Sunday, December 26, 2010

Two PDF's to look at

I found this website Intimacy with God while doing a web search.

Here are a few PDFs that I thought would be neat to read.

http://www.intimacywithgod.com/idols.pdf
http://www.intimacywithgod.com/devotedtojesus.pdf

The actual website is www.intimacywithgod.com for anyone who is interested in looking.

Hope that everyone is encouraged by these as I am.

Losing Control

 I have stepped into dangerous waters. I've found one of my biggest problems is...control. I want to be in control of my life. God cannot use someone who is in control. He must lead and guide them, but sometimes he allows them to seemingly wander away from him so they can be truly drawn closer. God sometimes uses chaos to do his bidding.


It seems like whenever chaos ensues, we figure just how controlling we are. I speak of myself in this with very much humiliation. I tend to think when things aren't going according to plan..God isn't in control of everything. How easy is it to forget what he has done for us when we have held back from him a key to our salvation. When we are "in control," the world seems sunny to us, life is sweet, and we feel like it is God's will.


 But wait...is it? 


Doesn't God want us to live a happy life? To be free?


But when the chaos comes we get to see the illusions we have allowed ourselves to believe. (that's for another  post though)


And often we feel the chaos that we face in daily life is from the adversary just to withstand us. Could be....don't forget...he must get permission from the Father to tempt, pain,and otherwise try to knock us out of the fight. 




Come deeper with me. 


Trust....to believe. 


The earliest example ironically of a person who lost control of their life and trusted was..Abraham. He was promised that his descendants would be like the sands of the sea. Also, that Abraham and Sarah would have a son that would be the fulfillment of His promise. 


Seemed like things were on the up and up for them both.


But we all know the story. Abraham was told to sacrifice that promise as a lamb on an altar. Wow. Quite the hit to the gut. I'm sure that Abraham didn't leap at this. But we know that in the end, God saw his trust and counted it as righteousness and Issac didn't die. 


An archaic thought. To let go...lose control. To trust that out on the water is Christ in the midst of the storm going on.It's a step towards losing ourself..VERY scary! the most amazing thing is that when we are able to surrender control, we can reach out and touch people. We, like Mother Theresa said, "are only a pencil in a hand."

It's the foolishness that Christ calls wisdom. 




It's not easy, it goes against everything in us.


Even though I can write this post as if I completely understand the concept of letting go...I in no way don't.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Praise is a two edged weapon.

My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long."Psalms 71:8

Often when we fall under attack by the enemy we forget completely about praising God. Some of us (LOL!) tend to turn inward in the attempt to muster up the strength to go on.This is always a mistake (I'm sure most know this!) ,but it is very easy to turn our eyes off of Christ when it seems He is the one inflicting the pain. 

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8-28

But do we REALLY know this? 

I know I don't when I'm in the midst of it all.It seems like all of the problems I go through the biggest tactic the Adversary has is to get me to look at myself. Once he's done that, I do the rest. The doors are opened to him, and I become his tool. The wake of destruction left behind is devastating.  The most humbling thing is that God still loves this being. He leads me away from myself to himself. Then I'm reminded that it isn't about me. It's all about him. 

I 'll borrow an analogy from Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love:Overwhelmed by a Relentless God." If your entire life was compared to a movie, you may get a few seconds. Wouldn't be a waste to say that those few seconds were about you, in which you drew attention to yourself instead of the main actor, Christ? 


Praise brings you out of depression. From experience I can say this. It pulls you up from thinking about what is wrong and reminds you something you, I, and everyone else should but do often forget:


The Enemy cannot do anything while you are praising God but one thing. Distract you. Don't be fooled,you are never suppose to be able to muster things up to fight it. We are to focus on what is important..The One. 


Praise brings joy. It fills you..the effects of it are contagious. 


I like the Darby Translation of this verse. "A joyful heart promoteth healing; but a broken spirit drieth up the bones."Proverbs 17-22


Hope your day is brightened even a little!





Saturday, December 18, 2010

In his Image...

 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." Genesis 1:26

 That is an interesting thought. That we fleshly beings with all our faults and failures could be made in HIS image. The thought that we can stand as examples of  HIM..The one who the mighty Angels of Heaven bow to, the force whose love created all we see. 


"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." Philippians 3:12


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Discouragement....be a kite!

  I have been running into Nehemiah Chapter 4 for many months now. All completely on accident. I did the Open the Bible to a random place thing.  In that chapter the children of Israel are given the support from the king of Babylon to rebuild Jerusalem. The are constantly  harassed by Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod. The enemies of Israel were very angry when they found out the walls of Jerusalem were being erected.


Nehemiah 4:8-12 
8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. 9 But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
 10 Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
 11 Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
 12 Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”


 So many times when we are trying to "build the walls of Jerusalem" aka do the Father's will, we have a massive resistance come against us. I don't remember who said it, but one of the quotes that seem very pertinent is "the amount of resistance you receive is equal to the importance it is." The enemy likes to destroy the "infant"  work. This is a very important stage. If he can destroy your foundation, the city will not stand. For instance; if he can place an irritation, distraction,or other separation between you and a brother/sister..you must realize that you most likely irritating the enemy.  It's should be an absolutely encouragement! Take heart.

