Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Struggles

Here are my struggles right now:

-Having faith I made the right decision - that I responded to God's call and acted accordingly, within His Will.
-Honestly, just discerning how I feel - and knowing whether to or not to act on said feelings.
-Finding Joy in everything - being able to worship freely, and completely surrender to God.
-Be a man of my word - doing what I say I will do.
-Becoming more responsible - financially, with my body, with my diet.
-Not being insensitive
-Not being prideful
-^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
-Being vulnerable and open
-being bitter
-Wanting a girlfriend
-Having a better attitude at work
-Simply spending time with God.

Here's where I am.
Here's what I've overcome:

-Lust
-Inability to abide under Spiritual authority
-Recognizing pride, and responding accordingly

Okay, 3 things doesn't look like much on paper - but they're huge to me.

Matthew 6:33

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Lord showed me a few things tonight.

I have it so good, I cannot complain ever. ever ever. If I say I'm anything but blessed, I'm a fool and a liar.

It is NOT a sin to have a savings account, but it is useless if you do not use it and steward it well. It is an insult to God to not give money to those who need it, if it will otherwise sit in your bank account.

We just don't get it. As Christians. We just don't get it.
God is so much bigger.

Last night, as Hayden got back from Chapel, and was getting out of his car, a woman was standing, bawling her eyes out in our driveway screaming "PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME." Hayden was out of gas, so he and I took my car to take here wherever she needed to go. She told us her name was Sharon, and she needed to get to Nathan Hunt Drive, off of Kivett and Brentwood. She was...hysterical. It was very, very difficult to decipher her speech. We offered prayer, kind words, and the Love of Jesus to her as we drove her around. We got to Nathan Hunt, and she said she didn't know where to go, and just wanted a cigarette. We took her to McDonald's when she said she was starving and bought her a couple meals worth of food, and then took her and bought her a motel room at the Travel Inn Express, just down the street from our house. We were able to pray with her again, as well speak the Truth and Love of Jesus Christ into her life, and leave her with a Bible, some change, some gift cards to Subway and Food Lion, and a place to sleep for the night. Hayden picked her up this morning from Travel Inn, and dropped her off at her Uncle's off Nathan Hunt in High Point.

Praying that seeds planted will come to fruition by the Grace of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Total Depravity?

I've been really, really toying with the idea of total depravity lately, and just...how sin affects us, how sinful we really are, and how much it affects. I say toying because honestly, I just....don't know. I know what total depravity is, and all other kinds of doctrine up and down. but I've never seeked God's face on it, or looked in His Word about it.

Well, tonight at Chapel. God gave me an....intense revelation. I asked God just how much sin has affected me, and how I respond to it as a result. He gave me an image very similar to this one. I immediately grabbed some paper and wrote down what He was telling me about sin, and its effect on me - and this is what I came up with.

-That's our body after sin, charred literally beyond belief by sin - beyond recognition by worldly standards. I wrote down and circled "grotesquely burnt"
-God revealed that this was sin's affect on ME. He created me to look....nothing like this. but as soon as sin hit - I was beyond recognition. I was literally covered from birth. This image was a physical manifestation of the sin that was my flesh.
-God told me this is NOT AT ALL how He created His children to look, not in the least. To look as we will in Heaven is....not even close to what this image resembles.
-I realized that...the Blood of Christ, is literally the only thing that would make me recognizable again.

We are...covered in sin from birth. and once saved, covered in blood from Christ.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In the previous post, I quoted a Misty Edwards song that, after multiple listenings, seems to have some oddly sexual wordplay and imagery going on. There is one line in particular that any other time would have made me uncomfortable, but in light of the recent attacks I've been withstanding, it....resonated with me. In the best way possible.

"Lord, I will seek You
On my bed, think upon You
In the day, I'll dream of You
You're always on my mind"

As of late, I've been under some incredibly heavy spiritual attack with lust. I've defeated the physical aspect of it, by the Grace of God, however the enemy has continually been attacking my mind - in time spent on the computer, in everyday life, and especially in my dreams.
As I was driving home from Burlington tonight, this song came on my iPod - and it just...hit me so hard. I've felt somewhat defeated in being attacked in my dreams, as I've had dreams about...really, really sexual stuff. and I hate it. so much.

and that line just...makes so much sense. I had honestly felt an attack on the drive home when I got outside of Greensboro, so I put my iPod on my Misty Edwards playlist - and this song came on. And I'm convinced it was no accident.

