The Rebelution The Modesty Survey

Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons Learned in 2012

As I look back on 2012, I have learned many lessons not just in my spiritual life but also my good old life as a human being. For instance, don't be stupid and try to cut a 1" diameter stick in half with your giant knife because you WILL cut yourself not to mention you did the very same thing a week earlier and super glued your cut shut so you wouldn't go to the hospital. Other simple lessons were at work or lessons on how to communicate with your significant other. 

On a spiritual note, God really has laid on my heart the lesson of trusting in Him and making me realize once again, over and over, that there is literally nothing to hard for Him. My friend, Sam, discovered he had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in the Fall of 2011. He and I grew up together but went somewhat separate ways when I moved to Michigan and after he went to college. When I found out this news that he was sick, I was devastated. My Mom, who is very close to Sam's mom, helped me stay in touch with anything new that occurred. I do not remember when, but Sam went through chemotherapy and they aggressively attacked the cancer and were able to get rid of the cancer. However, I was just informed a few days ago that the cancer is now back but I do not know any more details. Sam joined an organization called Imerman Angels. You can find an article here about his first experiences with this group.

I bring Sam up for this reason: even when his chances were slim and everything in his life was not going as planned, he still trusted God. In the article that I linked above, Sam wrote, "I didn't worry too much about what I was going to go through,” LiBassi says. “My mottos were: ‘It's life, you gotta deal with it and make the best of it’ and ‘Life comes at you fast, but God is sovereign.’" 

Man, I wish I could say that about my life when big or small things happen to me. Sam doesn't know this but he really has been a huge role model in my life even more so recently. Why? He has challenged me to really trust God with everything. You are told to just trust God no matter what happens but how often do we do that? It's been a blessing to see a childhood friend doing what he should be doing and really seeing God's handiwork. 

My Mom and I were talking about obeying God. She and I were talking about me getting into a lot of trouble when I was younger. My Mom always told me, "Sam, just obey! It's easier that way. Why don't you do that?" I always responded with a shrug. She then told me that when God asked her to do something she would give the same response as I did with her. God said to my Mom, "Why don't you just obey? It's easier that way." She shrugged like I did and said, "I don't know." This is, once again, another lesson learned in 2012. Obeying is hard. You may not get a reward here on this earth obeying God's word or even your parents for that matter but why does it matter? This is something I struggle with because I want to be rewarded here right now and yet heaven's reward is far superior to anything here on this earth. 

As you look back on 2012 and look ahead, reflect on the lessons that you have learned. It may be a great learning experience and a huge encouragement. I know it was for me. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Playing the Part

So, my brother-in-law Josh and my sister Sarah are both actors. They enjoy role-playing parts from Shakespeare, English plays, and even classics like The Pajama Game. They have to memorize a lot of lines and practice many hours to do well especially when they get paid for what they do! It's my brother-in-law's career! It takes quite a bit of effort and their time to focus on the part that they play no matter how big or how small because they make up a whole in the plays.

In our Christian walk, we play an important part whether that be being a witness for Christ, being a layman in the church, being an encouragement to others, or setting an example for baby Christians. No matter what part we play we need to take it to heart because it makes up a much larger picture in our lives! There was an Adventures in Odyssey episode talking about this very thing. From what I remember, there was a group of people who were part of a body whether it was a literal body or a figurative body I cannot remember but they represented the head, the arms, torso, legs, eyes, ears, etc. One person left because they felt unwanted. They felt that their part was not worth staying and just quit. The person came back a few months later to find the building they met in abandoned and broken into all in shambles. The person found the head of the body and asked what happened. He said that everyone left and got different jobs and went out of state because that person left the body. They insisted that they get everyone back together but it was too late. It was a simple analogy yet the concept, although I don't recall every single detail, was very sound and stuck with me all these years.

I hear about people committing suicide because they don't think their life is important, which is sad. Everyone needs to hear about Christ. I hear more good about mega churches and contemporary Christian music reaching people because they are totally outspoken and they know their part in life than a lot of Christians these days in very conservative churches! I particularly don't like or agree with the music of these mega churches but most of the time, their doctrine is sound and the teaching they provide is spot on! Whatever these pastors and teachers are doing in these churches needs to be known elsewhere! Many more people need to know their part in life and how to utilize it! I just feel that the love of Christ is radiating out from these people. Ultimately, it is the Lord who gives these people the drive to preach and proclaim His word. I hope that we all find our part in our Christian life and use it to the fullest extent. God gave us gifts. Let's use them to fulfill His purpose.

I hope this makes sense to all who read this. I have a lot on my mind as of late and have been very burned out because of school. Praise the Lord I am done for the semester! I am looking forward to graduating and then getting married in December of 2013! I will keep you posted with the upcoming events. Feel free to ask any questions!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Making Amends

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

An old friend called me today. I never did pick the phone up because I was too scared but more importantly, I was in class. I broke my friendship off with my friend back in March/April after receiving a phone call from him telling me things that would change my life forever. At the time, I was not ready to hear that my best friend was gay. I was not ready to talk about it. I was not ready for my life to be completely turned upside down but it happened in a split second. I didn't know what to say other than asking God to give me the strength to know what to say. Some things I said just came out and I wish I never said them. Promises I couldn't keep at the time.

I have been battling a lot since this has happened and my spiritual life has been affected because of it, sadly. I knew that I was not letting God handle my life and I have been miserable. Yet, God knows what He is doing. I am glad I have gone through trials not because I wanted to be far from God but it was good for me to realize how much I NEED Him! What a blessing! God's timing couldn't be better since I was chatting with a very good friend of mine a few days ago on Facebook. She asked me how I was doing spiritually and I told her I was doing OK but I really needed to be closer to God. She proceeded to tell me what she did to get herself closer to God. It was tough, just like working out every days, she disciplined herself by cleaning up her music, speech, movies, and lifestyle. She took the time that she spent on other things and read the Bible instead. This really put me in my place. I really have been examining myself as of late after this. Then, today, my friend called which was honestly perfect timing.

