Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Yeah for Christmas, and breaks from school, and sleeping in, and good food, and whatever. yeah, basically this is like another round of Thanksgiving for me. The only downside is that I miss all my friends. Why couldn't y'all come to Canada for Christmas? We had a White Christmas.  . . Just sayin.
Anyway, I must say that my favourite part of Christmas is probably the music. I am a music freak--gotta  admit. There is something different about listening to a congergation sing Angels From the Realms of Glory. There is something special about the singing that takes place in December as opposed to the other 11 months of the year. I can't put my finger on it exactly. But praising God takes on a whole new meaning when you consider all He did this month. Seriously. Think about it. When you consider all that God did, knowing what was going to happen, it will blow your mind. God and Jesus both--in this month (or whenever it actually happened, probably not December) gave up incredible things for us.
God gave up His only Son. He knew that His Son would be rejected on earth, and would eventually die. He also knew that His only Son, whom He loved more than anything else, would carry the sin of the world. God the Father would have to turn His back on God the Son. He would have to reject Him.  
God the Son knew that by coming to earth, He was coming to die. He didnt' have the assurance that everything was going to be ok--in fact, He knew it was going to be just the opposite. He was leaving a wonderful home in Heaven where He had angels bowing to His every command, worshipping Him, and serving Him. He had no physical limitations. No humanity. Never being tired and hungry. He was surrounded by perfection. He gave that all up to live in a sin-cursed earth. He gave up the angels to live in a family that was anything but. He traded streets of Gold for streets of sand. Kind of a rotten trade. But He knew that He had to so we could have a relationship with Him.
I think that is why singing at Christmas time is so special. We are praising the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are remembering His birth. 
Remember, the greatest gift of all wasn't put under a tree, but nailed to a tree. Remember that the whole Christmas story--the Babe in the manger--is only the beginning. It isn't a separate event. That cute little baby on the Christmas card is the same person on the cross.
Check out this link--it is humorous, but makes a good point.
just, dont' forget.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The person not mentioned in the Christmas Story

So I was in Sunday School this past Sunday (Obviously Sunday, not another day, since it was Sunday school.) OK, so forgive me--my brain is fried because I've been studying for exams for like ever. Anyway, we were doing Christmas jeopardy, and one of the questions was: "What did the innkeeper say to Mary and Joseph?"
Answer 1: No room in the inn (Wrong)
Answer 2: What is no room in the inn? (Wrong)
Answer 3: There was no innkeeper.
That is the correct answer. Give her a piece of candy.
Wait! Did I just say that? There wasn't an innkeeper? Well, obviously, there had to be an innkeeper. There was an inn, we know. And it wasn't a free hotel. There had to be someone hanging out there doing the cleaning and taking care of animals and food and money and stuff. But did you realize that he is not ever mentioned in the Bible? There is nothing about his complaining about all the people and how King David would be horrified to see his home town disgraced this way. He doesn't regretfully tell them to leave since he is filled up, then changes his mind, goes running after them, and shows them to a stable, providing clean clothes.
He is not even mentioned.
Luke 2: the classic Christmas story says--
verse 6 & 7--and so it was that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes. Because there was no room for them in the inn.
Verse 8: and there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields . . .
There are only 5 mentions of an inn in our Bible. Only 2 of them are in the NT (both in Luke), and one of them is this chapter. (The other one is about the good Samaritan).  
So, I totally had this whole post planned out in my mind last night, but between studying for my early childhood ed class and hermeneutics, I completely forgot what I was going to say. So this is being winged, which, when I think about it, is actually how i do a lot of stuff.
The innkeeper. We know he exists. He did play an important part in this story.  Sort of. I mean, he gave Jesus His first bed. In a stable. He gave Jesus the feeding trough. But he was willing to give when no one else would/could.
Think about it. Did he do a good thing? yes! HE let a pregnant mother give birth in his barn.
Did he do what was best? No. Of course, you could argue, he didn't know the King of kings and Lord of lords was going to be born in his barn. No, but he knew a baby was going to be born in his barn. You could also argue that Mary and Joseph were a poor couple--he could tell by looking at them that they wouldn't be able to pay the (probably much higher than normal) rates per night. It would be a money loss for him to turn out another paying guest for this couple that would not be able to pay him much at all.
Before you judge him, how often have you done this? Done something "good" instead of something better? Like the innkeeper--sacrificed having Jesus being born in his Inn and let him be born in his barn. It was good of him to give up the barn, would have been better for him to give up a room.
how often do we do this? Sacrifice best for good. Study some because we know we will pass when we should study a ton to reach the next letter grade. Hang out with a friend and do some spiritual encouraging when we should be hanging out with the God of the universe? Do you know what I mean???
This Christmas, focus on doing what is best instead of settling for what is good. You may not always know exactly what God has in store, but trust Him anyways!