"Though I'm weak and lowly
The Lord thinks about me
Though He's high and lofty
I'm always on His mind"

It's really, really easy to defeat temptation when you believe that. I promise.

Friday, November 19, 2010



How far will You let me go? How abandoned will You let me be?

I'm so, so tired from running all the time. and every time I stop to rest or take a break...God's right there. waiting. holding on. Always chasing - never tired, never relenting until He takes every last bit of me.

I don't want any bit of me for myself, and my flesh directly contradicts that desire.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Love

Ephesians 5:25

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"

I just wrote an 8-page paper that used literary and Biblical analysis to argue that Praying within the Trinity lays the foundation for sexual intimacy amongst humans, and lays the foundations for expressing love sexually.

I'll say this, regardless of whether my paper is right or wrong, we would have no clue how to love each, had Christ not first set the example of how to do so.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Faiths vs Works: We need both?

It's subjects like these remind me that my Mother was raised Catholic. It's also subjects like these where I can't help but wonder if Catholicism is hereditary to a certain extent, or at least on certain aspects.

I've heard at least a thousand times you only have to believe to get into Heaven (Acts 16:31). Now, I'll be the first to affirm that the ONLY way to God the Father, and Heaven is through Jesus Christ the Son (John 14:6), who died on our behalf as an atonement for a depraved state of being (Isaiah 53:5). I believe that anything other than that is a false gospel, and WILL NOT lead you to eternal salvation.

I see, more than anything else, that idea that Faith is all that is required of Christians. As a result, it seems that Christianity a whole spends all of our time on our Spiritual "sofa." Pardon the crude metaphor, but it, to me at least, is very, very obvious that Christians as a whole just don't seem to move in the Spirit as we are called to. Sunday morning Service is not it, and I know I'm not saying anything that's never been said before. It is absolutely ludicrous to believe that nothing but Faith is required of a Christian. For the sake of clarification, I do believe that Faith in Christ as God's Son is absolutely the way into Heaven, but I do not believe works are to be pushed aside, and Faith made the one and only focal point.

James 2:24 (ESV) states: "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone." I especially like the GOD'S WORD Translation, which words it as follow - "You see that a person receives God's approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes."

I also, due to other Scriptures, find it absolutely impossible to believe that God does not take into account our works as Christians.
1 Peter 3:12 (ESV) says: "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil

Now, keep in mind, this scripture is New Testament, ergo, it is AFTER the New Covenant created in Christ's Crucifixion. Were we to take this passage in context, it comes after a long list of verses telling Christians how to act in a Godly manner, i.e. "Love the brethren...Do not return evil for evil. (1 Peter 3:8-9)" The root of the words actions is act, and I see actions taken as another word for works - ergo, Peter, by divine Revelation of God the Father, is putting forth guidelines in which Christians should conduct themselves, i.e. the works which they should practice.

Were works to not hold any weight with God, why would Scripture mention God judging His people by their Fruit (John 15:5-6, Matt 7:17-20)? In addition, Romans 2:6 (ESV) states "He will render to each one according to his works."

In addition, there are numerous Scriptures that support The Great Commission, which in every Scripture commands Christians to GO out and preach The Gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:45-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). Note, that each Scripture uses a verb, which is a word used to describe an action.

Now, again, I am not promoting that we are justified by works alone - I believe such a doctrine is a false gospel, as it quite literally spits in the face of Christ and His Crucifixion on our behalf. However, we cannot expect to share the Love, Peace, Contentment, and absolute Freedom by NOT taking action.

Luke 11:33 (ESV) "No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light." Without works, are we not doing exactly what this Scripture warns against?



I absolutely, absolutely encourage discussion. My only requests are that this discussion stays God-centered and things are not taken personally. Let me also say that I do not claim to be correct in any sense - or rather, to be the final authority on the Faith vs Works debate. I encourage disagreement, so long as it is Scripturally grounded. I encourage discussion, I see nothing with Biblical discussion of God, and how He works. I ask, again, that things remain civil, and we remember that we are Sons and Daughters of Jesus Christ, son of God the Father, and that we let our conversation be always filled with Grace (Colossians 4:6).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tonight, I received the Holy Spirit.

God is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

it blows my mind, how easily God takes away our problems, sins, burdens, what have you. I honestly never bought it that Jesus would simply take them if you asked, I knew, I KNEW that it took time, and it was a process.