Now, it is time for me to make things right with my friend. I do not agree with his lifestyle and he knows this but he also knows that God loves him no matter what he does in his lifetime. I don't know what will happen after our meeting whether our friendship will be rekindled, whether he gets right with God and his family or he continues on with his life. I need a lot of prayer about decisions ahead because it is a big one so I would ask you to pray for me. All in all, like I said, I am very happy this happened. It's not fun, it's scary to go into the unknown but God will get me through this. He allowed everything to work together for good and I know He will continue to do so. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Be Prepared

Man, I have been busy busy busy! Between me being engaged, school, landing a job at another hospital, family time, and trying to squeeze in fishing, my life is pretty hectic. Something that has been a common theme not only in my personal life but also in church. The theme has been being ready for Jesus to come.

My Dad always wants to be prepared for anything. He has a BOB or bug out bag with a lot of essentials that if you do need to literally get out of the house in 5 minutes or less this is what you grab. He and I have exchanged ideas about what should be in the bag and what I should put in my own from fishing gear to space blankets and food. Very simple yet very crucial elements to survive. It's almost like planning a wedding! Oh no. ; )

Seriously, I don't know why but Christ's coming again has been on my mind quite frequently as of late. Not that it's a bad thing but it really got me thinking: am I prepared for His coming? I was humming a song called, "Are You Ready for the Trumpet?" a few days ago. You can find a Youtube video here. It really is a very powerful song. The lyrics are as follows:

Verse 1
The hour is approaching when the souls of man will hear
A mighty shout resounding in the sky.
In power and great glory, King Jesus will appear
And take His children home to paradise.
It will be a celebration for the ones who chose His name
But total separation for the ones who turned away.

Are you ready for the trumpet, are you ready for the call?
Soon the angels will assemble to usher in the Son of God.
Will He come and find you faithful, will He know your name at all?
Every moment brings us closer, are you ready for the call?

Verse 2
The Bible speaks of two men who were standing in the field
Where one is taken and one is left behind.
Two women in the kitchen, one goes and one remains
So get your house in order while there's time
In the cross there is salvation,
through the Blood there is a way
To secure your destination on resurrection day.

Verse 3
There's an urgency to reach the world
We have no time to waste
For within the heart of mortal man
This very question is now made

Man! It gets me all excited just hearing the lyrics and reading them again! : ) I know we are all familiar with the Bible verses that talk about Christ's second coming from 1 Thessalonians 4 to the Parables in Matthew 24 and 25. There are many more verses and passages of scripture that reference and also encourage us to be ready and always watching for the Second Coming. I know this isn't a lot of meat in this post but this has a lot of meaning behind it. What would you do differently if you knew that Christ was coming tomorrow? Are YOU ready for the trumpet? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recycling God's Word

Around the internet, I see a lot and I mean A LOT of recycled jokes. There are memes, photobombs, and fails. I see people posting the same image or story on Facebook a lot. I'm thinking, "I have seen this image or story far too many times to count!" Yes, it get's frustrating. It's almost like people don't know how to be original any more. At least that is my personal opinion. I sit in church or school albeit a religion class and hear people complain about how they have heard this a million times! Why do they have to listen to this again? I heard a boy about 11 whisper to me in Sunday School, "This is so boring!"People really turn their ear off to Bible stories or passages because they "know it by heart."

I have noticed more and more that we think everyone is "recycling" God's word. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, if I remember my Bible correctly, it says in Isaiah 55:10-11, "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

So, if I am reading this correctly, God's word will never return empty or void! I am not encouraging someone to "recycle" past sermons but rather to revisit those passages. I know there are some pastors who take sermons they have preached 20 or 30 years ago and preach them again. I think that is a bit of a gray area from the standpoint that you can preach the same message and have a different conclusion or hear the same message and get something different out of it but preaching should be lead by God. You shouldn't run out of ideas and then have to use past sermons because the Bible is full of lessons to learn. I have read my Bible several times and am always refreshed when I read a passage and something brand new jumps out at me! That's exciting!

I understand that it get's discouraging sometimes to read the Bible whether it be because you don't want to or like I said, you've read the passage over and over again for a Bible study and just have beaten it to death and really are not expecting to take anything brand new away from it. This is why we as Christians always have to have an open heart and mind while reading God's word. If you don't, it's as if we're reading just some book that is merely for pleasure than to grow in Christ. So, the next time your pastor preaches a sermon you heard a thousand times or you come to a passage you know by heart or those genealogies in the Bible, don't turn the preacher off or skip those passages, listen to God and keep an open heart and mind. God will speak to you. I guarantee it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tough Times

I lost my job this past Friday. My boss let me go over the phone. In short, I was pulled into her office after a meeting and was sat down only to have explained to me that I apparently falsified information. I believe sincerely it was set up and she wanted me out. It is in God's hands and quite frankly, I am glad I am out of the hospital. There were many things that were hindering me from really following God and allowing me to draw close to Him.

This entire job loss, though, was really a test of my faith. I was doing an exegesis paper for my OT class. I selected my paper on the binding of Isaac because I thought it would be simple. God had other plans. You see, this paper was due Thursday and the meeting I had was that night. While I was working on the paper, I got a call from my boss. She told me she wanted to talk to me. I was freaking out wondering what was wrong. I finished the exegesis paper, turned it in, ran into a teacher who I absolutely loved because he was so kind and generous, and went to my last class for the evening never really thinking anything of the paper or the teacher. I was, however, panicking because of the phone call. I went to the meeting, my boss talked to me, told me the story, and I went home. I told my parents what happened and we prayed. As soon as I started praying, the gears started to turn. I thought of the paper I just wrote. I thought about how much faith and trust it took for Abraham to take Isaac, his ONLY son, as God puts it "your only son whom you love", and put him on the altar to sacrifice him. No questions asked. Only, faith, trust, and obedience. Awesome. I was literally blown away as I was praying and all I could think about was how blessed I was. God gave me the strength to really focus on the tasks at hand. He gave me the faith and I trusted Him. I obeyed Him. Has it been rough for the past several days getting grips on reality? Of course! Do I worry about my coworkers and what they think of me because I am gone? Of course! I really don't need to because ultimately, God knows best. For that, I am humbly grateful for His understanding, mercy, and grace.

