Monday, September 20, 2010

I've Moved!

So I moved today to Wordpress. Sad I know, but it was time for me to make a switch to something else. I hope you will still follow me over than and stay in touch. My new blog address is:

and the link to my latest blog post is:

Hope to see everyone there!

Much Love,
Publish Post

Friday, August 6, 2010

Love is the Answer

Leviticus 19:18 “" 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
Leviticus 19:34 “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As Political As I’ll Get

The “Tense” posts are going to be continued, but I had a topic laid on my heart recently that I felt needed to be said.  Some say that this is a no brainer, others  will fight you on this until the day they die. I feel it should be said regardless. It’s Romans 13:1-2.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A “Tense” Conversation…

It seems every time someone mentions the word theology, people flinch. It’s the stuff of dry academia and arm-chair scholars. I like to think differently. The fact is whether you are pure hearted, Christ-follower or a die-hard atheist, in the end you mess around with theology. As it is the study of God. So for the Christ-follower, he would have a library of thoughts and opinions on theology. The atheist theology is simple: there is no God. That is his study of God. Theology is dealt with by everyone and is needed for a Christian to grow closer and understand their Creator in greater depth. Which is why I hope to present you with a bit of it over the next three posts. Today, Justification.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Prayer to Suffer, Pt. 2

Welcome back, I left on a real depressing note last week and I did that with a purpose. I’m hoping that purpose was fulfilled, that is to let it sink in. To most of the world, that’s not a depressing statistic. That is life. It’s a life Jesus has called us to reach out to. To try to do all we can for this broken world, for God’s glory. Let’s look at some scripture.
Luke 12:33
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
Luke 14:13-14
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
1 John 3:17-18
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth."
James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quick Update and a Random Thought

For the record, I’m not done with the Prayer to Suffer series. It’s just going to take a bit of time to get around to ha. I wanted to give those of you wondering why I haven’t been so quick to write as of late, an idea of what I’ve been up to.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prayer to Suffer, Pt. 1

I have an optimistic vision for the future of the Church. The youth are rising up and preparing to take their place in the leadership. They are no longer satisfied with this thing we’ve made, this hypocrisy. They are longing for the gritty, honest, hard, sold-out truth.
They are looking to throw aside rituals, the politics, the rules, all the baggage, even themselves to chase with full abandonment, the new dream. The Christian Dream.
This generation has seen where the American Dream has led Christianity and they are done with it. Instead, they want to give up on that manifesto and seek biblical truth and biblical driven dream that makes up a true Christ-follower. They are believing whole heartedly that they are to die to themselves, carry their crosses and seek God above all else.  They want Jesus and only Jesus. None of the “fluff”.
They want nothing to do with the prosperity gospel. This group plans to to take the church to its knees and begin again with a true gospel-driven, Acts living agenda. We aren’t talking about a division or a new sect. We are talking about a revolution from within. There will be no compromising. It’s Christ or bust.
These people are patriots to God. Willing and hoping to lose it all to Christ’s glory. I’m one of them. Interested?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen

Leader or Servant?

Leadership, something I’ve always revered. A leader, something I’ve always wanted to be. I asked and thanks to God, I received. He has blessed me with a some excellent leadership opportunities over the last few years. I want to dispense some of those things, I’ve learned in my short time in those shoes.
Jesus was and is, a leader. No doubt about it. He led His disciples, He conducts over all creation, etc. However, for most of the bible, beyond public speaking, you see very little “leading”.  What do you see?
Instead you see a servant. He puts others over himself numerous times. Why is that? Well first look to Mark 10:45. Now there is your reason: he wasn’t here to lead. He was here to serve and to sacrifice. That may make you speculate, so was he a leader? Well, it’s clear all throughout the Word that Jesus is, most certainly, a leader.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Testimony to God's Work in Me

I want to first off apologize for not being as diligent as I should be with this. I've for the first time in my life become busy. Something I asked for and something I've received. That's a blessing and at times a challenge. I've begun leading a bible study on Tuesdays and Fridays in the local mall's food court. Most of what I use is off of here. This now makes my schedule, which use to be only busy on Sundays and Wednesdays, busy every day and night except Mondays and occasionally Saturdays. I'm working this in though! God has called me to this, and he still is! It's a lesson in managing time, prioritizing and such.

Also I promise I'll post stuff on my mission trip soon. It was such an epic week and so jam packed, that it has now ran together and blurred so much that it's hard to keep straight. It will happen though!

What I want to talk about tonight though, is a some things God has done for me as of late. This isn't to boast about myself, but to boast on the Lord and His love. All of this is to His glory, not mine. I'm trying to fulfill Jeremiah 9:24. I'll do my best to make the least of myself if you do your best to focus the most on God, deal?

I'm not a writer. Sorta. You see I grew up with a hatred for writing. It made my hand hurt, it was boring and I was much more interested in other things. Also, I had a huge issue with handwriting. Teachers cursed my handwriting for years. Even in 8th grade, teachers tried to give my parents those book that teach you to write. It was embarrassing. It's been improving slowly over the last few years but I'm still incredibly self conscious of it.

Over the last year or so though, I've been transformed. It started with letters to a friend, then grew into letters to myself over thoughts. This led to essays more articulated on those ideas. Those ideas led to declarations, which led to sermons, bible studies and this. I could of never seen this coming or planned it, but God took a weakness of mine and made it something of His own. I look back and I see signs and hints at this path he's put me on, but I wouldn't believe it, if not for the fact I'm living it. To be able to encourage others with words and ideas, is a blessing, but more than that, the true blessing is the Lord. The fact that He chooses to use me and in such a way that I can in no way take credit for!

This leads me to my next point. I grew up in a neighborhood with very few kids and far away from town and others. I lived a very solitary childhood as an only child. I became incredibly shy and timid. I've always been uncomfortable in crowds, talking with strangers, and speaking up. I also had issues when I was young with pronunciation and even had to be in speech therapy. Speaking was not a talent of mine or so I see it. God on the other hand, chose differently and it has been his will to change that.

I never believed I would become something of a speaker. Now God has blessed me with so many things. I'm a legitimate voice of advice in a bible study I attend, God has called me to lead a bible study of my own. I've received an internship with my church which will give many opportunities to speak before others. I've shared Christ with perfect strangers and I've spoken with boldness and authority that I sat down shaking, because I was surprised with my own speech.

Yet I realize now, it's not myself who speaks but Christ in me. As I grow in Him, I become less and he becomes more. I am able to do more, because I'm disappearing and the Spirit that lives in me is being revealed in greater view.

Many compare God to an ocean and how we see but the shore of the waters of His infiniteness. It's very true. As I dive in and become lost in my God, others become found by Him. I know it sounds strange, but I'm finding more and more the aim of a life for Christ is to get lost. It's only then we are found.

My point here is simple. You have hopes and dreams and ideas and visions and goals and all these things! We all do! If you want to accomplish them, quit trying to do it yourself. Give in to God. Worry first about him and losing yourself in Him and two things will happen. Some of those things you wanted, will disappear and you won't care that it happened.  Other things you wanted, God will equip you to gain or receive. He also may give you things to do that are beyond your dreams and so much more fulfilling.

I am a modern day remake of story of Moses. I have all the classic themes he had and God has made me into something he wants. Like any good remake though, I'm my own story and have my own twists and turns. I'm a work in progress. So are you. God is writing a masterpiece at the center of it is Jesus and we all play an important part of in it. Regardless of what you are going through, beyond what you can or can not do, past your own understanding God has a story for you. He considers you important enough that He let his main character be murdered so that you could have a significant part in His work. Everything that holds you back, no longer holds you back. Your story is unwritten friend. Time to let the ink flow.