I was completely and irrevocably proved to be wrong last night. I called out my burdens, my hard-heartedness, my numbness, my making cheap jokes for a laugh at others' expense. And they left. They're gone. I asked my brother Austin for forgiveness, and our relationship was immediately repaired.

I say all this to say, that a big part of coming to know God better is that you realize how right He is, and how wrong you are; in literally almost everything. Call on Him, and He will come. And He will take your burdens away faster than they ever hit you.

He will come like a Spring Rain.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010




I am Yours, I am forever Yours.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Things I am learning from God right now:

-Awareness of my sinful nature, notably my pride, and how to deal with and pre-empt said sins.
-How to Love
-That as a part of truly loving my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, it means rebuking and calling them out when they're in the wrong.
-He will provide.
-Money is not a big deal
-I can't just apologize and expect that to undo stupid things I say.
-How to be open and receptive to His Will
-How to accept others when they give me Revelation
-how to learn
-how to reflect Him better
-how to worship Him even when things aren't hunky dory(in a worldly sense)

and I'm trying. so hard.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have a lot a lot a lot I want to get out, and I've thought about it all day, and as soon as I sit down I just lose the urge. So strange.

I've been in a weird mood Spiritually for the majority of the past few weeks. God is definitely showing me a lot of things about Him, how He is, His Characteristics. Not only that, He's been showing me a lot of things causing conviction - every time I pass someone walking down the street and don't stop, I spend the rest of the day trying (and failing) to justify not stopping to see if I can help.
I felt so hard hearted tonight - I did not want to be around anyone at Austin's, and I'm honestly glad Reba pulled me aside to talk, because I really just didn't want to be around everyone. As strange as it sounds, I just didn't want to laugh and carry on and be in a good mood. It seems to me I'm going through another spell where God doesn't want me to rely on all my friends, but rather on Him, and what He's doing in me.
It hurts. And it sucks. And it's so hard. I swear, if the good is as extreme as the bad in this, the outcome is just going to be...out of this world amazing.

I left Chapel early to take Andrew home, and didn't want to go back, so I didn't. It was really nice to just plug in my iPod and catch up on my Andy Stanley podcasts, and just spend time....alone. Really, really nice.

I'm taking drastic measures to overcome this problem I've been having with lust, and if they don't work, I'm done with technology until this problem is solved.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The following things were prayed over / revealed /prophesied while hands were laid on me concerning my sister tonight at Chapel:
- God showed Reba a cool, slow flowing stream. She saw my sister Ashley laying in it, moving her arms and legs, enjoying it, and just laughing and being joyful. She saw Jesus standing on the banks pointing, saying "That's my daughter. I love her so much!"

-God showed Austin the passage talking about candles and putting baskets over them, and Josh was revealed to see those baskets coming at me, and me setting them on fire with my candle. And Reba saw the devil bringing doubts, and negative things being brought against me, "baskets," and they said I will just set them on fire on move on. And it will be a nice warm fire, and finally everyone will want to be around it.

-Austin prophesied that my Father would identify himself moreso as a Christian, than as a Methodist, and that a spirit of Methodism would not hinder him, and he would completely embrace Jesus, and not worry about denominations and whatnot, and just focus on being a Christian.

-Josh and Austin both were revealed that my family was lacking in unity, and love, and that this entire situation would bring us closer together. That once we came together as a unified family in love, that we would truly start to conquer whatever is attacking my sister.

-Austin prophesied of a bold spirit man. That upon entering the house, I would just BEAT my chest in faith. That I would be so faithful, and so filled with faith I would KNOW that healing would happen, and it would help bring faith to other members of my family. And that I will and should pray every single time before I enter my house, whether anyone's home or not, and just pray to be bold and empowered in my faith. He also felt that God was telling him this entire situation was a testing of faith, whether it was me, another family member, or my family as a whole. That this was being used by God to really bring about true faith in my family.

-Josh proclaimed that we should stop carrying this burden, and that we should carry Jesus'. it's easy, and its so much less and so much easier to carry than the burdens we were trying to carry.

-Austin prophesied that I will say things that I won't meant to say, and in hindsight I'll think "Why did I say that?" BUT that those words in question will lift others up, and give them faith, and hope, and will edify them and bless them - and I personally know these words will be God's speaking, not mine.

-Josh spoke that God revealed to him that one day Ashley will wake up and she'll go "Guys, GUYS! It doesn't hurt anymore!"