God puts trials into our lives to make us stronger, to increase our faith, our trust, our obedience. Don't look at the bad times as punishment as the world says we need to. There are countless stories in the Bible about God's children having their faith and trust increased from Job losing everything and his friends trying to make him doubt God to David, the man after God's own heart, and the many tragedies that he had in the Bible. Never give up on God because He never gave up on you.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Missing by a Mile

I've recently got into archery as a hobby. I really want to get outdoors more especially since work and school are sucking my life away, which is frustrating. I don't want to spend my extra curricular time hiding away in my bedroom watching Netflix or whatnot. Well, this particular bow is meant for bowfishing, a sport where you spear the fishing with an arrow attached to a string. There is no catch and release. You shoot to kill. It is legal in most states and people go bowfishing for carp and gar most of the time. I know down in the flats of Florida and other saltwater states, they go for stingray, flatfish, and other fish. Enough of that boring explanation.

This particular bow is a recurve bow. I have not shot a lot of bows in my life much less a recurve but it was inexpensive ($140 with all the fishing gear included, which is extremely cheap for a bow) and I wanted to try my hand at it. Well, after I bought it at Cabela's I went to the River Raisin at some small park called West County Park close to Dundee. Well, I went fly fishing there a few weeks earlier for carp and knew that this was the end of the season for them. I wanted to get in a few catches before the season for carp in the area was over. Well, when I got to the park, I set the bow up and walked to the spot where I was last time. I saw carp and was thrilled! First shot into the water broke the string attached to the arrow and the arrow smashed into a fallen log in the water. The carp, immune to falling branches and such, were probably laughing at me. I literally NEVER shot a bow until that day! So, I had to retrieve the arrow, which was the worst part (maybe best for some of you). I stripped down to my boxers and t-shirt and went in almost chest deep water to retrieve the arrow. *sigh* After that, I practiced a couple of times shooting into the water and into a tree to see the flight path of the arrow. Needless to say, I lost that same arrow and had to go back into the water to find it searching blindly in my underwear. That was loads of fun. *sarcastic*

People who profess Christ as Lord may not be Christians. They are not hitting the mark just as I did with the bow and arrow. They try and try and try but fail every time. These people may be Catholics, Presbyterians, Baptists, or some other religious group. They may call themselves religious and not claim to be a denomination. They all claim to be children of God but may not be saved. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus talks about these people who missed the mark by a mile. He says, "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'" Scary...Depart from Me...I never knew you. You can do as many good works as you want yet be so far from Christ's salvation because you think you can get to heaven by doing good works. Nope, that's not how it works. Titus 3:5 states "He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit...." This act of thinking you can get to heaven by works is a sin. Why? Because anything that is not following God's will is a sin. This also goes for anyone who IS a Christian but does not obey God. They keep trying it their way and fail and fail and fail. They are rebelling against God. In your life, are you hitting the target? Are you able to safely say that I am a child of God? If so, are you doing what God has commanded and following Him? Or are you "missing the mark?"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Make Me a Sandwich!

You've seen it on people's statuses on Facebook, on funny pictures on the internet, or even people will say the phrase but by now you've at least heard someone say jokingly about a female, "go to the kitchen and make me a sandwich" or "my wife/girlfriend/significant other needs to stay in the kitchen so she can cook for me all day. She belongs there." Yes, it's funny, but it's kinda rude once you think about it. I know for a fact that girls don't like to be treated like dirt. I know that's a bit harsh on guys but I am one and I know I wouldn't want to be treated like dirt!

I guess my point is all about submission in a relationship. A weird topic because usually submission happens in marriage. Well, I heard a message this morning about wives submitting to their husbands. My pastor took verses from Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18-19. Ephesians 5:22-24 says, "Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." Colossians 3:18-19 says, "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them."

It says in Ephesians 5:24 that how the church submits to Christ so should the wife submit to their husbands. Now, let's look at the underlying message there. We are not REQUIRED to submit to Christ as a church. I can be saved and be living in sin and not submit. I submit to Christ because I love Him. With this being said, the next part of the verse clearly states the answer to how a wife should submit. If the wife loves the Lord, she will submit to her husband. I need to rant for a second. Sometimes, I really hate the English language. For instance, I really have a problem using the word "submit" because we have given it such a bad definition i.e. you must do everything that your husband says you must do. We have such a narrow definition of the word submit when it has  End of rant. Going back to what I was saying, this is a very touchy subject. People in the churches these days take the verse the wrong way and want their wives to literally obey them as if they were slaves, which is wrong. I will say this though, which is very difficult to those of you who are married and have husbands who are unsaved. In 1 Peter 3:1-5, Paul says that a wife should be submissive to her husband even if he is an unbeliever so that her actions will speak louder than words to bring him to Christ. Wow! Now that is tough! Paul continues to say that you should not make yourself beautiful just on the outside but on the inside as well. Verses 3 and 4 says, "Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." Paul nails it when he writes these two verses. So, you should not only dress well as to avoid unwanted attention from other men except for your husbands but also be kind and affectionate and godly, being Christ-like to show your unsaved husband that Christ does in fact live in you! 

I know this is not everything. I could go very in depth on this subject but I do not have time nor am I a Biblical scholar enough to write extensively on the subject. If you are in the mood or in need of more light on the subject, go here to obtain a more in-depth view on the entire chapter of Ephesians 5. 

Also, the reason why I was thinking about all of this even before my pastor spoke on this is because, Lord willing, I will be engaged soon to my girlfriend of 2 years, Lauren. I ask that you would pray for me as well as for her as we both strive to please Him but also struggle with pure thoughts even now. Pray that the Lord would help us be victorious in the battles ahead. We appreciate any prayer that you pray for us. I will keep you  all posted on the engagement. : ) God bless. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why Do We Go to Church?

Since all great ideas form in the shower, I was thinking this evening before work about why I go to church. As a 22 year-old guy, my parents feel as if I am not under their rule per se all that much. Now, granted, I am living at home and they EXPECT of me to do certain things, i.e. get up at a reasonable hour, don't run around the house naked, invite hippie freak girls over the house without their permission, you know, the little things.