 To give an analogy, without the resistance of the wind a kite cannot fly. Plain and simple. The more wind resistance it has, the higher it flies! Without the hand controlling us through the winds, we would get no where though. Pride has no place in this.The thing that would be used to frustrate and discourage us...makes us fly!


Nehemiah 4:13-23
  13 Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14 After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
 15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.
 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
 19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
 21 So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out. 22 At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so they can serve us as guards by night and as workers by day.” 23Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.[c]

It is so easy for me to get frustrated most times,and to become condemning. God fights for us! He is asked by the enemy to "sift" us like he did Peter (Luke 22:31)
That is an AMAZING but scary thought. So my friends...Take heart. Grab your weapons (each other, the armor) and press forward! No matter whether you are "just" going to work, changing diapers, or anything..do it knowing you are building The City of The Most High with your very life.

Remember to be a kite!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A great blog to Follow

 "Find your Wings" is by Austin Park. He is working with I-TEC, Steve Saint's(son of martyred Nate Saint) organization. He needs all the prayer he can get and support from anyone who can help him. This is an awesome blog to follow. As many people that can afford supporting him should!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Something to look to

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another. He seeks to persuade people to give all to his Lord and asks no portion or share for himself. He delights not to be honored but to see his Savior glorified in the eyes of men. His joy is to see his Lord promoted and himself neglected. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and overserious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens. He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none, he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
. ~ A.W. Tozer

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Gavel.

  Here is a thought. When was the last time you judged someone? When you looked down at a homosexual? When you looked down on someone for sinning in an area you felt God could not forgive? I know I have. It is also easy to look down on those who do judge.

Christ did not judge the adulteress woman. In fact, he told those who would have her stoned (as is the custom in Jewish history) that the one without sin could cast the first stone. No one could. But also how easy is it to say the  Pharisees were evil people. If you look back in history, they saved Israel from a lot of idolatry. Judas Maccabees stood up for what was the truth then.

What got me thinking about this controversial  subject is a movie entitled "To Save A Life."   In it, a guy named Jake learned how to care for the un-lovely of this world. I could not do this movie justice. Anyways, think about it. Christ did not hang around with the "Godly." He fellowshipped with revolutionaries, prostitutes, thieves who he died beside, fishermen (one in particular named Peter),tax collectors who people considered traitors, and the list goes on. the point is...I am too "godly" for Christ.

I in particular have judged my family, friends (especially best friends), as people who do sin as  if I myself am God. He commanded me as a follower of Christ( a Christian by what the world calls today)  to love my enemies, bless those who speak bad about me...but instead, I judge people. This is hatred. James Heinrich Arnold wrote "a man who admonishes(corrects) his brother without love is a murderer.

Also, I judge God himself. I ask him why things in my life have happened to me. Why he lets people die lonely. In the movie I heard a thought that I've heard before, but it never hit me so hard. Why do I let people become lonely? Young people today cling to Gandhi's words "Be the change you want to see in the world."

Can you imagine in the mind of the prodigal son's dad? He did not judge his son. He ran to him and embraced him. Though the son hurt him, he loved his son. I cannot judge anyone. I pray Christ will make his love enter me. 

WE ARE TO LOVE. GOD DOES LOVE EVERYONE. HIS JUSTICE IS PURE.

(Sorry this post is written so raw, I didn't know how else to write it)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The pain that comes from loving

I used most of this post from a teaching I got to listen to this past Wednesday.

    More often than not..we face pain in our lives.I'm not talking about scraping yourself up. It's the pain we all face as we start to lose ourselves.. It means our flesh is still alive. Some have built a "tolerance" to this pain. Others numb themselves for many years and end up with a tall wave of pain or regret that can sometimes overwhelm us.The Father sends us through pain to make us more like his son. Learning to love like Christ does... IS HARD! I don't think that anyone has it easy(I could be wrong! :-) )

To love like he does (and what a love it is!) we WILL have people hate us, people we are close to hurt us, and The Father will seemingly turn his back on us. When we get to the point in which in the midst of all of the pain we  feel we can say "Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit" just like Christ did, we give up our "rights," sense of justice, and feel the love Christ has.

 Weeping may last for the night,but a shout of joy shall come in the morning- Psalm 30:5


He has a purpose for every dot and tiddle that you experience. We may not know how God will use us, but his will is done. 







Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The three relationships..

 This isn't a new  idea but it seemed like a good idea to post on. 


In our walk with Christ, we have three different stages of relationship: stranger, friend,and beloved. Each of these have a different intimacy level, different pains and trials we go through, and deeper joys as we draw closer to Christ. This is one of my thoughts, not necessarily a fact with everyone.




