13 hours ago
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I just finished looking through several hundred pictures from our Panama Mission Trip, and I am reminded of so many things. It's amazing how that was only two months ago and in some ways it feels like forever. I saw pictures of things I don't even remember happening. I also saw pictures of so many people - so many children - that had moved my heart and that I had wanted to pray for and stay connected to. Yet time has passed and in a lot of ways, I have already forgotten.
It's funny to me how quickly we forget our commitments and our passions. I don't think it's funny to God though. But I also don't think it's a surprise to Him either. You know as you look through the Bible, I see so many things God has tried to do for us to help us remember Him and his commandments. He gave us Moses & the miracle of the Red Sea. He gave us the 10 Commandments on a tablet to be kept in God's temple. He gave us all of these festivals and holidays to remember how He delivered us or saved us or gave us grace. He's always telling people to pile up rocks in remembrance of something. And yet, the people always forget anyway. And we forget too.
But I don't want to forget. I want to remember the way I sensed God as I ministered to little kids who I couldn't even talk to because I didn't know their language. I want to remember how God has always pulled me through every tough and low time I've ever had. I want to remember the joy of being in worship. I want to remember what it felt like when I first realized that Jesus died for my sins. And I think it's going to take things like what God told the Jewish people to do. Set up a monument - a reminder - something that you can't miss that will put you back to where you were when God did something in your life. Maybe it's a picture you hang up somewhere you look everyday. Maybe it's posting up Bible verses. I don't know. But we need to think about this.
I'm going to hang the picture at the top of this post up at my desk with the verse Matthew 19:14
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
What are you going to do to remember?
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Well hello fellow internet surfers! i just thought i'd share this amazing picture i took on my bike ride yesterday (if you haven't been outside to enjoy this weather, do so once you're finished reading this; its gorgeous!!)
This is the portion of the blog site where some deep, mind bloggalling (haha, i know it's corny) questions we all have, attempted to get answered; so lets begin this quality time!
Q: "In the ten commandments, they say "thou shall not lie," well everyone has lied at lease once, if not as an adult, as a kid. So does that mean that we are all goin' to hell? cuz it's a sin right?"
A: Yes it is a sin that every single person has committed, whether it be to stay home from school or to tell your teacher you like math so hopefully you'll get a better grade, everyone has lied before. Since we've committed a sin against God and are separated from Him, we are destined to live without Him for eternity,which is hell. But Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for all of humanity's sin against God. So it's our decision to accept what Christ has done so we can be cleansed from our sin and have a relationship with God now and for eternity. if you accept Jesus into your life, your sin is forgiven and hell isn't an option once passed away, but without Christ, hell is where someone will go.
Q: "Konnte Jesus andere sprachen sprechen?" or translated in english: "Could Jesus speak other languages?"
A: Well I assume He could since He is both fully God and fully human, ha ha, but the last time i knew, the only language we know that Jesus spoke as Aramaic.
Q: "Is it our job to get people saved? or are we only called to show love and share truth with them? Are we suppose to convince people to get saved, or is that something that God has to reveil to them in their hearts?"
A: Good question! i know i've wondered about this too! I think the answer is what you said after your first question: we are to be a light in this dark world so they can see the truth, but we can't make people recieve salvation, that is the job of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicts people of their sin and convince's them of God's reality and redemption that can recieve. So it's not up to us to convince them. The 10 commandments shows people they need a Savior and God works in their hearts, but is ultimately up to them whether they want to recieve His grace and mercy or not.
Q: "Today's society says: Got a bad habit or problem? use a self help method (ex: books, group meeting, etc.). God provides us with the "Holy Spirit" as means of supernatural help. Please explain how the Holy Spirit does this."
A: Great point, today's society is very much so a "do-it-yourself" culture. To be honest i don't know if anyone knows how the Holy Spirit changes people in supernatural ways and i dont think we'll ever know, whether it be He changes peoples habits, changes chemicals in their brain, gives them the strength to do whatever, no one really knows. And it's interesting to notice that in the Gospels, Jesus never heals someone the same way twice, so maybe the Spirit of God is that same way too; He treats everyone with help that is relevant to just them. i hope that somewhat helps! :)
Q: "If God can speak to us through dreams, then does that mean Satan can too?"
A: Wow, i've never thought of that before, it's a very interesting thought! To be quite honest, i have no idea, and i don't know if we could find that answer in Scripture (let me know if i'm wrong!), but maybe we can look to the book of Job for some help. In the first two chapters, we see that before Satan can do anything, he needs permission from the Lord before he acts. i dont know if the Bible says he can or cant communiate through dreams, but maybe Job chapters 1-2 can give us some insight. (you should read the chapters, they're fasinating!)
Wellp friends, there is more to come! Some questions have got me having to do some tough looking through the Bible, asking about salvation and what some words really mean, so keep checkin back on here from some intense questions or maybe they'll be answered at one80 on wednesday! WOOT WOOT!
Have a merry weekend!
Thursday, September 6, 2007
As I sit here this morning, typing on this lovely blogsite, I am enjoying what may be the best drink known to man - A Bull & Berries found exclusively at Today's Technology right here in Buffalo, MO!! It is a perfectly balanced blend of the finest berry juices mixed with a couple of cans of the world famous Red Bull energy drink! I recommend it for anyone needing a pick-me-up or an anxiety attack. It probably has enough caffeine in it to kill a small herd of African rhinos. It is exactly what this youth pastor needs!
But what makes this drink particularly wonderful this morning is it was an unexpected gift. I was sitting at church in my post-Wednesday stupor, trying to make sense of the numbers and letters organized on my computer monitor, when Anna Earls came walking into the Family Life Center with this amazing drink. It literally made my day. And isn't it funny, how such a little and seemingly insignificant thing like a ridiculously over-caffeinated beverage can be the difference of how you view your day.
One time Jesus was talking to a bunch of people on a hillside and he told them, "You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." I am praising God this morning because Anna thought to bring me my favorite drink. So how can we follow Jesus' words and Anna's example today? Can you buy somebody a drink? Can you give someone an encouraging word? Can you help somebody in some way, even if it seems small? Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest impact.