As I started to think more and more about this idea, I realized that, sometimes, I go to church for the wrong reasons. Sometimes I don't feel like going to church to get a fulfillment from God but to have a good time with my friends. Sometimes I go to church to please my parents or to please God, which is foolish since God knows my thoughts. It then struck me that it has been a tradition of ours to go to church whenever the doors have been open. I know it is bold to say "tradition," but just think about it. I mean really, when your boss says, "Hey, what are you doing on Sunday?" Most of the time, you say, "Oh, I am going to church." Its' not, "I'm gonna sleep in, get up, mess around for a couple of hours until the football game, have some friends over for steaks and then go to bed." No, USUALLY, in a Christian home, the whole family goes to church.

What does the Bible say about going to church? If you are part of a church that you go to faithfully, even if you are not a member, like me, you are still part of the body of believers! Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking our own assemblies, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day draw near." The Bible says to be in a relationship with other believers to be encouraged and also to encourage as the last days draw near. What else does the Bible say? In Romans 12:5, we belong to each other. "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." This is great since we need to grow in the faith, practice forgiveness, and learn how to serve others. Another great point that the Bible makes is in Ephesians 4:2. "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another, in love." If we didn't fellowship with other believers, we wouldn't grow as we ought. We learn gentleness, humility, and patience, developing a Christ-like spirit as we fellowship in the body of Christ. There are many more points to look at but I believe that this is the greatest. If we are to be like Christ, we should do what He did when He walked this earth. He went to church, too. Luke 4:16 states it clearly: "And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read." People, this was Jesus's CUSTOM - a normal practice of His - to go to church! I am very sure that if Jesus met with fellow believers to encourage and to also be encouraged, shouldn't we do the same, for the right reasons?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Do Right Till the Stars Fall

So, Blogger won't allow me to edit or even create a post so I have to revert to e-mail, which I just discovered... : ( So, until that gets fixed....well, I guess I'll just write them via e-mail, which really doesn't effect very much.

So, this evening, I had to go to work. I am at work currently but sitting with a patient but I will get to that part. So, I was wandering the house working on cleaning up the computer room, ordering books for my classes, doing everything BUT sleeping! All the while, I was devising a scheme to get out of working. The problem with this was everything that I was thinking of was a lie, which was wrong, obviously. So, I laid down and slept for a bit tossing and turning, thinking still about what I could do or say to work so I could call off. Eventually, I got up and I was talking to a friend on Skype. I was complaining saying that I *really* didn't want to go to work...He told me to call off but then said that he never did. It was a good work ethic to not do that. Well, let me tell you. I am very glad I didn't call off. It would have been wrong and I would have lied not only to the people at work but to everyone else including my parents. I got to work and a few hours later, I was called to sit in the ICU. Nothing major but I honestly believe the Lord blessed me because I did right.

It's hard to do the right thing especially when you don't feel like it. I look back at Daniel 1-3 where the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is told. Pretty amazing once you think about it. I know we have all heard the story before but it truly is amazing! Not only were they captured and sent to a strange land, they kept obeying God even when the consequences were death. They never ate of the king's meat nor did they bow down to the false gods. When they were thrown into the furnace, which was so hot that the men who opened the furnace were consumed by fire, God put His loving arms around them.

I know my situation was not deadly but I could have been fired for falsifying information. It was a good reminder for me to keep doing right even when it is hard. You never know who is watching. As I write this, I think of Daniel himself as he prayed three times a day with his windows open never keeping his talks with the Lord a secret. He did right and was thrown into the lion's den for doing right! Once again, God protected His children. I think about the Patch the Pirate song, Do Right. Here are some of the lyrics:

From the very start, have purpose in your heart
To do what's right, and never question why
Never count the cost though everything seems lost
The price for doing right is sometimes very high

Right is always right and wrong is always wrong
And we must learn to seperate the two.
If you love the right, the Lord will give you light;
So seek the right in everything you do!

I really like the words, "If you love the right, the Lord will give you light; So seek the right in everything you do!" This world is corrupt and the pressure to sin is all around us. Keep on seeking His face through constant prayer and scripture reading. When those temptations arise to do wrong, look on those verses you read or learned and ask God to give you that strength to overcome those obstacles in your life. Seek the right in everything you do!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Blessings Undeserved

So, I have been working for the past two nights and I was a bit sad that I was foolish enough to schedule myself to work this evening. I put my name in our on call book at work in hopes of being able to be called off of work but in case they needed me, I would be called back in. Well, as God would have it, I was called off! I was so happy! I spoke to my parents a bit about what happened. They just came back from their 30th wedding anniversary trip so we were chatting about how it was nice to get away once in a while and what a blessing it was to be together for so long. They also told me about the new vehicle they bought, which was a huge blessing in and of itself. You see, for the past 6 or 7 years, we have had a 2002 Ford Windstar to tow us around in. It was about to pass away and it was beginning to get a bit rough on the road in the winter. My parents have been looking at the Ford Expedition for some time now and my Grandpa called my Dad to tell him that there was a 2004 Expedition on sale for an extremely reasonable price. Well, the Lord allowed my parents to get the vehicle for a bit less than the asking price even after tax. What a blessing! We even got money back! We both praised the Lord for our individual blessings.

I took a shower, got dressed, packed my things for work in case I got called in, and took off for evening church at one of the church member's houses. We had some fellowship time before we gathered for a devotional and prayer time. One of the deacons spoke on Psalm 119:41-48. He talked about how we are free in Christ because of His mercy and grace. It was a great little discussion but what was the biggest blessing was the praises. There were numerous praises regarding people being lead to Christ or having opportunities to lead people to Christ by planting seeds. I told my brothers and sisters in Christ about the vehicle and how God allowed me to be called off of work this evening. It was so great to share the blessings and hear other blessings tonight. We went to prayer and once again, I was blessed by the requests that were brought before the Lord. It is great to pray with others to really talk to God with your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The night wore on and I took my leave. I got home and, after talking to my parents, we both went to bed. I ended up getting called in around 10:30 this evening but the point is I was able to go to church! Even through all of this, the Lord blessed my wishes and answered my prayer! I was talking to a nurse this morning saying, "I hope I get called off so I can go to church this evening!" It really is so cool how the Lord blesses His children. Whether good or bad, the Lord is good, all the time.