First, we enter the stranger phase with Christ.It is also the point we are servants.This is like being in the outer courts. We only hear what is going on inside. This is sometimes the point we hear about Him, but not always have much experience ourselves. In this stage we are often drawn to Christ fort different reasons. Some for curiosity,hope in a hard time, or many other reasons. We aren't really close to Christ and it is sometimes easy just to walk away. But if we stay, he calls us to become friends.




I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my father. --John 15:15
In the friend stage, we are called to really hear him for ourselves. It is like when the priest entered the inner courts. We get to partake of the feast of his bounty.He speaks to us like he did the disciples. The hardships we go through are like that of the disciples. We must leave our own lives and follow. We often get discouraged because we may have to leave our family and friends to do so. This stage is probably one of great joy and like climbing a  spiritual mountain as well. Then after a while we are thrown into the furnace like gold to be purified....into lovers. 


Into the gems of his delight.As the beloved we lose ourselves. All we are is a reflection of the Lover of All. The pain of leaving his side is absolutely unbearable. This place is both frightening and exciting at the same time. Frightening since we are totally exposed. Exciting because we are exposed to the one who really loves. It is the Holy of Holies to be a beloved. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two plants

Not my very best poem, but it is a rough draft.


Two Plants
There was a seed planted in my heart
by the great King of heaven,

This seed was to change everything
this seed was the Love of Christ
not like any human love
It began to grow into a seedling,
It's care was not like any other plant
It seemed abused by others
So I hid it.
As this happened a new seed
began to grow
one of bitterness
It seemed very easy to feed
In time
Fed me
But with it growing
The other suffered,
As my life seemed to shrivel
from the poison of bitterness
I cried out to the King.
He told me
 To remove this plant
will hurt quite a lot
For it's roots had wrapped my heart.
It would take every ounce of strength
to kill it....
But with it's death the other would bloom.

Random story..:-)

When I was younger, my dad told me a story that will stick with me the rest of my life. 

The story is about a boy who really wanted to please his father. One day, when his dad told him to go clean his room, he told his dad "I love you Daddy." His dad replied "I love you too, now please go clean your room." So the son, thinking he would show how much he loved his dad, went and washed his dad's new car. The problem was, he left the windows down, soaking the leather seats. Which of course ruined the seats.

Crickets are crunchy!

This post was inspired by a friend.They posted a YouTube  link on Facebook from a youth pastor who wanted to prove proclaiming Christ was easier than eating crickets. Here is the link, in case you wanted to see what she posted http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOr4OEPDtnU.

Anyways, that thought brought an idea to me. How often do I allow my self to "eat crickets" instead of living out a God-fearing life? I did eat a live one once... not to gross anyone out. It definitely seems like "eating crickets" can be easier. I mean, there's our pride...insecurities....desires. Not to say wanting to do something great is a bad thing. As long as it does not get in the way of what is in front of you right now.  Doing what we want can be so simple sometimes...doing God's will takes a daily commitment to follow when it it hard.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New look

I decided to do a template change, so I'll be trying to find one that'll best fit. It has almost been a year since this blog was started. I can tell you that God has done many things in everyone that I know. Most of them are absolutely amazing. My prayer for this year is that he would continue what he is doing in my life, making others more important to me than even myself. Because honestly, I love myself. It makes a sort of nausea to hit my stomach how true this is.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sometimes it's just another day

 Ever feel that "it's just another day" feeling? I believe some do at least, including me. But the truth is...IT IS NOT! This day was created for a purpose. Pretty obvious. But not everyone feels like it is all that important. Let me illustrate my point a little:

For two days now I have been waking up at 3:30. No real explanation, no alarm. Yesterday I woke up and fell back to sleep ten minutes later. Didn't think too much on it till about 2:00 yesterday when a text from our Africa travelers came out. People had gotten evicted from their homes and people who the RCV knew got shot. Not our travelers, but family members of people who were part of the church over there. We prayed for everyone  that was affected yesterday, but I could not help but realize that I was awakened that morning 10:30 am Africa time. It was no accident. 

Each day has a purpose. Each person we meet is special to the Father, no matter who they are. EVERYONE. Period. This day we are given is for the glorification of the one who sent his son to die for us to seal his covenant between us and Him. It is an incredible day whether it is a long and hard or short and easy. Though it may be very easy to forget, it is His day. 

Like the saying/children's song goes(which my Dad used to wake me up every morning singing when I was a lot younger): This is the day the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.


I really hope that I remember that for the rest of eternity. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

A neat poem

"If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." 
-- William Penn




This poem is one of my favorites. It was given to me by a friend about 4 years ago when I was struggling to find God. It is a great definition of what a person who lives for Christ is like. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dedication to God

 This thought has been rattling in my head for a while now, so I thought it a good time to share it to people. I've been thinking on how we are called "The Bride."  I have also been  thinking about how our relationship with Christ could be compared to the marriage in our lives. Christ proposed to us with his death on the cross. His love is shown by his dedication to us. He wants a bride who can follow him as he goes up to the "High Places." (A reference from Hannah Hurnard's book Hind's feet on High Places) He allows us to  dedicate our lives to him. He is a jealous Groom. If anything steals our attention, he acts on it to get  our attention back. No matter the cost. Like a Father that disciplines his child only to draw that one closer to himself, Christ draws us back to him. In some cases, some brothers and sisters get to show such extreme devotion that they truly lay their lives down for him. These people are often called "martyrs."  This group of people have been found worthy to show their love and in the end, get the ultimate prize. And no, the ultimate prize is not heaven. It is Christ. They get to be with Love itself. No more waiting to see the face of their Beloved. That is something to envy. What if everything we did truly reflected our love for our Beloved by loving him in others? I hope this post has made you think a little.