Monday, November 7, 2011

He Paid a Debt He did not owe

Have you ever heard the song, "He Paid a debt" by Ellis J. Crum?
The first verse goes like this:

He paid a debt He did not owe;
I owed a debt I could not pay;
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And, now, I sing a brand new song,
“Amazing Grace” all day long,
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

Last week in chapel, the speaker was talking about the story Jesus told from Matthew 18. You know, the one about the unforgiving servant. He owed a lot of money, the king forgave the debt, and then he wouldn't forgive the man who owed him so little.  The chapel speaker was talking about it in terms that we would understand. Now, I don't know about you, but the terms "talent", "denarius", and "pence" don't mean much to me in relation to money. I mean, I knew the dude owed  a lot of money, but just exactly how much. 
Forgive all the math i am about to do. Skip past it if you want to. It doesn't really matter. The point will be clear at the end.
So, the average day's wage for a common labourer in Jesus' time was a denari. 
One talent is 6,000 denari. 
The man owes 10,000 talents.
10,000 X 6,000=60,000,000
This man owes 60 million denari, or 60 million days wages.
How many lifetimes would he have to work to pay this off?
As a Jew, he wouldn't work the sabbath, so he is working 6 days a week.

Let's assume he works 50 weeks a year (1 week for passover and one for the feast of tabernacle--or whatever). 
So he is working 300 days a year. So, 60 million days/300 days a year= 200,000 years 
this guy has to work 200,000 years. Let's suppose he works 60 years a lifetime.
200,000/ 60=3,333.33 lifetimes.
I never realized just how huge this debt was. I mean, I always heard a million dollars or something like that. Yes, that is a huge debt, but if you had a good job, saved up your money for  a long time, and had some help from family members, you could probably pay it off. 
Let's put his debt into today's terms. Back home, minimum wage is $10/hour. Let's work 8 hours a day, so therefore, $80 a day. If we are working 60 million days to pay it off, how much do we owe?
60,000,000 X 80 = 4,800,000,000. That's 4.8 billion dollars, in case you got confused by the zeros.
That is impossible to pay off. Not humanly possible unless you are Bill Gates.  I never realized just how huge his debt was.
Every sermon I ever heard preached on this topic quickly glanced at the debt the man couldn't pay, then moved on to the unforgiving part. 

When we look at this story, we generally notice the unforgiving and the unforgiven. What about the forgiver?
What about the king?

He's suddenly out 4.8 billion dollars.
There was no possible way this man could pay it. Not unless he had over 3,000 lifetimes to give in service. And that's assuming he can live rent free and not buy groceries. The king, without giving another thought, forgave and forgot the debt. He didn't hold it over this man. 
As you know, the King is God. And we owed a lot more than 4.8 billion dollars. We have nothing with which we could pay this debt. So Jesus Christ steps in and says,
"Hey! I love that person. I will give my life for them so they can live eternally, debt free." It's all His amazing love. Nothing that we could do could even begin to pay this debt. 
How great is God? I mean, seriously? He did this. He knew we couldn't, and He wants a relationship with us, so He steps in and takes care of our debt! Praise the Lord!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Best sport of [the Christian] life