Has there been a time in your life that you have been blessed unexpectedly in the good times and bad? Please, I encourage you to share those happenings in the comments below.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Let's Talk About Jesus

I apologize for the lack of posting. I have been very busy. Work and vacation sucked my time up. : (

I went to church today when I honestly did not want to. I came back from a bachelor party after my friends and I got rained out. Yes, we were stupid and were fishing in a thunderstorm where the lightning lit up the sky red. It was scary. All in all, it was a memory I will never forget. As we were sitting there fishing for the big catfish that lay in the shallows of good old Lake Erie, I was zoning in and out about my spiritual walk. I kept asking myself, "Does my life reflect Christ?" I was asking myself this because I honestly have been really struggling walking with the Lord. I feel that I do not talk about God all that often. This is not to say that this will get me to Heaven or get me anywhere as far as spiritually goes but it is good to talk about God with others and I have missed that very much. You know, having a heart-to-heart talk with your best friend about God. I know when I talk about God and talk to the Lord that definitely helps me in  my spiritual life. It really gives me something to think about. What's better than talking about God? : )

I went to church this morning, like I said, not wanting to go. As awful as this sounds, I was even scheming ways I could get out of going or just go somewhere for a while so my Dad wouldn't know that I didn't go to church. Well, after much debating with myself, I went. It was raining and I really couldn't focus all that well since it was raining quite hard. I didn't want to focus on God. I turned off my music so I could just focus on driving. I got to church a bit late and went to Sunday School. Bam! First blessing. We talked about evangelism. What a blessing! I was beginning to cheer up because this is what I wanted to talk about, what I wanted and needed to hear. Talk of God and even better leading people to Christ! There were several questions that were asked that were quite challenging and yet the teacher answered them quite well. This encouraged me greatly  to know that, even though he was not the pastor, he knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Everything about the message or lesson really hit home. It really began to get
 me back on track.

Next, was the service itself. It started out with singing about God and then we had communion. Awesome! : ) Another thing to help me focus on the Lord! Then the speaker came up and talked about Jesus and how we follow Him day by day and how we should put our complete trust in Him. At the end of the service, I was very happy. Why? Because we were talking about God.

We as children of God should be talking about Jesus with each other. It encourages us and helps us to understand Him better because we communicate our own ideas with each other which then allows us to get a better understanding of how we think individually. Hey, it helped me get through the Lord's day with a great attitude! : ) It's so cool how just talking about God makes you filled with the goodness of Him to reflect His love and light. I find I am a happier person when I talk about God with someone else because, as I said before, I see their ideas about Him, how they worship Him in their own way, and we can share the more intimate moments that we had with God with each other. It really is an uplifting time for all.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lost and Found

This past Sunday, I got out of work, put my book bag, lunch box, and phone on my trunk. I proceeded to unlock my car to get in and go home to sleep because exams were this past Tuesday. I got past Flower Hospital and onto the main road when I realized I didn't have my phone! I turned around and looked and looked. When I couldn't find it, I went home and remotely installed several tracking programs (technology is pretty amazing, isn't it?) Well, to make a long story short, a good Samaritan found my phone, texted me his number (I called and texted my phone with my Mom's phone and the gentleman texted me his number. That's how I was able to reach him.) and I went and met him at a local diner. He refused any reward which was honestly very kind of him but also humble.

This entire fiasco made me think: I lost my phone, yes, and I was frantic to find it but I am never like that with anything spiritual. My thoughts immediately went to Luke 15 when Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. I imagine everyone knows about these parables especially if we grew up in a church where they told Bible stories to the kids. I find it interesting that the first two stories are not about humans but tie back to a heavenly perspective in that Jesus then states while these people are rejoicing over material things, I rejoice the same about a soul being saved. 

I feel like the Pharisees that Jesus describes in Luke 15:4 saying, What man among you (talking about the Pharisees here), if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 

My Mom and I were talking about this because the entire time I lost my phone, I was panicking. I praise the Lord that my initial reaction was "it is in the Lord's hands and if I lose it, it's His phone anyways so who cares" but as soon as I got home, I panicked and went into berserk mode. I told my Mom how I felt about being a hypocrite for being so zealous to quickly find my phone but a lost soul? Oh, I'm sorry not for me. 

I feel so ashamed because I sadly feel and KNOW for a fact that my focus is not on others, not on their souls but on my own soul. On me! I care more about my things than anything. Why? Because I bought them or made them. I worked hard to get those items and if they break or lose them, I will do anything in my power to fix them or find them. How is this different than a soul? Someone who is not a follower of Christ? It is no different. I am not standing on my soapbox here to say, "You must go soul winning X amount of times per week." I am saying that it is good to witness everywhere you go. Don't be some overzealous Baptist Pharisee wannabe (I can say that because I grew up Baptist lol). Preach Christ humbly and in a kind manner but not subtly either! If you have an opportunity to bring someone to the Lord, then seize that moment! If they get offended, it's their problem! You have planted a seed and you have tried. At the same time though, you can be in their face but in a kind manner while preaching Christ! You can quote scripture which is your best offense and defense, bring them to scripture and show them the truth FROM GOD'S WORD and still be humble! It is not your words. It is God's words who you are saying. Sorry for the little rant on soul winning there and how to say things. A bit of Baptist came out again. ; )

I ask this of you now: what are your priorities in your life. Is it the material things of this world? Or is it the people of this world and their souls? Do you care more about the latest technology, golf equipment, basketball game on a Sunday night? Or do you care about how to better prepare yourself for the time ahead and how you can be a better witness to those who are so lost and are drowning in sin? Let us work together to tell others about our wonderful, amazing, marvelous Savior. We as Christians all play a very important part great and small in being vessels, tools that God can use to win the lost. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Put On Your Running Shoes

It's funny. As a kid, I used to listen to Patch the Pirate almost too much. Yeah, the voice acting and stories are extremely cheesy but the CDs (tapes for me lol) were chock-full of doctrine and life lessons, as simple as they might have been.