This is another awesome video by Francis Chan.....Rightly named!

Francis Chan- " I'm in Love"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Becoming Needy

 How often do you think that everything in  your life is going how you would like it? You feel God is in control right? That you are in perfect peace with The Creator?

Or

Does it seem that your entire life seems to be on the verge of crashing down on you? That your good intentions seem to cause pain to others, and sometimes end up causing an inhibition of growth in your friends and family?


I tend to like the first option. To feel like you are always in God's will, always encouraging people, and you feel good about yourself. I mean, who doesn't like to be liked, have joy all the time, and to be full of life?

It makes you love to be a Christian.

But as we look at the life of Christ's disciples, we see that no one who follows the Father ever seem to have any life in this world. Peter went from being a fisherman to a "fisher of men (which wasn't a popular job as we can see in Acts)" and also denied the very one he swore under oath to protect, Paul became so hated that he was flogged multiple times, shipwrecked, and killed for his faith. Doesn't seem like a very fulfilling life, now does it?

Then there is God. He used Peter's experience in denying Him to cause Peter to learn to deny his own strength in himself. How often do I deny my own self and not know if I do love Christ and can only answer
Him  "only you know." That is when we feel the power of His love, when we are weak in ourselves.

He is our strength and help in hard times.

God  used Paul's experience before he ever  knew Christ. He made a way for Paul to really fear himself. He caused a major stir in everyone when he became one of the very people he persecuted. Paul mentioned later to people that were trying to become perfected in the flesh that he was. I mean, he did have everything before he became a disciple of the Way. He was highly respected by Romans and many Jews alike. He was good in the eyes of man. He'd  be the guy who thinks that he is doing God's work, zealous to do what he thinks is of God.....

Then, FLASH!

 The very person he thinks that he is serving he finds out that he is persecuting. I just wrote this  paragraph and automatically flashed back to my past. I was a "zealous" servant of God, looked good in many people's eyes(LOL),and went through an experience that I  thought made me a good person who God was proud of. Then, one day, I woke up to find that all of my zeal was gone, my love for others "mysteriously" disappeared, and I saw a little of the person who I was. He then chose to spread his cloak of Love over me.

The feeling of him is like no other thing. There is no human word to explain it. Now outside of Him, there is no life.

He should be our focus everyday.

I over heard a good friend say to someone the other day, "Don't ask if God will let you do something, ask if it would be pleasing to Him."

Thank you so much Shammah.


 I hope that that would be true of all of us. 




Friday, July 23, 2010

Our purpose


I'm pretty full tonight. I just got through my first (of this year) "two people meeting" an hour ago. It was very enlightening. The facts don't matter of how I got there, the exciting thing is what I got out of it.
  
  First of all, I wanted to share something I've been thinking about lately.I have been wearing a ring on my wedding finger for about a week now. People ask me why, but until now I've held out. The ring helps remind me that the relationship that Christ started with me (others as well) is like a marriage. I am unmarried by the world's standards, but I'm joined to Christ in the standards that really count. I'm reminded to keep my thoughts about how I can please him. It's a radical idea, but big changes  are caused by little steps.

Anyways, back to what I learned. I was reminded how Christ called us not to live how we want to, do what ever we dream of, or even feel happy all of the time. He wants to totally destroy our lives, make us ask for death, and to hunger for him. When we truly are emptied of our reputations, pride,and emotional stabilities (for myself) he pours himself into us. We then find out that all of our pain,struggles, and hard times are for one thing. To rid us of everything but him. We are become like a child. The more time we spend with him, the more we are fulfilled. Separation becomes our fear. He becomes our all in all and we desire nothing else. Even in our low times, he is right there. It is such an amazing God we serve!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Called to live