Much Love,


P.S. Yes I rambled a bit. Deal with it. =)

"The mercy of God is an ocean divine,
A boundless and fathomless flood;
Launch out in the deep, cut away the shore line,
And be lost in the fullness of God." - A hymn
"Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed." - Blaise Pascal

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What Is the Central Unifying Message of the Bible?

 I want to introduce a friend of mine that I've mentioned in my blog before, Demian Farnworth. He has been kind enough to write a guest post. I know you all will enjoy it, and I'll be writing about my mission trip in Oklahoma City real soon. Stay tuned.
**Guest blog by Demian Farnworth from Fallen and Flawed.**

The Bible. It can be one of the most difficult texts you've ever read. But you know what? It doesn't have to be. 

You can learn the the basic point behind the complex message of the Bible… without reading the whole thing.

In fact, I can tell you what it is in three simple words. But you have to promise me something. You have to promise me you’ll dig deeper beyond this simple cheat sheet. 

You have to promise me that you’ll sink some intellectual and emotional capital into reading the Bible. 


Now, a host of suggestions have been made as to what is the central unifying concept that runs through Scripture. Let’s look at several attempts.

Sellin, a German scholar, said the central theme of Scripture is the idea of holiness. There is no doubt that holiness is indeed an important concept. But that's not it. 
Some scholars suggest the central theme is the word “LORD,” the Hebrew word Yahweh—the LORD, the covenant God. While a central theme, were not quite there. 
God elects Abel and Seth over against Cain. He chooses Shem over against the other brothers, Abram out of the many, then Judah, and so on. The principal of election runs right through all of the Scriptures. But it's not the central theme.
From the kingdom of Israel to the kingdom of God, kingdom is a reoccurring concept. But it's not the central unifying concept. There's more. 
God and Community
Others say that what ties Scripture together is that God rules over his community. True, but there's something even more central. 
Still others argue that the Bible is simply a collection of different confessions about who God is. In other words, there is really no unity in God’s revelation. This is wrong. 
Covenant                                                                                                           German Old Testament scholar, Walter Eichrodt, says the theme is covenant. Close, but no cigar. 
No Unifying Theme
And German Lutheran pastor and Old Testament scholar Gerhard von Rad says that there is simply no unifying theme. Again, an incorrect position.

So, what is the single unifying concept of the Bible. The deal is it's not just one concept--it's three.  

See, the unifying themes of the Bible are covenant, kingdom and mediator. Throughout the Scriptures God makes a covenant with his people to create a kingdom where he will serve as mediator. 

Why is this important to know? If you keep this fact in mind as you go through Scripture, you will understand more readily and easily what God is saying and doing in each text you read.

You'll immediately spot the covenant. Then the kingdom will emerge. And, of course, you'll see the mediator. Not necessarily in that order. But all three are almost always there. 

In addition, as you preach and teach, it's helpful to keep these central concepts in mind and ask yourself, “How does my passage particularly relate to these three themes?” 

This will naturally cause Scripture to come to life. Words will pop off the paper. Pages will zing by. And the stories will carry you up, up and away.

Now, go give it a try like you promised.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Through a Glass, Darkly

Hey everyone, sorry for taking over a week, busy stuff lately. I'm hoping the 20th through the 28th to provide everyone with something pretty cool. That event I talked about before, MOTION? We are going to Oklahoma City to share the gospel for the second year. Lives will be changed and God will move in that city. During that week that I'm there, I'm hoping to have some pictures for all of what's going on and provide some details and stories throughout the week. I just got to get a hold of a camera. Either way, prepare to hear some great stuff then. Anyway, enough with that!

What I want to share with you all is some insight God has revealed to me this week. First I want to share with you a story.

I've had glasses since 6th grade. For the last year, I've really started needing them. I can do okay at school squinting and such and driving is pretty good, without them. Night time though, and if I need to find streets in an unfamiliar place, I'm blind. I'm nearsighted. All my life, I've been terrified of getting things near my eyes. I refuse to open my eyes in water, I've never used eye drops, fingers and other objects near my face make me fidget. I had a slight eye proximity phobia. Nothing I would let anyone see, but I guarantee if any of those things would happen the little guy in my head would be screaming himself deaf. Contacts were the tools of sadists and the devil. Just saying.

Well, I also have a huge disdain for glasses though, which is why I ninety-nine percent of the time was out and about half blind. Sometimes they caused headaches, other times they fell off. I didn't like how I looked, etc. They bugged me. So I finally came to the end of the rope. Contacts or live in my personal blurred cage.

So I did it. I made an appointment to get contacts. My entire drive there, I had some serious fears going through my head. It's going to hurt! It'll get stuck! Grotesque infections! I lose them! You get the idea.

Well I went into the eye clinic got my eyes checked and got to the point of sticking this thin little piece of plastic onto my eyeball. Lord help me. I did it though. Pretty quickly and effectively too. Then I did it again. After that, I popped them out (not literally popped them…eek.) and then put them in a second time. Awesome.

Here's the point though. When I put those contacts in, it was like I had never seen in my life. It blew what I had seen through glasses out of the water. I felt like a new man. I wanted to run and see everything I could, because it felt like I was seeing for the first time. It was such a great feeling, that I didn't go back to school that day. I decided it's a beautiful and nice day, I can see, I want to live in this moment. So I went about taking everything in for the day. I felt like I was seeing Fayetteville in a completely different way, a whole new perspective. That's what this story is about. Perspectives.

You see I had become blinded to what was going on around me. At some point I figure I had at least as good of vision as I had with contacts, if not better. Through time though, my vision waned until I came to where I am now. This didn't happen overnight. I didn't just wake up unable to see. It was a slow progression. For how many of us is that the case for our spiritual life? How many of us have had a slow progression into blindness? How much is that true for us as a whole? As a society?

The fact is humanity has been on a slow slide into blindness since the day we took the fruit. We wanted to have knowledge, but instead have become blinded with ignorance. Look at Romans 1:19-22 and Matthew 13:13-15. The word of God shows the same thing.

Back to you personally though. You can't hope for society to change if you can't even do it yourself. It's like the Casting Crowns' song "Slow Fade". "Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid, when you give yourself away.
People never crumble in a day.
" You don't become a murderer, a gossiper, a thief all in one day. You make a progression to a point where finally you reach a threshold which from where you use to be standing seemed to be impossible to cross, but now is but a mere footstep. We have to realize every time we have a sinful thought, we need to resist. Every time a righteous idea comes to mind, we need to go for it. It may seem like its just one idea, but they add up. One sin adds to another and suddenly you are something you never imagined you could be. One great God-given idea adds on top of another and suddenly you don't have to even think about doing it. You just do. We are creatures of habit. We need to always keep things in perspective. Every sin counts. Every good work counts. Neither truly matter in terms of salvation, except that Christ died for every last sin and that we are free of them. They do matter in a believer's walk.

I challenge you to open your eyes. Open your eyes and SEE. Break down paradigms. Listen\read\see thought-provoking ideas and challenging notions. Look into yourself and what you think you have down pat, rethink it. Look at every action you take, every thought you think. Take it back to the bible and check yourself against it. It's the only true perspective. Be courageous and ask others what they think of you. Ask them to tell you the good things and the bad things. Don't get upset; try to take in their perspective. Next time you see that bum on the road. Don't be quick to judge him. Think about all the different paths life could have taken you and realize you could have been there. Challenge the way things are. Ask what does it mean to worship? What does a relationship with God mean? What does it mean to love? You will be surprised at what you will find. What is God really like? We may only be at the shore of His Ocean, but it only takes 6 inches to drown. DIVE! Your world will only grow that much more beautiful and vibrant. Always remember to check yourself against God's Word though. It's infallible. Regain the sight you've been losing spiritually. So what do you say? Are you going to face your fears and see the world for what it is? Good and bad? You have my two cents, tell me what you think.


