The Rebelution The Modesty Survey

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Testing the Waters

Oh the joy of being stupid. So, there I was, at the Flowers-I work for an elderly couple doing yard work and such-and I was cleaning up sticks RIGHT before I left for home since I was so excited to hear that my grandparents were over. As I was finishing up, I heard rustling in the leaves and saw some tiny gray thing shoot out. A star nosed mole. Great, I thought. More distractions. So, me being the inconsiderate and yet *ahem* brilliant young man I am, I decided to catch the thing. Apparently this feat is not to be done. Ever. Why did God make me stupid, I wondered. I quickly pushed those thoughts aside and for the next, oh, I would say, 5 minutes or so, I literally ran around catching the thing, laughing while it squealed, let it go, and the process started all over again. Yes, Ok? I was acting like I was a 5 year old brat! I was DETERMINED to catch that mole! Well, more specifically, star nosed mole. Moving on. I left it alone long enough to put the remaining stick into the wheelbarrow and make it look semi-decent under the tree. I then directed my attention back to that dastardly creature they call a mole. *sigh* I saw it again but since the grass has not been mowed in eons (yes, that's a word. Look it up! ^_^), I couldn't see where it's head was. Well, Mr(s). Mole was NOT happy! So, it reared it's ugly head and bit me in the thumb! Congratulations, Sam! You have the "I got bit by a star-nosed mole" trophy! Yeah, so needless to say my reaction to this whole ordeal was not so good. As soon as my nerve endings stopped firing signals to my brain, that is, pain was happening, I quickly threw my hand in the air. In the process of all this, I suspect this was the first time ever a star-nosed mole was airborne. He should have gotten some Red Bull to satisfy his flight. I never did bother to see where the 747 took the mole but I can imagine he is telling all his/her friends about the escapade. I went away with a hole in my thumb, blood all over the wheelbarrow, and a bruised ego. A mole bested me! How tragic and so hilariously sad at the same time!
So, my point for this whole ordeal? 2 words: testing sin. We as Christians OFTEN test sin to see how far we can go until we get caught or until God punishes us for it. How sad! If we are new creatures, we have NO right to be even dabbling in sin much less testing it to see whether or not it will "satisfy our fix" for the evening. Satan loves this since he knows our hearts and knows exactly how to tempt us to once again "test the waters." 1 Peter 5:8 states, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." As we know, the Devil is always searching for an opportunity to make us fall. Why do we make it even easier for him when make the excuse of "Oh, I was just trying it out?" Yes, because we are human, but we also do this, I believe, because we are not satisfied with what God has given us in the first place. God gives us so much yet we almost literally throw it back in His face and say, "I don't like what you gave me. Give me something 'better.'" When He does give us something "better" in return, if you will, we are STILL not satisfied! I want to pull my hair out since I KNOW for a fact and can even tell you times that I have done this, sadly, recently! Man, as a whole, is never satisfied with what he has since he is a sinner.
I pray that as you go away from this post, you will see how easy it is to get caught up in our daily lives and sadly "test the waters" of sin. I pray that you will "be sober, be vigilant" about this. Be consciously aware of your sin and literally think before you speak. It is a terrible cliché, I know, but there is SO much truth behind that phrase. When I was at Bob Jones, my PC (Prayer Captain) challenged us to be very aware of our sin. Even something simple as making fun of someone in your MIND we took note of. At the end of the day when we got together for prayer and a short devotional, he asked us to share how many times we almost sinned and how many times we did sin. It's pretty pathetic how many times we sinned much less how much we almost sinned and stopped ourselves. This is my challenge to you for this week: make a mental note of ever time you sin, whether it be negative thoughts about a person while driving since they cut you off to something as simple as talking back to your parents. This will allow you to be aware of the danger of sin. Ask the Lord to help you to remember this and to keep you sober as you battle against the rulers of the darkness of this world. I pray this for you, as well.

What's Your "Face" on Facebook?

