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!