Much Love,


"When a mother saw a thunderstorm forming in mid-afternoon, she worried about her seven-year-old daughter who would be walking the three blocks from school to home. Deciding to meet her, the mother saw her walking nonchalantly along, stopping to smile whenever lightning flashed. Seeing her mother, the little girl ran to her, explaining happily, "All the way home, God's been taking my picture!" Fear is often caused by our perspective."

"Rather than saying "God, here is my problem," we should put the problem into perspective by saying, "Problem, here is my God!"

"The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend."  - Henri Bergson

"Was blind but now I see." – John Newton

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Triune God

The Trinity. I've been putting off this topic for quite a long time. You see, I love theology. I find it fascinating. I spend nearly my entire school day, reading up on such things. I however deal with a few issues. For one, I feel anything that I could say, for the most part can be found other places, better said. Secondly, I usually don't get the full gist of it all. Finally, I have an even harder time trying to explain it then I do trying to learn it. I would consider myself fairly intellectual, but my realm of intelligence is emotional and inter-personal. Laws, processes, and definitions are tough for me. My theology is a very emotional theology. Not one that is swayed with my mood. Nor one similar to a impassioned church service invitation. Those are emotions from my head. I'm talking about the emotions of the heart. A God-centered heart specifically. So rather than giving you a textbook answer on the theology of the Trinity. I'd much rather give you my layman's theology, and if you hunger for deeper understanding, I'll point you in the right direction. Fair enough?

I've had to deal with criticisms of the Trinity since early January. You see I'm living with my grandmother who I love dearly, but who happens to be a Jehovah's Witness. Which in case you don't know. They do not believe that Jesus is God or divine. Instead they believe that Jesus is literally the son of God, as in God created Jesus before anything else and then had Jesus create the rest. They believe that Jesus is the archangel Michael. Not cool.

The Trinity in itself is easy to explain. Jesus is God. The Father is God. The Spirit is God. All three are God. All three however, are different persons. One entity, three persons. Easy to explain, hard to comprehend. Each has it's own personality, but nonetheless, each is still God. All three have been around forever, all three are just as powerful as the other, and no one is higher than the other. Together they add up to the Godhead. Three in one. There is only ONE God (Isaiah 45:5 ), and He since the beginning, has been three separate persons all at once.

There is a separation between the persons. For instance, Matthew 24:36 tells us that only the Father knows when Jesus is to return. This is the clearest example of the difference. There are plenty of others too. Jesus while on earth was fully God and was fully man. A balance beyond our comprehension.

You can't figure this doctrine out from any one verse. No verse will tell you up front, God = Three, same, but different etc. You have to look at the scripture as a whole. Which I believe puts off many people and they just nah, it's false. Shame really.

I've had many people ask, what does it matter? So what if they are or aren't three in one? Simply put: he whole faith rests on it. If Jesus isn't God, then as Christians we are doomed. If Christ isn't God, then what authority can he have to forgive sins, specifically our own? If he isn't God then our sins haven't been atoned and we are still dead in them. If that were true, they might as well have hung me or you on the cross, because that's about as much good as it would have done. If he wasn't also fully man, how could he be the sacrifice for us? Humans sinned, and humans were to pay for it. Christ couldn't just be God, he had to be human to pay a human-owed debt.

The fact is Christianity doesn't make sense without all three being God. The Father, justifiably holds humans rightfully accountable for their sin and expects the debt to be paid in full. (Romans 6:23). The Son, both God and man has a key role in it all. As God he has the right to say what would be an acceptable sacrifice. As man he can be the sacrifice. The Father then can accept that, pour our the full cup of wraith on Christ, and let the payment be fully paid. Thus, giving us the opportunity to have salvation through grace and mercy. The Holy Spirit then works in us to give us faith, and rebirth, letting us be regenerated so that we can lead a life of righteousness. Christianity relies on each and every person that makes up God. Without all three, you don't have salvation. Period.

This isn't easy. For a non-believer I expect this to be all but impossible to understand. Believers, even the best of us, are hard-pressed to understand it. That's okay though. We are human. He is God. God is infinite, why would beings such as ourselves have any clue of who He is? What makes us think we are even capable? The nice thing is though, in time, we will understand it all fully (Luke 8:17 NLT).

The main point is that Christ, as God and man, did die for us and in doing so gave us the ability to be free from the bondage of our sin. Its what you make of that part today, that truly matters.  That's where the theology leaps off the books and takes on a life of its own. What are you going to do with that truth?

Much Love,

 "Tell me how it is that in this room there are three candles and but one light, and I will explain to you the mode of the divine existence." - John Wesley
"The best theology is rather a divine life than a divine knowledge." - Jeremy Taylor 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lukewarm Christianity, Nothing Christian About It

I have a feeling that this post may potentially anger some people. I hope not, I'm not wanting to make people angry, it's against my nature, but if that's a by product of the Truth, then let people be angry. Jesus made plenty of people angry with the Truth. The prophets sure weren't well liked, and God has revealed to me that I have a gift for prophecy. By that I mean not Old Testament, future predicting prophecy, but New Testament "given the power to preach repentance to those who do not want to hear the message and to warn of God's wrath for disobedience" prophecy. Oh and thanks Wikipedia, for the excellent way of wording it. It's safe to say that this would fall into that category.

What this would be is simple. Pretenders and Posers. Or as the hip term for it is today, "Lukewarm and Casual Christianity". I'm sure most, if not all, have read of this or heard of it. It's an affliction affecting the Church in America. It's the idea of halfhearted faith and a lack of commitment to Christ. It's a disease that Satan uses to give people the belief that they are "okay" when they aren't! So many people are illusioned to think they are saved but are they? They can say they prayed a prayer, they can go to church, but if there aren't good fruits. I'm sorry but I find it hard to believe. I'm not here to talk you out of your salvation. I am going to question it though, for your sake, and the Church's. I'm asking you to look into your own heart and ask what's your motivation, what's your drive, where's your good fruit. Because, if you don't, then before you know it, a day is going to come when the Judge will and by then it'll be far too late.

Our nation has become content with churchgoing and religion, but I ask you, where is Christ? He sure is talked about and everyone seems to gather to meet with Him, did He not get the memo? Or is it that we are missing something. I'd say it's best to go with the latter. Where is your heart? The Church in a lot of places is content with believing, showing up on Sunday and Wednesdays, and calling it Christianity. To put it as simple as I can: that ain't cuttin' it. Even the demons believe guys.

In Revelation, Jesus addresses a letter to Laodicea. A church eerily like that of the American church. He tells the He knows all that they do and while they aren't cold, they aren't hot either. He wishes that they would just pick a side rather than toeing the line. He then goes on to say because they choose to sit on the fence, that He will spit them from His mouth.  He goes on to talk about their wealth and contentment. He counters them by telling them they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Ouch. From hero to zero, huh? How many of us are that way? Tell me, if Jesus was before you right now, would He say: "I know you friend, come sit with me." or would he say "I heard you call my name, but who are you?". It terrifies me, but I'm frightened that quite possibly a majority of "Christians" would fall in that second group. I have a sincere deep fear that a few of my most beloved friends are in that group. It comes down to truly calling on the name of the Lord. Something Demian Farnworth makes clear in his article on the subject:

"Ultimately, a genuine Christian, among other things, obeys God’s commands, reject this evil world, longs for Jesus’ return, loves other Christians and discerns between truth and error. Only when a person submits to the will of God can he accurately be described as “calling on the Lord.” And only then can he enjoy great confidence in his eternal salvation."
Need I say more on that?
When it comes to matters of the heart, it always at some point, involves love. Is there something you are having an affair with? Something you are loving more than Christ? You hear people talking about their relationships say: "Oh, I couldn't live with out him or her, they are my world!" Well what about God? The One you are meant to love above all?

