed out. Ask your self questions.
1. Where is God? Am I calling on him to lead me?
2. Is my plate to full for God? Have I replace him with something else?
If you answered these questions after answering these questions it is time for you to get off the computer and just spend some time with God. Explore how he can help you through your trials and how he can help you to reorganize your life.