I was confronted by some past sin recently and was then directed, by God, to focus on an old Patch the Pirate when he goes down under to Australia. I vaguely remember the premise of the story. Something about a wombat going in some spaceship, one of the crew members getting a buzz cut by a boomerang, some talking kangaroos that could punch people and even some of the crew sleeping in her pouch with her son, you guessed it, Joey. I know there were life lessons in the songs about forgiveness (Maybe? Forgive me, it's been a decade since I last listened to it) but the one song that stuck out to me the most was someone said something about Joseph running from sin. They sang the song "Put On Your Running Shoes." It spoke of Joseph having control over all of Potiphar's household except for Potiphar's wife. When Potiphar's wife was tempting Joseph, he "put on his running shoes."

As simple as that is, it is really good. Running from sin sometimes is quite difficult. My cousin and I were talking about sin and what sin or sins affects our life the most. The sins that affect me the most are music and keeping myself sexually pure. I have a past with both music and lusting (being very frank here). I am a guy and the lust of the flesh and eyes is ever prevalent. I personally feel that music can and will cause a hindrance in your spiritual walk with God but I am not here to talk about convictions and whatnot.

My point is this: I sin often. For crying out loud, I sin every day! When I attended Bob Jones, my PC (prayer captain) said to our prayer group one night, "Tomorrow, I want you all to focus on what you are saying and thinking. Write down every time you sinned or were half way through sinning. That way, you are conscious about what you are saying, thinking, and doing so you are less prone to sin." This was a great idea. Hard but a great idea nevertheless. To tie this into what I was saying previously, I bring this up to say this: how conscious or how aware are we of us sinning? Do we know we are sinning and let it slide or do we go around everywhere we go thinking about what we are going to say, do, and think and then act accordingly if it is a sin? No. That's difficult but we should. Then, when we are subconsciously tempted or tempted outright, we can run far away from that temptation when it knocks at our door.

So, what to take away from this? To sum things up, do your best to be consciously aware of sin before creeps up on you and the temptation becomes too great for you to handle. That sounds terrible but you need to be honest with yourself. God can protect you, yes but don't expect to win at the last minute. It's like you're playing basketball, it's the 4th quarter and you're down by 15 points. The coach doesn't say with 10 seconds left in the game, "Okay guys, I know you have not played your hardest and we haven't put in our best player yet but since it's almost game over, I guess we can play our hardest and put in the best player on our team to try to win this game." NO! You don't ever hear a coach say that! That's the same thing with dealing with sin! Yes, it's difficult to battle sin but it is worth it all in the end. I challenge you to do what my prayer captain said to us that night: to focus on what you are saying, thinking, and doing so you can see how much you sin and how much you need to run from sin. It WILL open your eyes to how much sin is in our lives and how much we desperately need a Saviour!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is There Anything Too Hard For God?

I was writing a post but I decided to put it on the back burner for a bit because something happened tonight that was a huge impact in my life. Honestly, right now, I am extremely stressed. Super stressed. I have to write 2 papers for 2 classes ending for the summer in the next 1 1/2 weeks on top of planning a bachelor party for a friend of mine who I am the best man for on top of planning a trip to Cleveland for the middle of next week, paying off a large bill, and paying for car damage because I accidentally hit a parked car at my house, which mind you was the first accident I ever got into in my few years of driving, thank the Lord.

I ranted a bit on Facebook. The opening line was a bit harsh saying that I wanted to shoot myself because I was stressed out but I ended with God has this. The first line got my friend's attention. He was quick to private message me on Facebook saying if I was thinking about suicide, it was NOT the answer! I would be missed my many and I should seriously reconsider what I should do to relieve my stress. I rarely if ever post anything negative on Facebook because I want it to be an uplifting time for all. My friend and I conversed back and forth for a bit and I reassured him that I was fine and would never consider suicide. I have to admit that his little blip of a message was extremely encouraging even though he is not saved. It is amazing how God can use even the unsaved to get our very core and dig deep to prove His point that He will never leave us nor forsake us! Praise the Lord!

There is a song entitled "Is There Anything Too Hard for God?" It is a wonderful song that really lifts your spirit at anytime especially when you are struggling with something difficult. Here are the lyrics:

Verse 1: It's out of your hands, you've done all you can do
You've given God the problem, it's no longer up to you
You've prayed the prayer of faith, you're standing on God's truth
While you're waiting on the answer, He has a question for you

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

Verse 2: Only believe, trust His word, you'll see
His plans are now unfolding, performing perfectly
It's clear how much He loves you, look at all He's done
For all your questions, there's really only one

Chorus: Is anything too hard for God?
Who's got a problem beyond His power to solve?
Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

Tag: Are there situations He's not the Master of?
Is anything too hard for God?

I will admit I almost cried when my friend told me to not consider suicide. Why? It was spoken from a true friend. A friend who respected me and told me he loved me and cared about me to look out for me. I honestly believe that God spoke through him to get to me. It was as if I was hearing the Lord directly. It was very humbling.

There is nothing hard for the Lord. Jeremiah 32:27 states, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? My God has created the universe, knows every star in the sky, every hair on our head, everyone by name in the world, can move mountains, Colossians 1:13 states, He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, the list goes on and on! I am so thankful that God can do all these things. I am so glad that God cannot fail, or ever get tired of hearing us pray, He cannot break a promise, He will never STOP thinking about us, nor will God stop loving us!

God, once again, proved to me that even in the darkest of times, the Valley of the Shadow of Death, He can lift me up and set me on the Solid Rock, lead me into the light. What a blessing it is to know that God is always there. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Human Trophy

This post I would like to discuss people, more specifically, Christians, that we put on pedestals claiming that they are great and are such amazing people that we look up to as if they are the greatest godly person on the entire earth. I know I looked up to a coworker ever since I found out that this person was a Christian. I respected her very much especially since she was very godly. As I got to know her and we started to talk, I saw more and more flaws. It became a problem that I really started to become bitter because she was acting not like the person I thought she was but rather a human being (shocker). I put this individual on a pedestal and it became a serious heart issue. I did not tell anyone of this matter because it became more embarrassing than anything. I talked to God about it and asked for guidance in this area. 

