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.