This was originally posted on Facebook on Saturday November 7, 2009

I just recently went to Normal, Illinois during Daylight Savings weekend to visit my sister Sarah and her husband, Josh. My parents and I had a wonderful time watching Sarah participate in the community play, The Pajama Game, and walk around Bloomington, Illinois to the University where Josh teaches and visit the small bookstore that has thousands upon thousands of books. I personally enjoyed these activities very much but one activity stuck out from them all, more like an individual. It was the pastor of their church.
Sarah and Josh's church is pretty big but quite homey for me. It was very nice and everyone welcomed us warmly. We had a wonderful time singing the hymns but what really hit me, in my personal life was one of the points in the pastor's message. He started talking about the church and the different ministries in the church and how everyone of them make up the church, from what I recall correctly. Now, he gave an illustration that hit me like a ton of bricks. It regarded Facebook. He talked about how you can have a Facebook and put anything you want on there. Old friends may look at your profile and say, "Hey! That Sam Stone is a really good looking guy! God has really blessed him so much!" But in reality, just for example, of course, I am involved in a lot of things that a Christian shouldn't be involved in: drinking, looking at pornography, living an immoral lifestyle, breaking the law, etc. But the old friend just sees my profile. Oh, I post bible verses ALL the time on my status! It must make me so much "holier" than EVERYONE else, does it not? Of course not! All Facebook is is a facade. A "cover up" of what some people really are. That is what really hit me the hardest. I was accused so much of posting things on my status that were true, yes, but was I living them? Of course not! I was involved in a lot of things that I should have never gotten myself involved in! My devotions for last Saturday, which was the day before the Sunday I heard this message, that I read about being a witness in my devotions.
Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 about being a witness and we must always be sharing the Gospel with the unsaved:

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

This really hit me hard: I looked at Facebook before the pastor spoke on it and realized I have been so hypocritical. I have posted things on here that were true, yes, but I did just the opposite. I didn't trust God fully, I didn't read my bible, I wasn't doing this or that. I felt so nasty inside! And then, this pastor gave an illustration on Facebook and how it is a huge factor in witnessing. My "face" on Facebook is not as it should be. I am not perfect but praise God I am getting things right. I am not posting this to be hypocritical; I am posting this for people like you who read this to think the next time you post a comment, the next time you put something "inappropriate" on your "links" or "video" page.

In I Peter 3:15, Peter says, "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"

What is that saying? It is saying to be ready to give an account of what you have been or are doing currently! So, when you post something on your status that says, "I totally got wasted last night. HAHA!!" and your unsaved friend says, "What was that all about? I thought you were a Christian?" what would you say? What is your "face" on Facebook?

Sobering, is it not?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lord, I Need You!