I like sports. Not going to lie. I don't really understand a lot of what is going on, and most of the time I can't see where the ball is. But the excitement of watching a game or the thrill of spiking that ball is exhilarating. I have played basketball on an official team, softball with my church, volleyball for my society, and I cheer for guys soccer here at BJU (Go Tornados!!! :D) I was thinking about volleyball and cheering in relation to the Christian life. Yeah, I know that's a weird comparison and stuff, but that's how my brain works, especially after spending 3 hours working on a computer project.
So, how does volleyball work (as the sport--not spiritualizing). Everyone works together to get the ball back over the net without letting it touch the ground. At least, that's the goal. It doesn't always happen. But we try. And we loose. But one of the main goals of our volleyball team is to have fun playing together, and as long as we do that, I chalk it up as a win. Anyway, in volleyball, the whole team works together to get stuff done. We all have a different position to play. Some stand back in the corner, someone serves, someone is front and center. Different people do different things. But working together is when we get stuff done. If I decided to tell my team to take a day off, because I was going to do it all myself, I wouldn't get anything accomplished, and I would be laughed off the court. I need the rest of them, and they need me. I can't  do it on my own, but no one person can.
So how does cheerleading work? I stand on the side of the court with 4 or 5 other girls, and we do the exact same thing (motions, words, etc). There is no individualism or seperate jobs for each of us. And in the end, if we win, no one notices the cheerleaders. It's all about the guys. We don't kick the ball into the net or throw it into the basket. We stand there and cheer them on.
So how does all this relate to the Christian life? I think there are principles from both volleyball and cheering that we can apply to the Christian life. The Christian life is a team sport. We each have different roles and responsibilities. Paul brings this out in the book of Corinthians. HE talks about how we aren't all eyes, or noses, or feet. The body of Christ is made up of all different types of people. There are the servers (people who get the ball rolling), the people who stand in the back and hit the ball when it comes to them, and the front and center people who seem to be everywhere doing everything at once. The church needs all of them to keep the ball moving. If one person tries to steal the whole show, everyone looses. We need to work together. There needs to be unity among the body of Christ.
At the same time, though, the Christian life is kind of like cheerleading. Most obviously, cheerleaders stand there and work (practice, etc.) but ultimately, when Z wins the Turkey Bowl, the guys are going to get their picture in the collegian and be famous all over campus. Not us. Which is totally fine. That's how it should be. They do all the hard work. In the CHristian life, we work hard for Jesus Christ, but when it's all said and done, He should get the glory. He did the real work in dying on the cross. Also, as Christians, we can "cheer on" other Christians, supporting them in their own race.
How are you doing in the Christian sports arena? Are you living as a cheerleader? Are you a volleyball-ist trying to steal the show? Work together. Support others. Give glory to Christ. That's what it's all about.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

French lesson!

"Would you be free from your burden of sin,
There's power in the blood! Power in the blood.
Would you o're evil a victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood.
There is power! Power! Wonder working power.
In the blood of the Lamb.
There is power, power, wonder-working power
In the precious blood of the lamb."

Several years ago, my church went on a mission trip to Quebec. We learned several songs in French, and one of them was power in the blood, written above. For some reason, I was singing this song tonight in French, walking from one place on campus to another. And as I was singing it, I was thinking of the literal translation. If you know anything about language, you understand that a lot of times, words don't translate literally. In this case, the french translation of the chorus is:

  • Je suis fort, fort!

  • Oui, plus que vainqueur, 

  • Par le sang de Jésus!

  • Je suis fort, fort!

  • Oui, plus que vainqueur, 

  • Par le sang de Jésus, mon Sauveur!

  • The first line is what I was thinking about the most. In English, we sing, "There is power! Power!. . . "  Literal translation: Je--I. suis---it's a Be-verb, basically means Am. fort--strong. This is saying:
    "I am strong, strong!
    Yes, more than a conqueror,
    By the blood of Jesus!
    I am strong, strong!
    Yes, more than a conqueror,
    By the blood of Jesus, my Savior!"