If today were your last day, what would you say that you did with the life you were given? Did you truly live like God intended you to or did you just follow the crowd? A Francis Chan quote I have really come to like is : "God  is a creator, not a duplicator." Too many times I try to be this incredible person, I believe that I need to act a certain way, be just like so-and-so, and have to live just like the person I admire(Which happens to be Hudson Taylor). I'm not saying that having heroes is a bad thing at all. We all need to feel encouraged when we hear about people  who lived their lives for Christ alone.But lest we forget, the only way they were able to do what they did was though Christ. Hudson Taylor almost died early on in his life. The only way he survived was by a miracle of God. Can any of us say that we have that much faith? That we give up the security of being healthy to serve him? I can say I want to live a radical life, but will I live radically for Christ where I am? Sometimes we can forget that we were made for God's purpose, not our own. We get caught up in what we want to do for Christ with our life and end up missing the mission field in our own lives. God calls us not to live in the mountains but to bring joy down to the Valley of Despair. I saw a movie about a lady named Dorothy Day this past weekend. She started out wanting to further her and others agendas through political marches.She got introduced to the work of Christ through a Catholic nun. The nun ran a food kitchen for the poor. Dorothy saw that this lady was not getting anything out of the deal,so she got curious. To make a long story short, Dorothy made a place for the poor in her own  house. She eventually got so stressed with everything, so she went to her church and cried out to God. She wanted to see Christ in the people she served, just like Christ said "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me." She eventually did. Her love for those people is a shining light for all. Her ministry was called The Catholic workers. How often do we see Christ at our doorstep? In our homes? Inside our brothers and sisters? Let us live each day as our calling. We don't have to wait for God to "call us" to missions, he set us in one. It's called daily life.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A great song/ thought for today!

Watch this video before continuing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4xp6ygQoAo&feature=related




I could not finish this song without tears. It is a prayer of longing for those who are in love with Christ. For those who tend to go inward with their thoughts, this song is cleansing! It stirs up the inward parts(unless you are faking it of course). It may not affect you the same way that it did me, but the words are very deep. Everyone who really is a disciple/lover of Christ should be able to hear the words and think about them.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Obsessed by God

Can you honestly say that the consideration of God fills every waking thought? I know that I can't. I tend to have things that are more important than God. Things that feel my day and push me further away from God. One of them is how much time I spend on the computer each day (Meaning this won't be a long post.).I consider time with God to be a chore. It is something I do to keep my day going well, to fulfill some "quota,"or only when I truly need something. Getting stuck in doing just enough is like what the Jews did with the law. We tend to strive to give God our "leftovers" in the words of Francis Chan. We give God only whats required, then wonder why we feel so empty of the Spirit. The goal of Christ was to call us higher. We can never give enough, be humble enough, or praise him enough to satisfy him. He wants our all. He wants us to be so obsessed with him that we have to trust in him for our daily necessities. when Christ called his disciples, he told them not to go back for supplies for their trip. No extra money, tunic,or walking staff. This type of devotion caused the disciple to be intimate with God. He was forced to trust that the Lord would provide. In the story of Abraham, he had to rely on the fact that God would provide. What would have been like if Abraham had killed his son only to be mocked by others for having faith? Are we so afraid to have faith that God will provide for all of our needs? I know I have many times. When hard situations arise, I tend to get really anxious, forgetting what Christ has done for all who had faith in him before me. Becoming obsessed with God means letting go of all our anxieties and focusing on him, making every experience we go through cause us to want him more, to fall madly in  love with him. Like we were meant to do.I pray that he would do this in me. He is our provider and we are his delight.When you fall in love, like everyone knows, you don't need to be reminded to think about someone, they are on your mind all the time. You will no longer serve God because you have to, but because you are so deeply in love that not serving him would be crazy.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Awesomeness of our Creator.








Psalms 19:1-4: For the choir director: A psalm of David. The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.( NLT)

These verses are so incredible. How true they speak of our Father's work. To the conscious mind, we may sometimes think,  "Oh thats a neat sun-set" or "Wow that storm sure made things green,"  but when do we really stop to awe at God's creation?

Here's two awesome videos from Francis Chan  to better explain my point.

Recently I've been really struggling to grasp a relationship with God. 

   What should I expect? How does it happen? Why did He choose me?

 I don't have answers for these questions yet, because I'm new, but I thought they would help inspire a radical change in mindset. The one thing I can say about becoming intimate with Christ is: It is not easy.  The closer you get, the more you are exposed. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, you become naked in front of  the throne of God. It is an embarrassing time. All your faults, even the ones you believed had disappeared, come  to the light. Most of the time, the light that reveals you is the actions of a friend. Someone can be short with you, treat you unfairly, or defile your justice. Then it is all over. What you didn't realize is that the closer the m Father drew to you the more obliterated the very shadows that your faults hide in disappear. Like I said, embarrassing. No matter what you have done or how sincere you were at the time you realize the truth: 

I AM EVIL.

For some people (LOL...like me), we have hidden for so long, that when we are revealed, we shun from the light. We think we are too far gone for God to want to deal with us, so we feel we were better not  knowing how we are. Our only remedy is to look at his face and cling to him. Instead of pushing away in the  pain of the moment, draw closer to Him. But don't worry if you haven't experienced the brightness yet, God  reveals more the closer we get to becoming his Beloved. He allows certain intensities of light in our life at a time, sometimes just more than what seems bearable.

I'm going try something new ....

I have started listening to the audio book Crazy Love, Overwhelmed by a Relentless God  by Francis Chan. I want about to see if I can blog about this book a little. Hopefully it will be an inspiring journey we can share. 


P.S. The idea to get this book came from reading Dossi Park's blog one day. I've also viewed a couple of his (Francis Chan's) teachings, which I thought were INCREDIBLE! 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Not in this world you are not.

