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.