Thunderstorms: some people love them, others despise them.
Me, I don't care. I like to watch the lightning but sometimes I just dislike it since I want to go outside and I couldn't since it is now pouring and the particles of electricity grace the sky with their beauty. When our dog, Princess, was still alive, she used to hide in the bathroom/closet/some safe place during thunderstorms that is, until she lost her hearing. During those times, we would do our best to soothe her until the storm passed. We loved her and that is why we did what we did. Then there were those times when we were not home. We always used to comment in the car, especially my Mom, who worried the most yet hated her. Kind of ironic, don't you think? Well it IS ironic. Moving on. When we did get home to her, we usually would find her in a bedroom cowering in fear of the storm. We all would take turns petting her and enjoying her company.
In our Christian walk, we have storms in our lives. Yes, yes, I can imagine you know what is coming. You know I am going to quote the famous Ron Hamilton song, "Lord, I need You." Yep, you guessed right! In Ron Hamilton's song, he states "Sometimes when life seems gentle and blessings flood my way, I turn my gaze away from You and soon forget to pray. But when the sky grows darker and courage turns to fear, my anxious voice cries upward with words you long to hear." We all wonder why we love the blessings, turn our hearts and thoughts away from Him and then He, once again, allows us to slip. We then, of course, repent, get right with the Lord, and then He blesses us yet again, and the cycle starts all over again. I know I am exaggerating but do you see my point?
It frustrates me GREATLY when we stereotype the Christian walk and we EXPECT to fall, we EXPECT to repent, we EXPECT to get a blessing. We always EXPECT! Oh, I'm sorry. That's not how it goes! A famous man in the Bible makes a classic example of trials in our lives and they are not there for evil but rather for good. His name is Job. He was a very humble man, feared the Lord, and of course you know what happened to him and the Lord still blessed him! But obviously, he didn't "curse God and die." He looked to the LORD like he was supposed to in his trial when he didn't deserve one single boil! When he didn't deserve to lose one child! When he didn't deserve to lose one camel or sheep or cow! Not ALL Christians are judged because they did something wrong. God uses the trials in our lives to test us! There is always an escape! I can imagine Job woke up every morning and prayed the prayer, "Lord, please keep my focus on You, O God. Help me to seek you when the sea of life is calm." What does the chorus say in Ron Hamilton's song? "Whether trials COME OR CEASE keep me ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS!!! on my knees! Lord, I need You! Lord, I NEED YOU!"
Ladies and gentlemen, I beg of you, please do not go away from this and say, "Eh, I don't need to pray that. I can just wait." Or, "Yes, I know I need this. I know I have a conviction but I know I will just ignore it in the next month. I want to LOOK all spiritual on Facebook, in public, but in my private time, I am nothing but filthy rags. Nothing has really changed. I just do my devotions to say that I did them and to look good in Youth Group." Even the wisest pastors need to seek His face and pray this prayer! We ALL need the Lord ALL the time!
In closing, I want to say this: no matter what Satan throws at us, there is ALWAYS an escape! 1 Corinthians 10:13 states, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (KJV) Please, once again, look to Him for help in EVERYTHING you do trial or no trial! He MUST MUST MUST be your center focus!
"Lord, help me to remember, I'm weak but You are strong. I cannot sing apart from You, for Lord, You are my song. Although I prone to wander and boast in all I do, Lord, keep my eyes turned upward so I depend on you. Lord, I need You, when the sea of life is calm. O, Lord, I need You, when the wind is blowing strong. Whether trials come or cease, keep me always on my knees! Lord, I need You! Lord, I NEED YOU!"

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Black Stuff That Drips From My Heart

As I was sitting at my computer, I was rubbing the back of my neck and quickly retracted my hand for pain shot through my neck. I felt again and noticed a pimple formed on the back of my neck. Gross, huh? Yeah, I thought that would be your reaction. Now, pimples are natural. They form because of clogged pores. Quick science lesson here from the Science Bank of Sam Stone's Brain....when the pores get clogged with oil and dirt, bacteria and other nasties live in the pores then. They feed on the disgusting literally dead but not so rotten flesh in the pores. The bacteria then form an infection and cause puss to form. That's why when you pop a pimple, not only does puss come out, but also pain! Lot's of pain depending on how many nerve endings there are connected to that part of the body. I.e. the lips/face has a lot of nerve endings because of the actions it does like expressions and eating.

Now that the science lesson is over with, I now present you with my point: when we were not saved, God saw us, naturally, as sinners. Our hearts were dripping with blackness, with sin. Satan was feeding on us just as the bacteria was feeding on the dead flesh in our pores. We were quite disgusting, were we not? I know for me, I can look back at WHAT I was since I was saved at a little later age in my life. I sicken myself just thinking about what I WAS! The Lord, obviously, is so gracious, so kind, so merciful, so generous, so loving! The list goes ON AND ON! "Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised! In the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness! Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion on the side of the North, the city of the great King!" Psalm 48:1-2 KJV

I know we always hear about salvation and sin and the rest of the things that go along with those topics in church all the time. I know for myself there is ALWAYS some salvation/I am a sinner tie-in at that last part of the service in Children's Church. It has become an ever so famous Christian cliche, sadly. This isn't church nor is it supposed to be a cliche! The Almighty, UNCHANGEABLE God gave US, as lowly sinners, salvation! A Saviour! This is supposed to be a fresh reminder to all of you that not only did Jesus Christ come to this earth to save our sorry carcasses but to also tell us of the incredible news about how He is coming back to take us away to Heaven with Him! Look at this as if you are looking at all of this for the first time! Go to bed tonight and SINCERELY thank the Lord God in Heaven for YOUR salvation and for sending HIS ONLY SON to die on the cross and suffer for US! For us ALL!