    Is that not amazing? We are strong through the precious blood of Jesus. It isn't just that the power is there. It is in us. We are more than conquerors because of what Jesus has done for us! Praise God! We can have victory through the precious blood of Jesus our Saviour!!! If that doesn't make you rejoice, nothing will! 
    There's something about a foreign language that makes you see things in a whole new light. It puts a different emphasis on the words. It makes us think in a different way. Try looking up one of your favourite songs or a verse on google translate. Translate it into a different language. Translate it back to English. See what happens. 

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Come: A story based on Luke 14:16-24

    Imagine with me, for a moment, that you are the servant. Your master has prepared a giant feast and has invited his closest friends. You can't even begin to imagine or understand just how much this feast has cost. And because the master really loves his friends, he has bought the most expensive food and prepared it himself. You delivered "save the date" invitations a month ago, and 2 weeks ago, you hand-delivered personal invitations, and every friend said they would come. The only other job you have for this feast is to go tonight and pick up the guests in your master's limo. Alright. So you head out. First house. This guy has been the master's best friend since they were born. They did everything together. You know this is going to be an awesome night because this guy is  a ton of fun. 
    Knock, knock, knock. Door opens: "Hello, just coming to escort you to the grand feast my master has prepared for you."
    The guy shuffles his feet and won't look you in the eye. "Hey man, I'm really sorry. I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. I've got stuff going on. Tell your master thanks for inviting me, though. Really appreciate the invitation and hope he hasn't gone to too much trouble to get this together." Door closes in your face. You stand there with your mouth hanging open. 
    "OK, whatever. Maybe he isn't as good of a friend as the master thought he was. It's only one person. Lots of people have been invited. No one will notice his absence."
    You move on to the next house, and invite that person to get into the limo.
    "I'm sorry. I just bought a car and I need to work on the engine. Thanks though. Hey, by the way, nice outfit man!"
    "OK, this is really weird."
    Next house: Man comes to the door, looking sheepish when you ask him, trying to remain pleasant, to get into the car. "I'm sorry, I can't. My wife doesn't want to go out tonight." Meanwhile, from somewhere in the house, you hear a shrill voice yelling, "Horace! What have i told you about answering the door! Now come here! The dishes still need to be washed!" You give him a pitiful look as you head back to the car.
    House after house, friend after friend: they all come up with a pitiful excuse not  to come. You have visited every house on your list, and not one of them followed you into the limo. 
    As you head back to the master's mansion, you are very discouraged, and a bit fearful. 
    "This is bad. It's like they all got together and conspired to not come tonight. What is the master going to say? What is my lord going to do? Is he going to be angry at me? What will I tell him?"
    As you pull into the large circular driveway, you see the master standing at the bottom of the steps waiting to greet the guests. You slowly get out of the limo and walk over to him. His smile of joy turns to a mask of anger when he notices that no guests get out of the car. "Where are they?!" He calls to you. 
    "They were unable to come, my lord. I invited each of them, but they made excuses. It looks like your hard work and sacrifice was for waste."
    "No! It shall not be wasted. Go back out. Go to Walmart. Go to the slums. Find people that need me and what I have to offer and invite them. Bring them. All of them. Those that need me will want me. The people that I invited, those that I originally worked for have rejected me. I will go to those who need me. I will go to those who will accept me."
    So you go. You find those that will come. You fill the banquet hall. And nobody notices you as you serve the food. They see the lord at the head of the table. And you are glad. That's the way it should be. You didn't pay for the supper. You didn't have to sacrifice. You didn't have to prepare it. You just had to invite people to partake.

    Jesus came to the Jews, but they rejected him. He gave up heaven, sacrificed for them, but they killed him. So He went to those that needed him, that were willing to accept Him. We are the servants of the Lord. We don't have to pay or prepare. We just have to invite others to partake in the Lord's sacrifice. His anger isn't directed at us. It's directed at those who reject His sacrifice. And just like in the story, no one should be paying attention to the servant. The master should be getting all the attention. And we should be thankful, and more than willing to let Him get all the glory.

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Happy Almost Friday!!