Let's talk hypothetically here for a second. What if right this very moment you were told to sell everything you owned and give it to the poor. Would you? What if you were told to leave behind your parents, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, work, and friends and then follow? Would you? What if you were told to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye to keep from sinning? Would you be able to?

I'm not trying to convince you to do these things. I'm making a point. How far are you willing to go for God? How far are you going for God? How much are you willing to risk for this Love? Abraham risked his son. Gideon risked his army. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego risked their lives. When you truly love someone, there are no limits to what you will do for them. You also won't strive for the bare minimum. You would do what was asked and then some! If you love God, you'll follow his commands. Just as Christ obeyed the Father. Are you doing that? Honestly? Or are you putting more time in excuses and defenses and alibis then His Word?

I love the way Switchfoot puts this in their song Yet.
"If it doesn't break your heart
It isn't love
If it doesn't break your heart
It's not enough"
That's how it needs to be with Christ, your heart should be breaking over your lack of commitment, just as it breaks Christ's heart to watch us not live the life He has for us. A man I look up to in a big way, Tony Nolan, showed a picture the other day, of a sign in a hockey locker room that said: "Play the game. Don't watch it." Are we doing this? Or are we on the bench? If so it's not God's doing. He is yelling for us to get out there and get in the game. It's got to be on us. It's time we stand up and say we aren't happy with "okay", we want something more filling. God sure isn't happy with "okay". For some this isn't directed at you, some are doing quite fine, but it never hurts to look into your motivation. Others it's time to step up and decide. Search your heart and make some decisions. I'll be here. 

Much Love,
"I'm finished making sense
Done pleading ignorance
That whole defense
Spinning infinity, but
The wheel is spinning me
It's never ending, never ending
Same old story
What if I say I'm not like the others?
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays?
You're the pretender
What if I say that I'll never surrender?" - The Pretender - Foo Fighters

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Light Shall Not Be Overcome (Spiritual Warfare Pt. 3)

That would be a reference to John 1:5 if you are wondering. I want to start right in on this. We've learned who we are fighting, and how to be equipped for the fight, it's time to get down into it.

How on earth (literally) do we fight against such things as ourselves? I mean after all, at first glance it seems pretty counter productive. What about the world? Being hostile to the world also seems to give the wrong image. Finally, how do we fight against Satan, when we've never seen him physically? It seems like we have a lot to deal with. Thankfully, Christ is on our side.

To begin with, let me give you some scripture.
James 4:7 says:  

"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
This passage, while being relatively short, has a lot of Truth packed into it. There are two main points. Submit to God and resist the devil.

Submitting to God may seem to be a no-brainer, but what does that really mean? To submit, in this usage, is to be obedient. How do you be obedient? Well, without going into a whole different discussion... read your bible. Since the whole discussion is warfare, let me put it like this. In war, soldiers who die, often do so because of one of two reasons. One, their commander was foolish and got them killed. Two, they didn't listen to their commander's orders and it cost them. Now when we put this into context biblically, our commander, Christ, isn't foolish. He isn't going to make a false move. That leaves one other way to lose, to disobey his orders. Thus, we are to follow his orders, and resist the devil, so that he will flee.

Now the resisting the devil part. It really comes into 3 parts: Be firm, be bold, and finally beware.

To resist, you must be firm in your faith, don't surrender an inch to any force except Christ (which in that case, surrender all!) You can't be on the line about how far you will go. Either pick up your cross and follow, or sit there, don't just tag along. Christ tells us in Revelation that he has a deep dislike for a lukewarm believer, so much so that he says will spit them out, just like lukewarm water. He would rather you turn away, than to pretend to follow.  The reason, he gives in Matthew. He tells us that it is impossible for us to have two masters. So, by being on the line and not committed to Christ, you have in fact picked a side. That may seem harsh, but it's the truth.

Be bold! Proverbs 28:1 says: 
 "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."
That's a bold statement in itself! You must remember that both God and Satan are compared to that of lions and for the righteous also to be compared to one too is no small thing. We need to be like lions! Why?
"So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?'" (Hebrews 13:6

God speaks clearly in Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." 
Satan does all he can to stop us from doing what God commands. Through fear, doubt, confusion, all these are meant to keep us from moving forward. However with a boldness given by God, we shake off that fear and in essence look all evil in the face and say "You will not overcome." and then we just keep walking. If firmness is our resolve, than let boldness be our battle cry. If you ever want a passionate idea of that boldness, listen to You Never Let Go by Matt Redman. Whom then shall I fear? 

Finally beware. I used this wording because it's the way it is worded in 1 Peter 5:8. I've seen others argue differently, but I truly do not believe we are to fear Satan. When we fear God, we have nothing to fear of Satan. I believe when they use the term beware, it is meant as be aware, not be afraid. We are to be aware of him and what he is capable of, when we do not trust in God, and stay under God's protection. We must not try to take Satan on ourselves. Ever. You will lose, if you try.  Look at Jude 1:9:
"But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you!'"
Even the highest of angels, rather than trying to take on Satan himself, calls upon the Lord to fight for him. I'd say it's a pretty good idea not to try to go toe to toe with Lucifer, if the archangel won't go there. Better instead to go with your childhood instinct and tell your (heavenly) Dad that you have a bully picking on you. Let him help you out. He is more than willing to.

This leads to the pinnacle of the fight. We've talked of who we fight, what we are equipped to fight with, and how to do it. Yet we have yet to mention who we fight for, or better yet, who fights for us. That may seem like a pointless place to go, but there is no more important point to make.

Christ. He is the reason forces are up in arms against us. He is the giver of the protection via the armor of God. He is the one who calls us to submit and resist, to be firm, bold, and beware. He is the one that thousands of demons bowed down to and begged not to be tormented! Have you any idea how terrifying a demon might actually be? Yet they all shutter in fear of Him, and bow before Him.  When Jesus suppressed the storm, his disciple didn't cheer, they stood in FEAR of man, asking "who it was that the storm obeys?". While he may not look so intimidating, He is God. I can't imagine a more horrific idea than being on God's bad side. That would make a real horror movie. Thankfully He LOVES us. We are HIS! Remember that! We must also always remember that Christ has already won. With his horrific death on the cross, he died as a sacrifice for our very sins, and bore the force of God's wraith, intentionally meant for ourselves. By being a perfect sacrifice and dying, he in fact put Satan on the cross, eternally. It's those two points that should encourage you in this fight against Satan! Remember and be joyful you are the Lord's!

Now all of this is really just a broad overview of spiritual warfare. You could spend a lifetime going over every detail. Some of these things will end up being talked about later in more in-depth discussions, nonetheless this is a good launching pad for it. I hope this series encourages you, as well as makes you more aware of the things going on around you.

Much Love,
"Spread wide Your wings, O God,
Relieve this scarlet fever,
Catch every tear of mothers in mourning.
Bring life to tired hopes,
Buried in fields of flowers,
Bring many sons of battle to glory.
With every drop of blood,
Caged in this tired body,
I long to bring my father to glory.
I see a new day coming!
Maybe tomorrow...
Woe to the king of nothing.
I see a clean blood running,
Brothers of sorrow.
Here is your kingdom coming!" -Field of Daggers - House of Heroes

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Holy Outfit (Spiritual Warfare Pt. 2)

Okay maybe the armor of God, sounds better, can't blame a guy for trying though! It's pretty clear what this post is going to cover. Originally this was a two part series, but now I've decided to flesh it out into three. Just to much to cover to not make it that way. Let's jump in though, alright?