Today I watched a preview for the new Narnia movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I've  already read all the books and have enjoyed the previous two movies. anyways, in the beginning of the  preview, you see Edmund Pevensie trying to sign up for the Royal Guard. He does not think that he is a no body, for in
Narnia, he was and is a king. But not in England. A king in Narnia is not one in the human world. This idea is true for disciples as well. C.S. Lewis wrote his books with thoughts like this.

We are not children of this world. Our Father's kingdom is of another realm,lest we soon forget. People of this current place we live in will make us think that this is it. That we are a no body, there is no battle among heaven and the powers of darkness in this world, and most importantly, that God cannot exist. This is a lie from our adversary. Many disciples know this, but we all can and will get our guard down. The adversary wants us to believe that our fellow brothers and sisters are just out for themselves and that we are alone in our struggles.

A perfect example of this is:

This past week I've been bombarded left and right by thoughts from the past. Things that I didn't think got
handled right at the time, offenses that I supposedly let go of, and old offenses that I seemed to never get rid
of, just stuffed it down inside. On the way home from work today, I got to talk a little about some of the
things eating at me with John Bob, one of my good friends. I truly felt like I was going to eek on
everyone.(which I may have, I am sorry to all those affected) John bob reminded me that all those thoughts
were brought by the accuser of the brethren, and that the biggest weapon he has right now is to turn us against
each other in our minds, forgetting the real battle. And believe me,it is hard once you are at this place to turn back around. sometimes it's painful to look back on the "wake" you left  behind when you were in that state of
mind.Our job is to  keep our eyes fixed on him. Every time we look away, we can become dismayed by the struggles around us. When our eyes are focused on him, we can do anything! We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, children of his promise sent here to represent him.Let us never forget that.

  "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1Jo 2:15)

"And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Rom 12:2)




























Long live Aslan!









Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The widow and the Samaritan

 I was listening to a song that John Bob and Jeff  wrote called "Two copper coins" yesterday and it gave me inspiration for this blog post. First of all, a question. What does the Samaritan man and the widow who gave the two small coins have in common? I thought about this all day, coming to the conclusion that they both gave something that they did not own. The Samaritan man devoted his time to the man on the road, and the woman gave all she had in those two coins. The other comparison I came to was the Priest/scribe and the rich men. The priest and the scribe were too busy and too important to stop and help. The rich men gave only for the glory of getting praise for the huge amount they gave. Are we giving to get praise from men? Or is Christ our reward?  And is our life just about those planned moments we have with God, or is our entire life devoted to seeking him in all of life; whether it is working alongside your brother and sister or even shopping at Wal-mart. Believe me, I know how nonspiritual it can seem doing practical things. But Christ said that we must be faithful in the little things to ever even hope to do huge things. That is amazing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

my beautiful sister.



neat poem

"A cup of sweet water could never spill a drop of bitter water, no matter how heavily it was jolted." Amy Carmichael

Monday, May 10, 2010

Missing Him

"I slept, but my heart was awake,
when I heard my lover knocking and calling:
“Open to me, my treasure, my darling,
my dove, my perfect one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night.”
But I responded,
“I have taken off my robe.
Should I get dressed again?
I have washed my feet.
Should I get them soiled?”
My lover tried to unlatch the door,
and my heart thrilled within me.
I jumped up to open the door for my love,
and my hands dripped with perfume.
My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh
as I pulled back the bolt.
I opened to my lover,
but he was gone!
My heart sank.
I searched for him
but could not find him anywhere.
I called to him,
but there was no reply."     - Song of Solomon 5:2-6

For each disciple, the journey often takes different routes, but for anyone who seeks to fall in love with Christ, in the intimate way, we find that often, when he calls,we have something we want to do and we reply "I have taken off my robe.Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?” Just like the woman in the story, we give excuses why we cannot answer the call. When we hear him trying to enter our heart, as we try to let him in, he seems to disappear. We are left with the feeling that we were abandoned. Like Christ on the cross, we ask "My God why have you forsaken me?" This experience draws us closer to the  lover of our soul. It also teaches us to answer him quicker. Christ is multi-dimensional. When we think we know why he allows something to happen to us, and even if we see a small benefit a little later down the road, he uses the experience for many other reasons. The thought that comes to mind, is that the will of God is like a diamond, when you look at one side,you don't see the entire gem; you must turn it around in your hand and look at each facet. That is the way God shows us the effects of how our obedience, suffering, and self-denying actions effect others and even our own life.  He wants to be near us, and longs to make us just like him. Such love he has for us!




Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A little encouragement

I heard an old Michael Card song today that really struck me,so I had to write this here. It really encouraged me today.It might not mean as much to you, but I hope everyone can get something from it if God wants them too.

Psalm 139


- LORD, You have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I stand up;

You understand my thoughts from far away.

You observe my travels and my rest;

You are aware of all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue,

You know all about it, LORD.

You have encircled me;

You have placed Your hand on me.



[This] extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.

It is lofty; I am unable to [reach] it.



Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?



If I go up to heaven, You are there;

if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.

If I live at the eastern horizon

[or] settle at the western limits,

even there Your hand will lead me;

Your right hand will hold on to me.



If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me,

and the light around me will become night" —



even the darkness is not dark to You.

The night shines like the day;

darkness and light are alike to You.

For it was You who created my inward parts;



I will praise You,

because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful,

and I know [this] very well.

My bones were not hidden from You

when I was made in secret,

when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Basics

 I have recently found that it is hard to do the basic things everyday. Between college and home life, both seem to fight for dominance, leaving me no time for getting close to God. Or so I thought. I feel like lately, everything in all of the experiences have been  inundated by Christ, maybe not religion, but the chance to live out what I believe. Which is the hardest part about being a disciple. You can say " I believe" when it  is easy, but when hard times come, and you lose sight of your creator, you (or I) become with unbelief. Doing what you believe in those hard times strengthens your faith. So it is by "faith through our works" that Christ is with us. We,like a bride in Song of Songs must go through the path. He makes us walk toward him, though we fall, he does not condemn us,and  even when we turn back, he calls us to walk toward him. He also walks beside us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Passage story

It's been a long time since I've written, so I will have a little to write tonight. About a week ago, my youngest brother had his passage (WOW! It shakes me every time I think about it!) For those who are following this blog that don't know what a passage is; it is when we acknowledge that a young person has started being a man  or woman in Christ. We usually celebrate by holding a day in which we give portions of what God has given us in our lives(usually this means a story or analogy) to help the young person in their life. Anyways, my youngest brother Brandon and his friend Noah had their "passage" last Saturday. We started it out by having a nature walk "Audubon style." We learned a lot about nature in that hour-and-a-half.  Then, for the passage, we went to a restaurant in Holly Springs, Mississippi called "Anne's" (This was a great place to eat as well). Most of what we gave was Brandon is a "light-bearer" ( might have something to do with his videography) and that Noah is a safe place. To better explain this, I'll tell my gift to both of them. To Brandon, I gave a torch stand. I said this represents him. I then put the actual torch in it and said " God has filled you with his life through your experiences." When I gave him the oil for the torch, I made him see that it contained lemon grass. This was a representation of the "bitter experiences" that cause us to draw closer to Christ. It also keeps the "spiritual mosquitoes" from draining our life essence. Then, because we were inside and I couldn't light it, I just told him that God sent a spark into him that ignited his heart on fire for God. Also, that he must remember that he is the stand, nothing of this light is "his" he is just the vessel. Just a side note, before this night he was just a brother, as the passage went on, he slipped his way into my selfish heart. I can honestly say that I truly love him now. I don't know for sure what God has in store for him, but I hope that I can boost him up a little. To Noah I gave a cedar bird house. I told him that like the bird house, he gives shelter  to those who are injured spiritually as well as his friends. The cedar aroma  represents the love of Christ that  leaks from his very being. Noah is a great friend, whenever he sees someone looking down, he does what he can to lift their spirits. Both are awesome men, I look forward to the adventures they will have.Praise to the King, who brings us up to his highest.

P.s. Sorry, no pictures yet!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What if you could only have a sample of a feast?

What if you were told you could have this awesome food, but the catch was, you have to eat the same thing everyday? It's like the  most common way of bringing people to Jesus. Which in fact, was my first step towards Christ.You are approached by a believer, they "introduce" you to Christ, and leave you to fight off the legions that would destroy the seed that God might have planted in you. I feel like there tends to be almost no accountability between those new to the faith and others. It's like getting a sample at a store, you taste only a little of the goodness, but do not know the way to the feast.You need others who can be a part of your walk with Christ. That causes us to partake of the abundance of God's feast. It is the fuel our spirit needs to be nourished and continue to bring us closer to our King. That's why we cannot do this alone.


As in Michael Card's lyrics:


Come to the table He's prepared for you
The bread of forgiveness, the wine of release
Come to the table and sit down beside Him
The Savior wants you to join in the feast





Christ wants his children to come to the feast. He needs us to be his vessels of the Good News. Beyond reading out of the Bible, praying, and quality time with him. We need to be changed by him to bear his Son in us, not just in our hearts, but to take control of our entire lives. May this be so!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

He gave it all up

Hello again, Just doing a bit of homework and thought I'd write something on here. God is so good to us! Not only did he give his life for us, he also gave up being glorified on this earth. He could have had WHATEVER he wanted. Just a snap of his fingers. Also he said nothing for many years, he entered the temple at a young age but did not dominate us. He stood for his Father, so that we could call him Father as well. While all of his friends were probably moving on with life, becoming rabbi apprentices and having families, he became like his earthly dad, Joseph. He became skilled at carpentry, but his heart probably burned for his fathers will. Christ was not only interested in God's will but also his timing. After those many years, he became baptized as an example for us. He at first had many followers, but his purpose was not for popularity. When the way he really was showed itself, people ran. Many were offended by the one who had come to save them from  their sin and show them a new way. Even those who stayed were "thrown for a loop" if you will. All Peter could say is "We would leave, but who else has the words of life?" Even those who followed him and were his disciples were totally confused by his actions. He was even betrayed by one of his closest friends. Yet he did not lash out at them.  I'm skipping around a little, so please bare with  me. He came to serve us, being the Highest of All Kings. He stooped so low as to wash the very feet of men and to die for those he was cursed by. I truly think this was and is radical love. He had the whole world, "Had his life before him" and he died fairly young for a creature that had been under the dominion of the Adversary. He bought us and he claims his Bride for himself.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The "closer" we get to God, the more we need him. And do I ever need Him!