"Thank you, Lord, for saving MY soul! Thank you, Lord, for making me whole! Thank you, Lord for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and FREE!"

Readers, as you know, I can go on and on and on about this topic. I can branch off and tell about the COUNTLESS attributes of God! However, I will refrain myself from doing so since I wouldn't using my time wisely nor would I be doing well in school because I would be here for hours on end typing! : ) In closing, I want to say, once again, please praise the Lord for your salvation because I promise you this: you will NEVER have a better gift to share with someone than the gift of salvation since it was given to you for free and you are able to lead someone in the direction of receiving that gift for themselves.

Let Him be your "All in All" now, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, next decade....forever. "My portion forever..."

Temple of the Holy Ghost

Disclaimer: As I typed this out, more and more thoughts came into my mind, naturally. I should have written this earlier but NOOOOO!! Of course not! ^_^ So, forgive me since my thoughts may be all over the place just like a little kid swirling his mashed potatoes around on his plate and making Michaelangelo paintings out of it. Like the mashed potatoes, not the plate. Ok. Whatever. SO! Without any further ado, here is my blog post....

The human incredible piece of workmanship by one amazing God. In fact, the ONLY God. ^_^ God is so amazing. Seriously, He really is! I have to watch some *lame* movie about the teenage years for my Developmental Psych class (yes, I am ranting...) and in the video they are discussing how the brain itself flourishes, just like a tree does, in the areas that we keep active, i.e. you draw, write music, or are in school, the areas of the brain that are dedicated to learning, drawing, and music will then grow but areas like speech will lessen but will still be existent. The brain is truly an incredible piece of art! And what an amazing Artist that made it, too!

It is sad, however, that we as Christians corrupt our minds with you guessed it, music, trashy movies, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pride, deceit, theft....yes, even actions just as I have stated do do wonders to the brain in a twisted and sick sort of way. We become numb to the fact that, in reality, lying or pride is just as wrong as smoking or drinking! Lying is a mental drug. Stealing is a mental drug. Smoking is a physical drug in a sense. A narcotic.

So, let me get straight to the point: 1 Corinthians 6:19 CLEARLY states, no matter what version of the Bible, paraphrased OR not, that your body is NOT in any way, shape, or form, yours. Let me quote it for you from the King James...."What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

Hmm......oh, wait...I didn't catch that last part..."...and ye are NOT YOUR OWN?" Oops....*nervous laughter* Uh...yeah. About that....I know for me, I'm thinking, "Boy, am I in trouble!" Countless times have I said things or done things because of "fleshly desires" that I wish I NEVER had done! Oh, and then we give that lame excuse of, "Oh, um...Satan was tempting me SOOOO much that I JUST had to give in to get him off of my back." LAME LAME LAME! So, basically what I am trying to say is this: no matter what we do, we MUST look to God! This statement, sadly, has become such a HUGE cliche in the Christian society it's not even funny! Yet, when we say it, we NEVER do it! Ron Hamilton's song "Lord, I need You" is such a great song talking about how we need God all the time, when the sea of life is calm or when it is raging.

I know I am being bold and almost trying to cover 2 topics all at once but to me, it fits quite well in this category of our bodies being God's. In closing, let me say this: if our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, then why are we not obeying 1 Corinthians 10:31 which states, out of the King James, mind you, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do ALL to the glory of God." If we are God's people and these bodies are not our own, then we need to treat them with respect! Ok. Now, a recap on all that I covered really fast. : )

1. We are living in a shell, but nevertheless, it is still God's creation and we need to treat it right since we are, in a sense, "borrowing" it.

2. Since we are "borrowing" this shell, so to speak, when we are tempted to do something that will harm or potentially destroy us, we need to go to the Creator, our Saviour, the ONE true, living God, and ask for help!

3. 1 Corinthians 10:31 is quite parallel to 6:19 in the sense that if our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, and we are supposed to glorify Him in EVERYTHING we do, then we shouldn't harm our bodies, mentally or physically or emotionally....Ok. Basically not harm ourselves that the harm done on purpose will leave scars in a sense that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives. Make sense? I do hope this does because I don't want to do a recap of a recap of a recap and repeat myself...... : )

Your's truly,