Gearing up for battle needs to be the first priority. Scripture tells us that we are to put on the full armor of God, directly for confronting Satan. The armor of God consists of the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the readiness that comes with the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, all gifts given through salvation in The Son.

Now I bet you are asking yourself, what does that even mean? Let me give you a little perspective. First we have the belt of truth. Of all the parts of the armor, I understood this one the least. A friend a while back made it pretty clear though. The belt in the armor, holds everything else together, it connects every other piece and it is also the first in the list. Thus, here we see the truth as the foundation of our armor. Biblical Truth keeps us held in Christ much the same way a belt keeps everything held to us.

Secondly we have the breastplate of righteousness, it's our main defense. It protects more than any other piece. Righteousness can be defined as living a life of justifiable actions, a life pleasing to God. This makes sense. As when we stay in accordance to His will, as written in His Word, we are said to be righteous as well as that being pleasing to God. It's interesting to note here that all of God's Word is for our protection. Limits are set and directions are given, so as to protect us from ourselves, the world and Satan. See the connection there?

Moving along, we have the feet readied by the gospel of peace. I love this one. It shows that we are to be light on our feet and ready spiritually, because of the peace that we have through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know what awaits us in the next life and what blessing are on us now, so we shouldn't have anything weighing us down in this fight. You might compare it to Hebrews 12:1 even.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us."
 We also have the shield of faith. It mentions it's ability to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Thiss bit of armor is telling us to be strong in faith. The devil loves to try to play on doubt and fear. However strong faith in Christ, will stop such attacks without fail. Satan attacks from all angles, but deep rooted faith works as an penetrable barrier in our defense.

Our second to last is the helmet of salvation. This one took some time for me to get anywhere with, but after spending a bit of time on it, I realized that a helmet has one job. Protect the head. The head is the most vulnerable area of the body, it gets hit, and you are done. So a helmet of salvation is a protection given by our salvation in Christ from the gravest of injuries, namely that of eternal separation. No matter how grave and ill things may become, but nothing separates us from God's love that we received in our salvation. A good reference is Romans 8:38-39:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Finally, certainly the easiest of all the armor to understand, is the sword of the spirit, that is the Word of God. Here the sword is meant to be used both in an offensive and defense sense. Both to defend our faith, and also to attack that which is evil and corrupt. The Word shows time and time again, what the face of evil looks like, how to avoid it and how to instead follow a righteous path. That is the offense with the sword. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 lists the exact forms of combat in which we use our bible as a sword:
"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete."
 This wraps up this part in the series. The last section will be more in-depth look on resistance and what else God's precious Word says about resisting the devil and all his influence.  Be looking for the next part in a few days.

Much Love,
“I often laugh at Satan, and there is nothing that makes him so angry as when I attack him to his face, and tell him that through God I am more than a match for him” - Martin Luther

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Plea on Behalf of Those Silent

Hello everyone. I will have the second part of that series sometime tomorrow hopefully. However I have something else I feel like talking about more right now. I went with my friends Thomas and Jessica and her amazing family to see To Save a Life. I'll tell you now, If you haven't seen it, then you need to, it's something that happens every day in many high schoolers lives.

It brought up some good points that I feel are necessary to repeat. We all skip over the little guy, the geeks, the oddballs, the misunderstood. It doesn't matter who we are. Saved or unsaved, friendly or not. We all miss them. We see them and we think at the very most, ugh, I'll go talk to them, so that way I'm being nice. We do it out of obligation or out of image. We want to look a certain way or it's something that we don't want to deal with a guilt trip over. To some degree it affects us all.

Maybe for some of you, you are like that at the worst, but maybe some of you are worse. How many of you have at some point made fun of someone for being different? For wearing something different, looking strange, having different interests?

I won't lie. I have. Sometimes I'm the one guilty of saying it, other times, I've laughed and joined in following friends lead. I even left a school system because of it. I realized what I was becoming and I left. I got rid of doing the wrong thing. I missed the part of doing the right thing though. I refused to stand up for the guy that was being made fun of and discouraged. I kept my head down wanting to stay out of the light. When I did help someone, I did as "charity". I was hoping to look noble from it. I'm sure all you have at least one similar story to that. It's something I myself have to work on. You see as a Christian I skimmed over some really important principles.

If there something that needs to be made clear. It's this righteousness isn't avoiding the wrong thing. It's DOING the right thing. PERIOD. I'm sorry, but we need to get rid of our pharisees' mind set and get off our butts and really be righteous.

James 1:22 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
Do what God commands. Not just avoiding what He says don't do.

He makes a truth we can't deny in Matthew 25:34-40.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Does that sum it up? That guy you feel "obligated" to talk to? That girl you laugh at for her looks? The kid who wants nothing more than to be liked? You might as well consider yourself talking to Christ. Would you feel obligated to talk to Him? Rather I would fear that I would be taking up HIS time. They say Christ looked unbearable to look at on the cross, yet you say you wouldn't dare laugh at him. Though you laugh at that girl? You want and beg for God's mercy and attention and he gives it openly, lovingly, and freely. Why wouldn't you do the same for another? Who are we sinners to pick and choose? Who are we to judge? We are people who have been adopted in our utter filth by the Holy of Holies, how dare us accuse anyone else of being lesser than ourselves. Do you do it because you are afraid of being persecuted like that person? Are you afraid of being alone? Well for being alone, I'll tell you, I'd bet anything that the person you stick up for clings to you harder than you could ever imagine. For persecution, look to God's word:
Matthew 5:10: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I don't even need to explain that one.

I'm going to share with you a little story of mine, that happened not too long ago.

My dad got remarried last May, it terrified me. Last time I had a mom in the house, my life was horrible. I had been an only child for 17 years and suddenly I'm told to be a brother. I had no clue how to handle it. My dad was stressed out trying to make sure it all worked out that he never realized the toll it was taking on me. I was freaking out because I wasn't sure how to be a good brother to these two siblings and my dad kept telling me be a big brother Luke! He didn't realize it was tearing me apart like this. My dad also isn't an emotional man, he's very stoic and so we had issues of just being understood.

Then I did somethings with my girlfriend that I'm not proud of...and before long, her parent's found out. Within a week, it seemed like everyone I cared about had shunned me. It seemed like the church had shunned me, her parents (who I was desperately seeking their love) shunned me, and a few friends did too. I knew I had done wrong and I felt ashamed before God over it, then when the church wasn't talking to me, I felt as though I wasn't good enough anymore to be a Christian. I thought if the children reject me, then what hope do I have with the Father? Her parents who didn't know it, but I was putting all my hopes in receiving love from them, refused to speak to me, I went from being the cool kid, who was well liked, had his act together and was someone you would take home to meet the parents, to a broken insecure wreck who couldn't find hope, and remember I was saved. I always thought I was a good person until that day came and then suddenly I thought maybe I had it wrong, maybe I was a really bad person, I questioned if Paul was good the moment of conversion or if he had to earn it etc.

With myself being too ashamed to go to God about it, and with no one to turn to, I tried to kill myself by swallowing a bottle of hydrocodone. I was scared though and wasn't willing to take them all at once. I planned to take a few, then a bit later take some more, and then more and then more and so on. I took three and never made it to taking more, I fell asleep and woke up horribly sick the next day. I got really lucky that time. I never got the nerve to try again but for the rest of the summer I wanted to so badly. Then school started, and two things happened. One my girlfriend at the time (the one I got in trouble with) broke up with me and soon after she told me some potentially life-changing news (which we soon found out wasn't, thankfully).