Well, I failed pretty bad today. I wanted to smile all day, never made it very far. I really hope that tomorrow will be different. I am really learning that wanting to become closer to God is only the first step. It is not easy...but hey, He never said it was going to be. I don't want to sound spiritual, but I think things are never as we see it. The "closer" we get, the more we need him. And do I ever need him!  Can't really say that I've felt the way I have but twice before this. I keep getting told, "God wants to love you." I guess I've never really thought that he could love more. But enough about me. I don't know if anyone  has had something really awesome happen in their life (Who hasn't?!?!), but it would be great for people to post on this blog. Thats what this blog was supposed be about. NOT ME ! PLEASE IF YOU READ THIS, WRITE SOMETHING!  It would be so incredible and highly encouraging.

 Thank you,
Benjamyn

Monday, February 8, 2010

:)

I really don't know what to write tonight. We had a neat meeting tonight with all the young/semi-young adults. I felt blessed that God canceled school for me tonight. I don't feel enthusiastic about it right now, but I'm sure it could change in the morning. I also had a few more friends move into the cabin I live in (one of which, I feel this is a second chance for me to really learn to love). Both of them are extraordinary people. Everyone in the house I live in has some unique aspect about them. It doesn't always feel like I know what to do, so I'm asking God to help me just smile more. I feel like tomorrow, I will try this. It's so incredible to be part of a place where you CAN get intimate with God by  just being yourself and letting God do the rest. THAT is easier said than done.

:)LOL :)
Well I'm keeping people up,so I will bid you all good night.

....Hope renewed....even a little..

Friday, January 29, 2010

Awoken from a deep sleep.

Ever felt like you were missing something in your life? I am currently experiencing  this very thing. I started school last week, and have been running blind lately. I cannot tell you much more other than that I wake up some nights out of a dead-sleep feeling very weird. I truly hope none of this is complaining! I guess this is the best time to seek God the most. There is no way that that what's happening is an accident. It is God's hand on my life. I love to understand too much of what he is doing, that I don't trust him out of blind faith. This is the same faith that all disciples of Christ must have. Being with the people of God is for me like being raised from the dead(In theory). First, you of course, are DEAD. No question about that. You hear a voice that tells you to wake up. You have this weird feeling as hands touch your heart, all of a sudden they squeeze. Your heart slowly starts,but one problem, no life blood. You feel empty. The voice then connects a itself to you, and you start to feel... warmth. All of your organs start to work, but you GASP....No Air! Then as if on cue, the voice breathes in your lungs. As you try to wake up you realize that you can't. Your  eyes refuse to open. And the voice says "In time." "Just be patient, you need help." You feel hands touch your eyelids..then all of a sudden, a blinding light floods your pupils. When your eyes adjust, You see not one face, but MANY! This is how it has been for me. It takes the hands of Christ through brothers and sisters around me to bring me to life. They are how God reaches this living creature called Benjamyn. Well hope this made sense and was not complaining.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wow moment



I just started my first class at University of Tennessee(Selmer branch) tonight. I really could not believe I was there to tell you the truth. Nothing in me should have had the nerve to go through with enrolling. I truly know that it was God that helped me to be able to get everything together for my registration. I mean, I was within a week of not being able to go  because I would have missed the deadline. But, since a friend (Amy Pennington) told me that school started January 19th vs. my thought of sometime in March, I made it. My class tonight was Visual Art,which is amazing in it's self, but not half as much as having a friend in that class with me! I got to see Ken S. in my class tonight, so I knew God was backing me up. I am very happy that I am able to do things with God's people. If tomorrow brings me losing my grant or anything else God may send, I feel that it would be his will. For the moment, I really enjoy having this opportunity to expand my knowledge and to hopefully become clay in the Potter's hands with my direction towards a medical field.

I really hope that I can pass this experience on to others. God wants to use us for his purpose, but he needs us to give up hope that we can do it for him and to know that the only way God uses us is if we allow ourselves to be directed by him. He allows us to be a tool in his work, for he is the hands we need to move at all! Just like Mother Theresa stated " I am only a pencil in the hand of Christ." I  hope to remember that for years to come. For it is not what we can do for Christ, but what he does through us and in us that matters most in his kingdom.That's my thoughts for tonight, I hope it didn't sound too lofty....because God really shows the fruit the day we least expect the test."POP QUIZ!" LOL...I hope that helped lighten it up a little!:-)