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 statesWhat then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

What is this saying? We as Christians are all servants of God, even the greatest of spiritual giants. When we put others on a pedestal, we are misplacing our confidence in God. Extraordinary people are ordinary people who do "little" tasks for God. We always think of greatness in terms of the great tasks. The path of greatness is the path of “little” tasks. As we become faithful with little, he gives us a little more. 

Father, Where Shall I Work Today?

“Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed me out a tiny spot,
And said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh, no, not that.
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done.
Not that little place for me!”
And the word He spoke, it was not stern,
He answered me tenderly,
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;
Art thou working for them or me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.”

Those who are truly great see God at work and give Him the credit. The servant Paul thinks of his job as mere planting, and Apollos’ job as mere watering. God is the One that does the real work. God does what we cannot possibly do. God’s work involves many different individuals with a variety of gifts and abilities. There are no superstars in this task, only team members performing their own special roles. (note 3:7-8).  We can become useful members of God’s team by setting aside our desires to receive glory for what we do. Don’t seek the praise that comes from people—it is comparatively worthless. Instead, seek approval from God. TEAM players don't seek to be placed on the pedestal. TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. They work for the betterment of the team.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Can't We Be Friends?

Well, it has been a while since I posted: over two weeks to be exact. I have been thinking about a lot of things to write about and really a lot has come to mind but I have been so busy that I have not been able to sit down and actually write something.

One thing that has been on my mind a lot is friendship. Recently, I lost my best friend. Not in some car accident but, to spare the details and to introduce what I am going to talk about, he is living a lifestyle that, in accordance to the Bible, forces me to, if you will, de-friend him. He told me he was a homosexual. This is very sad because we were great friends. He encouraged me in the Lord, we loved to goof off, go fishing, talk about video games, and write silly stories. We really had a deep connection. When the lifestyle he pursued was introduced, it took me by surprise. I had not spoken to him for several weeks if not a month because he was acting strange. I felt that he was hindering my walk with Christ and I felt that I should distance myself but still keep in contact periodically. I was driving to work so broken-hearted because of issues going on in my life that I called him, sobbing. He stopped me and said, "Sam, stop crying. I need to tell you something very important." Through the tears he told me flat out that he was gay. My heart sank. It sank so low that I wanted to rip things apart and scream and cry at him and tell him if it was because of me then I would do anything for him to not be homosexual. Then, everything changed in a split second. The love of Christ coursed through my veins, pouring out of my mouth. This was nothing short of a miracle. I told him I did not support his lifestyle but I would continue to pray for him. I went to work that night very sad. It was a really rough night.

In any tough situation, especially like this you must seek council. I did which was probably the best move I could ever make. This did bring my focus back to the Lord, which was great but Satan really got a foothold in my life. But let's get to my point in all of this: why I chose to stop being his friend. 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 clearly states my argument for me not being friends with him anymore: I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

Yep, it's a toughie....Yet, the Bible CLEARLY states that as a Christian, I should not associate myself with another Christian who is living an immoral lifestyle, like my friend is. It was and still is very tough to come to the realization that he and I cannot be friends anymore because he is saved or claims to be and is a homosexual. He knows the truth, he knows Christ as his Saviour, he has gone to church all his life, he has grown up in a good, godly, Christian home, and yet he has been told my the world that he is acting like a gay man because of what his interests are. This is not talking about people who don't know Christ because we can still be a light in their life and be a witness.

What do we do in these situations? For me, as well as everyone else should, I prayed, got counseling, I prayed some more, sought counseling some more, read scripture and was seeking God for answers. After this all happened, I really did have to evaluate who my friends were and also my life. What was/am I doing wrong as a Christian that could potentially make a fellow Christian stumble? I dislike it and still dislike evaluating and seeking what is best for my Christian walk. I dislike that I find so many problems but I do my best to correct those mistakes I have made and stop those things that may be a potential problem. 

This is a large pill to swallow especially since that these are friends we are talking about. Please, if there is a friend of yours that, according to the verses that Paul wrote, is living that sort of lifestyle and they are saved or claim to be saved, pray about it, seek counsel, and then make your decision. You may be the only Jesus they see.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Being A God Fanatic

Whether it be your favorite football, baseball, basketball, or soccer team, you have dedication to your favorite sports team. Granted, I know not all of you love sports, like myself, but just think of something you love or look at someone who has that kind of dedication to a sports team for the illustration. : ) You, as the sports fan, take time to look up the scores, check out the stats of the particular player that you find amazing. You may have memorabilia around your house or room or even in your car showing your love for that team. You buy season tickets to the Superbowl, world cup, world series, and whatnot to cheer for your team, that is if they made it….erm…moving on. You love your team and this is why you have such dedication to them. In the book of Psalms, David writes about how much he is a God fanatic. Psalms is filled with praises, hymns, and spiritual songs about the Lord! Psalm 99:1-3 states, “The LORD reigns, let the people tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! The LORD is great in Zion, and He is exalted above the peoples. Le them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He.” 

WOW! Let the people tremble? He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake? Sounds like one awesome guy! He is not just any guy! He is the LORD God Almighty who made us and we are His people! God is far better than any sports team in the world! We give sports far more praise than we do to our God. Continuing in Psalm 99, verses 4-9 state, “The strength of the King loves justice; you have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool; Holy is He! Moses and Aaron were among the priests, and Samuel was among those who called on His name; they called upon the Lord and He answered them. He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; they kept His testimonies and the statute that He gave them. O LORD our God, You answered them, and yet an avenger of their evil deeds. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy hill, for holy is the LORD our God.” What really makes me jump up and shout is that David mentions Moses, Aaron, and Samuel. All three of these men praised Him and cried out to God for deliverance. The Bible then says, “They called on the LORD and He ANSWERED them.”
That is so awesome! I know the Lord hears our prayers and our praises but to once again, see the Lord working is truly amazing. So very encouraging! Psalm 100 states, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.” 