I was down and I got kicked again, you can see. Instead though, something happened that saved me from where I was at. Rather than being content with standing by. Someone did something. Jessica Schneider was a girl who I was told wasn't the type of person to hang with and she might look down on me and she thought I was the kind of guy you that was asking for trouble. However, she posted a status update on facebook that I saw, and connected with over switching schools. I took a chance and just told her I knew how it felt. She even with her inclination to view me as the wrong type, invited me to a football game.

Before long I was at her bible study, and now she is my best friend. When I was worried about the possibility of dealing with BIG issues, she was getting me whatever I needed and willing to stand by me as much as needed. When I couldn't quit beating myself up over what I had done and been. She refused to let me settle with it and she insisted that I was a better person than that. She provided me with a person to talk to, she redeemed my faith in fellowship. I can honestly stand here and testify that she saved my life. Now we've come a long way since then. I'm back to where I was before I met those obstacles, smarter and wiser. You see there are a lot of things we could learn from what Jessica did, but one thing sticks out to me the most. The world wants to see miracles and wants to see Christ. Christ left 2000 years ago. He told us He was leaving, and He promised to send his Spirit until He returned. Christ is in us. What Jessica did was a miracle, they use to heal the blind and deaf, and she healed the heart of a guy on the path to destruction. You might say, well anyone could do that, and you're right they could. Yet she did do it. She reached out and offered a hand when it wasn't cool or beneficial. That's a modern day miracle. People miss the biblical heroes, I'll tell you now, people like Jessica are biblical heroes. We can all be one too. It just requires you to take a step and act. Be the hero in someone's life. I guarantee their are people all around you crying out for help, just look! Maybe they are the popular kid who is in a tough time in his life, maybe it's the teacher who is treated poorly by all the students, maybe it's the kid who doesn't have lunch with anyone or the pregnant teen. All it takes is one friendly, hello and you never know it could change everything. This goes for adults too. So as you go on with your day, just think about the difference you could make in someone's life. It had happened to Jessica, it can happen to you. Let God move within you, all you have to do is let him. I want to end with a verse from a song called Hero by Superchick, it's a remix of it actually. Think about this please.

Little Mikey D. was the one in class who everyday got brutally harassed
This went on for years until he decided that never again would he shed another tear
So he walked through the door, grabbed a four four out of his father's dressing drawer
And said I can't take life no more
And like that life can be lost
But this ain't even about that
All of us just sit back and watch it happen
Thinking' it's not my responsibility to solve a problem that isn't about me
This is our problem
This is just one of the daily scenarios which we choose to close our eyes
Instead of doing the right thing
If we make a choice and be the voice for those who won't speak up for themselves
How many lives would be saved, changed, rearranged
Now it's our time to pick a side
So don't keep walking' by
Not wanting' to intervene
Cause you want to exist and never be seen
So let's wake up and change the world
Our time is now

Much Love,
“It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity.”

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knowing the Enemy (Spiritual Warfare, Pt. 1)

This is a topic I feel that is the most important to begin on considering this is the premise of the whole direction of the blog. I feel that if we started anywhere else on any other topic or idea, we would be getting ahead of ourselves. I'm making it into two posts though because there is a lot to talk about and it breaks it up a bit. So let us have a little talk about spiritual warfare shall we?

Before I begin into this, I want to make one fact perfectly clear: The war is already won. Christ gave that final blow on the cross two thousand years ago.

Colossians 2:15: "And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross".
Hebrews 2:14: "Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil"
Satan knows this, and he is trying to take every single man, woman and child he can down with him. He plans to show no quarter, no mercy to anyone.  Now I'm sure some people are really skeptical about the idea of spiritual warfare. They think it's a bunch of hocus pocus that isn't very biblical. I believe they may have gotten that view from seeing the other side of the issue, those who make too much of it. The people who focus to much on demonic forces and rely on rituals and such to deal with it. I can tell you now that we are certainly in a war at this present moment.
Ephesians 6:12: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
Does that not make it clear what we are at war against? It's not with nonbelievers, or other religions but against Satan. Behind all of it is him. He is a coward and he'd rather send others than do it himself.
This is a war we fight on multiple levels. We fight this war against the flesh, the world, and Satan and his forces. You see the flesh is our own mind. It likes to work against us. Check out Romans 6:12.
 "Therefore, do not let sin rule your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires."
This is where evil manifests in the form of doubts, fears, pride, lust etc. Think of it as the undercover agent of the evil opposition. It works within us, against us. It can be the hardest side to face. To realize you yourself can be the enemy. However there are the other two fields of battle which we have to contend with.

The world is one of the last two. Look into 1 John 2:15-16.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world."
The world feeds the flesh. The two work hand in hand with each other. The world is our pop culture, the ways of society, the ways of those not in the faith. Often times the ways of this world seem to be harmless but in reality they are but a snare.

Finally we have the big one, the one that in essence is the cause of which the other two are formed: Satan and his demonic forces. This one has a lot of scripture and I feel that it's one of those things you can't skimp on so let's get into it.  
 Ephesians 2:1-3"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath."
Now this one has a lot in it. The key part is where it mentions how we use to follow the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit at work in the disobedient. That's Satan. Notice it mentions how we were objects of wrath, which is all we manage to be on his side. You can see how this verse incorporates all of the fields of battle in it.
Colossians 1:13: "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve."
One thing this verse shows, that we will go into more in a bit is that he uses deception as one of his main tactics, he loves to fight dirty.

1 Peter 5:8: "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
 This is one of the two lions for the inspiration of the title Waging War with Lions. It's to me one of the most complete pictures of his true nature, in comparison to his outwardly nature of that of an angel.  These three verses give you a clear portrait of the final side of the fight. However, here are some names used to describe him, that are rather fitting: The Accuser, The Adversary,  The Deceiver, Father of Lies, Murderer, Ruler of This World, The Serpent, Son of Perdition, The Tempter. These are all biblical and all show who he really is.

Now we see what are battles are against. It's time to get into what weapons these areas use against us. Satan's number one weapon of all is deception. He appears to the lost as something beautiful or worthwhile and once you fall into it, he ensnares you. For believers he uses guilt and the weight of your sins against you, even though Christ had made it clear that your sins are forgotten.  He uses fear to freeze us in our place. Satan is a master of propaganda. He mocks Christ and all he stands for. Where there is the Holy Trinity, their is also the evil trinity consisting of Satan, the false prophet and the beast. Both sides have a throne and temple, both have apostles. They are near opposite copies of one another in all ways except in one aspect. God is almighty, all powerful and trumps Satan. However, this doesn't stop Satan from perverting the minds of others into thinking what they see is the real Truth.

This perversion is even seen in this very topic; spiritual warfare.  He likes to trick people into focusing far too much on the darkness and the wishy-washy side of it all, so as to divert and disorient others. He tries to make people focus on rituals to rid demons etc, rather than on the one True Way, Christ. He also likes to make himself appear bigger than he is. I'll say it again. Satan has LOST. The war was won before you were ever born. Him and his minions aren't things to fear. They have no legitimate power, remember they tried to take the throne from God and He threw them from heaven. The only power they have is the power God let's them have (which isn't much in comparison) and one day he will strip it from them for good.

We'll pick up from here on the next post over resistance. I suggest you take a break and think all of this over and contemplate it for a while. As always comments and personal input are welcome as well as encouraged.