    God has been teaching me so much recently. I've had a migraine for 5 days and counting now, and at first, I was kind of frustrated with the whole thing. Actually, I'm still not enjoying it. But God has used it to teach me stuff I couldn't have learned otherwise. At first, I was complaining. "Why did this happen to me?" "Why THIS week?" "Doesn't God know i have a ton of stuff to do?" etc. Then i turned it towards God. "Why did you allow this into my life this week? Don't you realize that I'm a college student? Don't you know I'm really busy right now?" I figured that blaming God or complaining to Him would do know God. So I tried to step back and think (not easy when your head is a mine field--primed for explosion). What could I learn from this? What could God be trying to teach me? Because whatever it was, i wanted to learn it really fast so I could get the headache gone. I prayed about it for a while, and came up with a conclusion. This whole semester has been primarily about me. Me working in my own strength. Me doing what I needed to do. Me totally not depending on God to get me through and be my strength. So what does He do? God sends something into my life that should physically speaking, knock me off my feet. He sends a killer headache, the likes of which I have not experienced in quite a long time. If I had my way, I would stay in bed all day sleeping, with the lights off. Not worrying about homework that was due or helping that person with their homework. Unfortunatly, I'm a college student, and I don't have that option. If I stayed in bed for a week, i would fall so far behind, i would never catch up.
    The only option I have is to rely on God's strength. It is physically impossible for me to do all that I have been doing recently. I have been amazed time and time again this week at how much God has allowed me to get done. There is no way I could have done it. Not in my own strength. If I can do this when I feel absolutly miserable and rotten, think what I could get done when I'm not relying on my own strength. I serve an amazing God. I serve a powerful God. And I can rely on His strength when I have none of my own. Even when I feel like I have strength, i can still rely on His.
    Praise the Lord!

    II Corinthians 12:9--And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    I Saw. . .

    I SAW
    By Stephanie Steeves

    I looked and saw the road ahead.
    It seemed too much to take.
    The obstacles rose like giants.
    With fear I started to quake.

    But then I looked behind me
    And saw what I came through.
    God said He’d never leave me
    And His Word has proven true.

    I saw the cross of Calvary
    Where I first met the Lord.
    Now I can meet Him anytime
    Through the power of His Word.

    I saw the valleys,low and dark.
    My life was black as night.
    So I reached out and called for help
    And He became my light.

    I saw the mountains rising.
    They are vict’ry over sin.
    Again I looked, and again I saw
    Christ helped the battle to win.

    I looked and saw the many things
    I’d met along life’s way.
    Through bumps and turns, rough and smooth,
    Jehovah is my stay.

    I saw at last, that on my side
    Christ Jesus stands by me.
    Through ups and downs, ins and outs
    He will my fortress be.

    Again, I saw the road ahead—
    Not as daunting as before.
    Christ has brought me through so much.
    He WILL get me through some more.

    Sunday, September 4, 2011


    Yeah for busy schedules. I might be dead by Christmas. Actually, I know I won't be. Because, I serve an awesome God who can get me through every massive project, every work shift, every test, every paper, everything He allows into my life. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And it is so true. I serve an amazing God. He got me into this whole college mess, and I am depending on Him to get me out. Pray for me though, I've had all of 3 days of classes, and my first test is Tuesday. . . so i should probably go study. . .

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    I Believe--The BJU Creed

    You know it. We say it every day in chapel.

    "I believe in the inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and the New Testaments). The creation of man by the direct act of God. The incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His Identification as the Son of God. His vicarious atonement for the sins of man kind by the shedding of His blood on the cross. The Resurrection of His body from the tomb. His power to save men from sins. The new birth through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. And the gift of eternal life by the grace of God."

    (Yes, it is good to practice writing it out. We all will have to in our Bible classes in a couple of weeks).

    What does that mean to you? When you recite it, do you think about what you are saying? This is what makes us as Christians who we are. This sets us apart from other people. Other religions.