Notice the emphasis on LORD? Yep, that’s a lot of power behind that! Shout joyfully to the Lord. When was the last time you praised the Lord on your own? Take out that Christian CD that you listen to ALL the time and have silence and just worship the Lord in song on your own! Sing those songs with meaning, slowly, thinking of the words! I used to get frustrated in church since the director used to sing slowly. Until around 6 months ago, I realized why we did this: to, as I just stated, think about what we are singing. To give the focus to Him and not on ourselves as the worshipers. The LORD deserves our praise and so much more! Why can we not give Him our praise for it is the least that we can do after He has not only created us but also saved us and given us so many great things. Sing to the Lord a joyful song, sing to the Lord, your voices raise! Sing to the Lord a joyful song, a song of love and glorious praise, for He is LORD of Heaven and earth. Angels serve and saints adore. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to whom be praised forever more! Give Him the praise, give Him the glory and honor that He deserves. This is my prayer for you, as the reader. Give thanks to Him and bless His Holy name.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

It frustrates me whenever I am driving to school that there are cars that are in front of me that want to get around these trucks. I laugh at them since when they do pass one or two cars at a time, they get to the traffic light and it is red. Them passing the truck did nothing to help them get to their destination any faster! In fact, it wasted time and money! They wasted their time by blowing past the semi and wasted thei r money on the gas that they spent going around the truck only to get a few feet ahead and get stopped. To me, this sounds a lot like my life in school or better yet, my Christian walk sometimes. I want to get done with school for the day, I want to get through my devotions, I want to get married, I want to have a job, etc. There are so many things wrong with this picture. The most important is my patience with the Lord. My life verse and a very famous verse in the Bible is Isaiah 40:31 which states, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Well, obviously, whenever I want to be done with school right then and there, whenever I want to be married or in a relationship and NOT be content where I am at that current moment, that is really destroying my faith in God which then, in turn, opens doors for Satan’s minions. Yes, I know that is kind of extreme and I know that Satan and his minions do not attack us right away but in all reality, it is true. Granted, I am not blaming Satan or his demons for our lack of trust or the way we act. It is human nature. We are born sinners. The bottom line is it is a trust issue with the Lord. We do not trust the Lord enough to give all our anxienties and all our cares to Him to take care of. Yes, it is so hard to give those problems to the Lord whether it be our job, our love life, our time management and whatnot. This is why it is so important to read scripture and to HIDE it in our hearts (memorize it) but more importantly talk to the Lord! Once again, keep short accounts! You may say, “Well, Sam, this seems redundant!” Well, it is what we are SUPPOSED to do! Pray, seek His face, search the scriptures daily like the Bereans, trust in the Lord with all of our heart. If only we could believe the Bible and see that everything worked out for good and be like Joseph or Daniel. Both of these men prayed constantly. They did not have a pocket New Testament to read to encourage them yet they are far more spiritual and had a better walk with God than any pastor I know! Why is this? Because they TRUSTED God! They WAITED on Him! They walked with Him, talked with Him, had fellowship with Him, had short accounts with Him, were not afraid of the men who threatened their lives since it was God who told their ending and not men.
Yes, it is so hard to trust in the Lord, to have that patience but we must even when our faith is so small! My prayer for you, as the reader, is to take away from this that this is not redundancy. It is but another life lesson filled with the same things that we have learned as children in Sunday School: to trust God and to give Him our lives fully, 100%. Trusting God, as we know, comes with prayer and dedication to Him. It does not come overnight just as getting physically stronger does not come after 2 or 3 workout sessions. If you have patience and trust the Lord, I promise you, you will see Him move mountains.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Who are You?

For the past week or so, I have been thinking about relationships between people. We go throughout our day, chatting with folks whether it be online, a few minutes here and there in class, or on the phone. Some of these people you may not really know such as your classmates but others , such as your parents or siblings, you know very well. Why is this? Why do you know some people better than others? It may be obvious since you live and breathe your family. Let’s say, though, that your family is just like anyone of your classmates, however. The only difference between the classmates and your family is that your siblings and parents have written autobiographies of their lives up until certain points in their lives. You read these biographies to get a feel for their lives, their hurt, love, humor, eating habits, dislikes and likes, and so much more. Yet, you never really sat down and chatted with them since you are “too busy.” You are always making an excuse when they ask you to chat with them.
Does this sound familiar? If it does you know exactly what I am talking about. We as Christians put God off. Prayer is just as important as talking to your family. No, it is far more important since this is our Heavenly Father. Yes, we read and read and read the Bible, we search commentaries, scripture, books on certain passages of the Bible to know God and yet we really do not know Him personally. Why? Because we think reading about Him is enough. We don’t think prayer is important. Prayer is VERY important if not the MOST important part of the relationship with God! If you don’t talk to God, how in the world do you think you will see His handiwork? Do you think it will appear out of the sky and have a big sign that says, “God is at work here in your life right now.” NO! There is, yet again, no magical formula to make you have a better walk with Him. Just as the athletes work hard, we must work hard to accomplish our goal in life as well. Part of that goal is to know Christ, to know God.
Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you spent AT LEAST 15 minutes in prayer? Do I dare ask if you spent more than 30 minutes in prayer more than once? I know for myself that I do not pray that much and when I do, sadly I say that I don’t have time to pray all that much. Granted, I try to pray throughout the day and I do not believe that this is wrong since it is important to have short accounts with the Lord. However, it is also good to have long conversations with the Lord. How much time do you spend talking online? On Facebook? Surfing the net? Watching television or playing a video game? My Mom always told me that the time I spend on the computer/playing video games, I have to spend twice that amount outside. WOW! Lots of time outside for me…. : ) Take that time that I would be spending outside to pray or at least part of that time. I promise you, it will make a big difference in your life.
In closing, I pray that you will, as the song says, “take time to be holy.” Seek His face and learn more about Him. I challenge all of you to pray for at least 15 minutes at one time. It is but very little to read about God. Fall down on your knees, worship the Lord in song, cry out to Him in fervent prayer, and have a nice chat with Him. He deserves it and so much more.