Much Love,
“The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.” - Albert Camus

Friday, January 29, 2010

Time for War

As you can very clearly see, this place does not look the same one bit.  I've decided to refocus this a touch. I came out of a fast last weekend and I had one thing really shown to me. The direction for this blog. Thanks to a few friends I'm bringing this vision to life now. I want to share this vision with you all to give you some idea where this is headed.
Originally this blog was just a general thing. I posted lessons, insights, random things etc. I'm taking the focus off me now though (which is why their is a title change and more) and I'm directing this towards a ministry. I want this place to be a place where those saved or unsaved can come with questions and be able to get answers in safe non-condemning way. Maybe a believer has a subject or an idea they don't know much about and would like to learn more about it. They are free to ask it or it could be something they are afraid to talk to a pastor or someone they know and want the truth. Others may come looking for answers to the questions of things in their life and they want to know the Gospel. I'm glad to help. I want this to be able to have open conversation and dialogue among the readers in the comments discussing the things talked about. I want those who want to learn, grow or explore, to have a place that they can come and ask questions and get a biblically truthful answer to put it in a nutshell.

There are plenty of ways to ask questions. You can reach me via facebook, email, twitter, the comments or in person if you are around me during the day. It's my goal to hopefully be able to answer every question. Whether that means a series of questions to a post or a whole post for just one topic and question. I do still plan to post lessons occasionally, after all this is a learning environment. You also can't exclude the occasional poem.

Now as for the title. Waging War with Lions. I look at it this way. All of this comes down to spiritual warfare. In this war, we have two lions. The Lion of Judah. Our Savior, our Redeemer, our Hope. The other is the prowling lion. The one we do battle with. That's why the title is such. Waging War with Lions. Satan uses ignorance, stubbornness, and condemnation against us yet this blog would wage war against him by exposing our doubts and weaknesses. We turn our ignorance into knowledge and understanding. We shine light on stubborn views. We take the high road and rather than condemning others, we choose pray for and to help those in need with love and gentleness. We flip the script on the idea of war. No longer a physical, earthly war, but a biblical war. A spiritual war. A war we are in at this moment, regardless of your beliefs, whether you like it or not. We are choosing to wage war on Satan and ourselves with Christ as our commander. Make sense? The perfect verse came to me while I was thinking over the title, Psalms 91:13:

You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet.
That's our motto you could say, or maybe battle cry would be more appropriate?

Anyway be looking over the next week or so for some new content about The Trinity, and some talk on the End Times. Please get in touch with me with your thoughts, ideas and questions! Thanks!

Much Love,

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Heart of Worship

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I know I personally had a great one. I found out some really crazy, amazing news. I am going to be a brother again! As I've mentioned before, my Dad remarried in May, and I went from being an only child to having a 14 year old step-brother, 17 year old step-sister, and a 20 something step-brother (Sometimes I don't add him to the count because I've seen him once at the wedding and once at Christmas). Friday I found out that I'm going to have a new sibling. I'm extremely excited. This sibling will share the same blood that runs through me, which to a guy who's been an only child, that's a mind-blowing concept. I don't know the gender yet and while I'm hoping for a little bro (as is the rest of my family), I'll be extremely thankful either way. The crazy thing is I'll be 37 when this kid turns 18. His or her's birthday will be sometime in August. All I gotta say to that is go God! =D He is good.

However, down to business! I want to give you an idea of how I came about this post and how I've come about a few others, because it's one of the most enjoyable times in my week. I work in a certain ministry called MOTION. Which is where the students use dancing, singing, instrumentals, Step, and a few other things to witness to others and share the Gospel. I myself however am highly uncoordinated and instead found my use in the tech crew, helping set up and tear down for the band and running the sound board for them. The best part of this is, while they are practicing, I have free time just sitting behind the board. Across the hall people are dancing, a few rooms down people are singing, and here I have this band working hard trying to perfect the music to glorify Christ. Everyone is doing their thing, but all with a common goal in mind. Glorify Christ, Bring others to Him. It's great. So while I'm sitting their in this amazing atmosphere, I like to spend time there either reading or memorizing Scripture, or letting God speak to me about this blog. Now Sunday, I was doing all 3 and I came to a verse. Jonah 2:8. It caught my eye and since then I haven't been able to leave it alone.

"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope for steadfast love"
It's interesting I found this verse when that morning the song during worship that took me the most was The Heart of Worship:
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
All about You, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You
It's all about You Jesus 

This coupled with that verse is incredibly compelling to me, because of the fact that it's more relevant today than ever before. It's one of society's biggest issues now. I want to ask you a question, so that you will really ask yourself it. What idols and vanities are you worshiping?  Take a moment if you will and think about it. Is it your job? Maybe a boyfriend\girlfriend\spouse? A sport or team?  Inward things like looks, opinions and talents? Maybe T.V. or maybe like my amazingly cool sociology teacher was kind enough to reply to my question with: Facebook. You see it doesn't have to a big thing to give it too much place in your life. I struggled far too much with giving my last girlfriend too much love. I worried more about that relationship than I was about my relationship with Christ. People are often times far too caught up in the small stuff. Atheist hate to admit it, but they too worship things. Whether it be themselves, Atheism or any cause. We are built with a nature to worship. The problem when you don't worship God is you worship something that won't ever be enough. Any other thing will eventually fail us, all will pass away, and none will ever fill us. In the end it will leave us feeling empty and burnt out. Relationships can be an emotional roller coaster ride, our bodies can't keep a sport forever, our looks eventually wither. Opinions from others are fickle and you have no control over them, leaving you at their mercy (which usually there is none). Talents go out when we do, if not sooner. T.V. everyone is willing to admit is killing our heads to some degree. Facebook, everyone who has spent plenty of time on it find they have times of burnout with it. We were given that need to worship, to worship the One who will fill that need, never fail, and always be here.
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John: 4:13-14
 How's that for filling?
The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32:4
How's that for never failing?
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. Psalms 48:14
And how is that for being eternal?

Why would we ever want to worship things that are so incomplete? Why worship the creations when you can worship the Creator? It's like Solomon in Ecclesiastes where he is constantly saying "This too is vanity." Be thankful to God for all that He has created but don't get caught up in the things He's created. I promise you, God is way more interesting than the creation could ever be!

Much Love,

“Popular culture is the new Babylon, into which so much art and intellect now flow. It is our imperial sex theater, supreme temple of the western eye. We live in the age of idols. The pagan past, never dead, flames again in our mystic hierarchies of stardom.” Camille Paglia

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here I Stand

Here I stand at a well known place,
surrounded by the cold morning chill,
I'm walking the road where I accepted Your grace,
leaving behind a life of prideful thrills,
its this path where I was told all my pain was erased,
all because You so gladly were hung atop the hill,
with that You took my hand like a father with an assuring embrace,
You whispered that no longer would my mind and soul be ill,
Yes, I walk this way to remember You've pardoned my case,
some days my eyes close and I can feel the worries bringing me still,
You know well, Friend, the struggles of this race,
where every battle is all uphill,
its clear that only through You, I'm able to keep pace,
no matter how far I run, without Your hand it all adds up to nil,
if I lack You, I'm as lost as a boy gazing up in space,
the hardest lesson though to instill,
was that all this world has to offer, is just a mere chase,
with realization, I decided, no longer Your guidance would I kill,
instead I accept the provision you give of an eternal base,
no, my future will never depend on my skill,
Instead, Your heart will be to my soul, a welcoming brace,
in this life I ask for no frill,
for rather, I know your words will speak soft as lace,
I'm waiting and longing for the day, I walk with You by a quiet rill,
its joy to me, as I know I'll sing out praises to You with heavenly bass,
So here I stand Lord, at the end of the road, I pray, You do with me, whatever You will.