    1. The inspiration of the Bible--the whole thing was written by God. Which means we can trust every word it says. Every promise of God, (I will never leave you, I will hear your prayers, I go to prepare a place for you), every story, every miracle of Christ, and the crucifixion and Resurrection, all of it is true. I can trust the Word of God.

    2. the Creation of Man--God created us. And not just through evolution or a big bang. It was direct, and it was personal. God literally reached down and formed man with His own hands. Is that cool or what?

    3. The incarnation and Virgin birth--God became man. He understands what it is like to be hot, or tired, or hungry, or what it means to deal with annoying people around us. And if He could do it perfectly, we can trust Him with our human-type problems.

    4. His identification as the son of God--not only does Jesus understand our Human problems, He can do something about it. Because He is God, He can help us with our sin problem. Jesus was a man, but He was God. He couldn't sin. He didn't sin. Which means He can take away our sin.

    5. His death on the cross--Because of His love for us, and because He was human and understood our need for a Saviour, and because He is God and can do this, Jesus took our punishment. How often do we as Christians just glaze over the fact that Jesus Christ, the God of all creation was born to die. He came to this earth and died so we could live. Forever. He took every sin every person on earth (past, present, and future) ever committed.

    6. His Resurrection--the only way that Christ's death is important is because of what happened 3 days later. Christ conquered death by rising from the grave. While other people came back from the dead, Christ is the only person who brought Himself back from the dead. And in doing so, He defeated death and Satan for ever. We have the victory!!!

    7. His power to save men from sin. I mean, come on. IF you were to rise from the dead, you should be able to do SOMETHING cool. Jesus can forgive men of their sins! Every single person! All over the world! At all points in history! That sin you committed 5 minutes, Jesus can forgive it! He forgives me, and I can have a relationship with Him.

    8. The New birth--If Any man is in Christ, He is a new creature. We as Christians are called to be different. And sometimes, being different is cool. I remember my fun the next morning. We will  be able to look back on our lives with no regrets of drugs, sex, and alcohol. Because we are in Christ and the Holy Spirit has changed us. At least, He should be changing us. He wants to. Just let him.

    9. The gift of eternal life--I don't know about you, but living forever in a world that isn't under the curse with other perfect people, singing the praises of God sounds pretty cool. And it's all because of God's amazing grace!

    What do you think of when you say it? Do you think when you say it?

    Monday, August 29, 2011


    New kid on the block. Freshman. No longer! I am now a sophomore. I fit in here, I know what I am doing, the best way to buy books, the fastest way to the Alumni building, what exits to avoid leaving FMA, and what meals are good in the Dining Common. I don't have to check out when I go to Bi lo, and I can go off campus for church Sunday mornings.

    But I'm not the new person here. Which implies that there are new people here. And since I am not one of them, well, what does that mean for me? I remember what it feels like to be the new person. Unsure of what's going on, afraid of making a mistake, and worried about doing something really stupid and embarrassing. Mostly, it means not being sure of what to do and when/where. And because I do know what's going on, and I never was afraid or worried about being embarressed, I should be reaching out to those that need help.

    In fact, that is my prayer. I ask God every day to show me somebody that needs help. I was talking to one of my friends the other day and she mentioned how we all pretend that everything is ok. As if admitting that something is wrong or you are hurting inside is a sin. Here in the "bubble" (on campus) we all walk around with fake smiles plastered on our faces. I want to reach out to those around me. People are hurting physically, spiritually, and emotionally. God put us on this earth and on this campus to help those around us. If I don't, who will? If you don't care enough to reach out to that roommate, why should anyone else?

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Lessons from an airport. . .

    So, if you have been following my facebook updates, you know my trip to South Carolina and Bob Jones did not go as planned. Due to severe thunderstorms and other problems, I spent the night in the airport and arrived 14 hours late in South Carolina. I was frustrated and not thinking very Christian thoughts to the people with the airport. But God used these circumstances that I would have rather avoided to teach me a couple of lessons I needed to learn.