Ask for Miracles!

Ahh, I'm updating on my Grandma's ancient early 2000's desktop. You see I had one of the fastest laptops in the world before, but I'm lending it to a friend temporarly, so it was this or drive to the library. I love it though. I like "roughing it" like this with technology, it always makes me feel closer to my work that I do with it. Anyway, I have two posts to show. I figure you'll end up reading this one second, but oh well! One is that poem that I nearly went insane over, but still managed to thoroughly enjoy making and this one is just another post. =D So let's begin shall we?

I'm hoping to have a less intense topic this time round. I want to talk about coming to terms with God's infinite nature.  I realize we will always fail to truly comprehend the true scale of Him, that its beyond our minds' capability. We can though, strive to remember that fact. It seems to me from my experience as well as the experiences of those around me, we tend to underestimate our God, and in doing so, load blanks into one of our greatest weapons: prayer. My church's worship band had their ministry set around a single idea: God is bigger. Anything we face, do, don't do, think, ponder, misunderstand, believe, see, etc. God is bigger than all of it. We still manage to underestimate Him though. We underestimate what He is capable of, what He is willing to do, and how He's willing to do it. Here's an example from the  book: "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day"  by Mark Batterson. Which is a great book by the way. You know Elisha?  Elijah's assistant? Guess what his first miracle was. Making iron float. He was around  laborers near a river. One of the guys' axehead flew off and fell into the river. Now the laborer mentioned how it wasn't his and he was obviously considering it lost. Elisha had other plans though and I bet he started praying. Now if I'm Elisha, I'm hoping for at best that either the guy he borrowed it from won't be mad or that he'll manage to get a new axehead. Elisha though, I figure, would be praying bigger. Once he was done, he throws his stick in the water and then, up pops the axehead floating on the water. Iron is unbelievably heavy. Trying to make it float would be a big task. Yet God is bigger. We need to pray to the infinite God, not a tiny god. You can't underestimate him, because he will always flip the script. We have to stop boxing in God. Maybe the reason prayers are often times unanswered is because we choose to limit them! Let your prayers be filling! We have to start believing that with prayer we are talking to the same God who built us from dirt, brought pillars of fire, brought city walls crashing down, gave rain in a drought, healed the lame and sick,  fed thousands, and sent his only son, the holiest of all things to earth to the most degrading death so that we could find peace. We got to trust and have faith with that. We are talking to GOD! Think about it! I keep saying it, but I don't think everyone is getting it! Now he might not grant all our prayers, because we don't always pray according to His will, but he does say:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8

Is that at least not enough of a reason to take everything before Him? Your wants, needs, fears, failures, doubts, sins, hopes, dreams, ideas, all of it. He already knows it, so why not tell Him anyway?

I'll admit, sometimes these posts may seem basic, and down right obvious, but you know what? I don't believe where we are as believers can handle anymore than that. I believe our current situation as a whole requires us to return to the elementary principles. We've been trying to much to one up one another with new ideas that we've forgotten the basics. We may seem to know how to do these things, but knowing and putting it into action are two very different things. Prayer isn't a wish list. Prayer isn't an emergency 911 button. It's a daily, constant connection between you and your Creator. You speak and He listens AND you listen while He speaks (I think we forget that last part a lot too!). Guys we have to live by the basics of faith, we can't handle more than that. We need to have faith, simply. We can't keep on adding on to things to appear new! Nothing is new! We have all we need and let us stick to it! Think it over and PRAY over it!

Much Love,

"Common sense as well as common values all lead us. Our future depends upon it and our present is going to be vastly better when we get back to these basics." - Joan Blades

"I had to spend countless hours, above and beyond the basic time, to try and perfect the fundamentals." - Julius Erving

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Call to Urgency

Hello everybody! I've been working on a poem for English about God that well has had me stumped and so I've been diverting a lot of time to that, still haven't gotten it finished yet but I did manage to take some time to get a new post ready. This one is one I might bring up a lot. It's one of the biggest things on my heart. Urgency. I have an unbelievable urgency about things. Also thank you to everyone with your kind words at school, on facebook and on here, they mean so much. Please tell others about the blog! But I digress...

It's time we get our priorities straight. It being a new year, now's a perfect time. Friends tell me all the time, you are doing too much. Your going too far with the Word. Sincerely, I don't believe I've gone far enough. I can't count the number of times I've decided to go back to sleep, rather than having a quiet time with God. So many times I've seen where God is commanding me to be obedient, yet I refuse. Either out of fear, anxiety, pride, apathy, or laziness. To say I'm going too far with the Word is ridiculous. We can never go to far with it, we all can and need to go further in fact, and it all begins with your priorities.

Look at Colossian 3:1-2:

  "So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, no on things that are on Earth"
Those two verses are a great start, we have got to take in the big picture. Ask yourself is it necessary, and if not will it matter later on?  If no, then ask what might I be doing that matters more? I'm not talking about what matters an hour from now, or a week, month or even a year from now. I'm talking about what matters on the Day of Judgment. What will that extra hour of sleep really matter in Heaven? Instead couldn't that hour have been spent having time with the Lord? Who knows what he might of revealed in that time. The possibilities are truly endless and they DO matter in the Kingdom. Is the football game essential? No. Will it matter later on? Probably not. Is there better things I could be doing? Surely.

Now believe me, I'm not saying don't have fun and relax. Scripture tells us to enjoy life for instance:
"There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God." Ecclesiastes 2:24
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly"  John: 10:10
 What I am saying though is don't let the pleasures of life get in the way of your focus and priorities on the One who made it possible for you to have those pleasures! Christ never guaranteed us happiness or fun. He did promise us the ability for joy though. This is to our benefit. We need to be reminded by our issues, pains and problems that we only have so many seconds on Earth left. We need to make the most of every single last one of them. Every second we are here is for a purpose greater than ourselves. What are we doing both individually and as the Church to pursue that purpose? This is NOT something to say "I'll get to it tomorrow"  or "I'm not ready yet" or " I might screw up" No. It's time to do whatever we can however we can, with whatever we have. Do those in Haiti have until tomorrow? The people who are blind to the Truth in China? What about the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers of our own country? Do they have until tomorrow? I'll tell you right now. This country DOES NOT have until tomorrow. If this message sounds desperate, it's because it is.  It's nothing new, it's the same message Paul has preached and many other men greater than I since him. It's still just as urgent. As Paul put it: The night is nearly over, the day is almost here.  Now I can't possibly tell you what God is calling you to do. Maybe it's surrender to ministry, or give to help those in Haiti, or maybe come back closer to the Lord, or any number of things. I don't know. It could be anything.  Part of your purpose in life is spent figuring out what it is!  Hebrews 12:1 says to
"Lay aside every weight and sin that easily entraps us, and run with perseverance the race that is set before us."
All the sin, the fears, worries, insecurities, distractions, misconceptions, judgments. We have to lay them down to God and start running. Right. Now. We can't have them hold us down today because that's all we will ever have. Today. Yesterday is only in our heads and tomorrow never comes. All we will ever have is this moment. It's a very true, yet ironic fact that as Christ followers, we are naturally a desperate people. We only have so long to let our light shine before men.

If it's possible I'm going to break down this whole thing to as simple as I can make it. Whatever it is you do, let it be to the benefit of the advancement of the Kingdom of God, to your relationship with Christ and to God's glory. We are the children of an Awesome, Infinite, God. Not only that, but we are co-heirs with that God. It's time we dress the part as well as act it and put aside our deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Be an ambassador for YOUR kingdom, everyday until you return to it.  So focus, and get your priorties straight.

Much Love,
"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."  - Leonardo da Vinci