    1. God has a plan. And His plan is different (and better) than anything I could come up with. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." I tend to want to have my life all planned out, right to the smallest detail. Sometimes God has to step in and say, "Hey, Steph? Remember, I'm in control here. Trust me. I have a wonderful plan for you if you will let me work it out. Give me control." Honestly, God is going to work out His will anyway, and my frustrations, my rising stress level, aren't going to bother Him. He controls the universe; a cancelled flight or two won't mess up His plan--they were a part of His plan.

    2. The second thing God taught me was to count my blessings. Spending a night sleeping on a duffle bag is a great way to re-evaluate. Suddenly you appreciate a comfortable mattress, soft pillow, warm blankets (or at least a jacket) and uninterrupted sleep. These are all things I never thanked God for. Trust me, I was thanking Him last night. If I had known I would be sleeping on my bag, I wold have packed a pillow in it instead of shoes and books. Sore muscles the next morning reminded me to thank Him for all the days I woke up pain free. Yes, I know that compared to the suffering that some Christians are going through, these are just little problems. But at the same time, God removed the things I was comfortable with, bed, shower, food, (yes the airport had food, but it was expensive and gross looking), etc. and left me with much less. But I had God. And He is all I need.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    God's Promises

    "The Future is as bright as the Promises of God"--William Carey

    II Peter 1:4--whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises. . . 

    As I was driving to work, the sky overhead was almost black. It was raining and the day did not look good. But as I looked to my left, painted against the dark clouds was a beautiful, bright rainbow. I started thinking about what God promised Noah in Genesis 9, where He promised not to flood the earth again. I thought all day about the many different promises of God we forget about and what they mean.

    1. Romans 10:13--for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved---not maybe. Nothing else required. Just ask, and you can have salvation.

    2. John 14:2b-3--I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.--We have a heavenly home. Christ is coming back!

    3. Jeremiah 33:3--Call unto me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things thou knowest not--God promises to hear our prayer. Not only that, but He will answer them. What do we have to do? Nothing short of believe. How cool is that?

    4. Hebrews 13:5--I will never leave thee nor forsake thee--We are never alone. God is always with us.

    5. Psalm 46:1--God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble--why be afraid? Who can stand in our way when we have God?

    6. Matthew 11:28--Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.--Those days when you feel like you can't go any farther (yes, i know the feeling)--Go to God. He promises rest.

    7. John 11:35--Jesus saith unto them: I am the Resurrection and the life. He that believeth on me shall have everlasting life.

    These are some of my favourites. What about you? What promises of God shine especially bright in your life? what do you cling to when your world is crashing?

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Teens today. . .

    When you here someone say, "Teens Today", you know they aren't saying it in a complimentary way. (As in, teens today are so considerate.) Unfortunately, 99.9% of the time someone says that, it's accompanied with a roll of the eyes and a complaint. Teens today are so rude. Teens today have rotten attitudes. Teens today don't care about anyone but themselves. And truth be told, our generation is only popular with it self. We think we are pretty much the best group on the planet, but no one else likes us. As a Christian teen, does this bother you? Honestly, it bothers me. I don't want to be associated with a rotten attitude, selfish, rebellious generation. My favourite verse is Psalm 24:6. "This is the generation of them that seek Him, that seek thy face, Oh Jacob." (KJV). Several other versions translate that, "Oh God of Jacob".  I apply this verse to my life and the life of my peers. My generation, our generation can be known as a group of young people that really wants to get to know God. We can seek after Him with our whole hearts. And God promises, "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD. . . " (Jeremiah 29:13-14). I don't know about you, but I want to be known as a young person that is close to God.

    How will getting close to God show up in your life? Well, the thing most people think of when they think of teens today is the attitude. Have your parents ever said, "What's with the attitude?" Everyone has an attitude. The question is, do you have a good or a bad attitude? A bad attitude is demonstrated with eye-rolling, big sighs, grudging obedience, etc. You get the point. If you seek God though, He will be found, and will be shown through your life. Think of some attributes of God. (More about these in a later post). Kindness, love, mercy, forgiveness--wouldn't you rather have these in your life? Think about it. . .