And I saw it. I saw it in my mind. I saw the vision God gave him. And it's going to happen. I KNOW it will. and I can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait to see my sister walk, and jump, and use her arms, and lift things, and be joyful and happy and merry and not hurt anymore.

It's going to happen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I tend to go through these spells in life, where either everybody is calling me and wanting to get in touch with me, and hang out or just entering into my life for whatever reason. Then, other times, I go through periods where nobody really talks to me, nobody reaches out to me, I spend most of my time at home with my family, or on the computer.

Right now, I'm in the latter of the two scenarios laid out. In addition to that, I am completely at peace and okay with it. I don't feel "lame" because I'm not out with friends every night, rather I feel...good, and not stressed out because I have plenty of time to fulfill the obligations I have on me as a Student, as well as an employee and a Christian.

I guess my point in explaining all this is just a testament to the 180 that God can pull in someone's heart if they allow Him to do so. I have always been one to live and die by his friends, spending almost ALL of my time with them, doing whatever it takes to get a laugh or a compliment out of them. I truly believe that in the times where I'm not contacted by my friends, are the times God uses to remind me that ultimately, my only dependency should be upon Him. This was really, really hard for me to learn at first. But as time has progressed, so has the ease with which I have accommodated to said changes. It's a welcome change, and one that I will fully embrace for the Godly man it will lead me to become.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I haven't written on here in quite a while, most of my bloggings have been short, to-the-point scribblings of God, what He's doing, and where I'm at in my walk with Him.

Worship is breaking out everywhere. Every day. Every car ride. Every night we have chapel. Every night in my room. At work. Everywhere. I can't escape it, not that I'd want to.

I'm really truly learning to deal with my problems, and the not-so-easy things that I have to endure to help me bring more Glory to God. I've always run away before, and this is incredibly new to me. I'm trying, and failing, and trying, and failing, but I'm trying a little bit harder every time, and success is slowly creeping up on all the let-downs, and Praise God for that.

I've had a few things on my heart a lot lately, most notably speaking things into existence, and just the phrase "God does good things." That's all He does. Everything He does is good. That's the only thing He's ever done, that's the only thing He's doing, and the only thing He'll ever do.

I've also learned that when people are struggling, I can't just take control or do things myself and fix things for them. I want to. so bad. But I can't. It's God. God has to do these things, because maybe I might do a mediocre job, but He'll do such a good freakin' job, it would make me wonder why I would ever try things my way. I will say this, God is so much better at everything good than I am.
There's a line in a David Crowder*Band song that says "Letting go gives a better grip."
a-freakin'-men.

God's doing so much. so much. good things, good things!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Surely, Surely we can change.

I've spent the last couple of days trying to really improve some glaring problems I've ignored throughout the majority of my life, and in doing so, realized just how terrible of a person I really am. I've always said I'm just a lousy bag of bones saved by Grace (which I am), but up until now I always thought in the back of my head "I'm not THAT bad..."

In attempting to really single out and turn over many of my really, really undesirable things in my life I have come to terms with how far I have fallen. I'm deceitful, jealous, malicious, vain, arrogant, bitter, unable to feel joy for others, selfish, manipulative, hard-hearted, and just all around...bad person, trying to parade around like I'm something special.

And it's such a beautiful, beautiful thing that God is able to do in this situation. As I struggle, and bounce back and forth between trying to purge myself of these undesirable intentions, I understand Grace better. The fact that God's Love is constantly beyond me is magnified beyond my wildest imaginations. I'm a terrible, terrible person - I am not the person I CONSCIOUSLY try to make myself out to be.

I spent last night in the Greensboro Coliseum with almost 24,000 people - the biggest family reunion I have ever attended. The atmosphere there was...amazing. I've never felt so Loved, and I've never felt the Holy Spirit so consistently, and intensely ever before - not because It wasn't there, but because I just wasn't looking/open/receptive to it.
Today, that changes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Fault lines should be worn with pride."

As I get in from an awesome Wednesday night service at Trinity Baptist, and some even more awesome post-Church hang outs with new and old friends at Sheetz, I'm browsing all my social networking sites before settling down to finish my reading for Biology class tomorrow. If I'm in my room, I've always got my iTunes going, and an Incubus song just popped up, Talk Shows On Mute I believe.
As it's fading out, the second to last line says "Fault lines should be worn with pride." And forgive me for my being over-zealous, but I can see so many reasons why we, as Christians, should do just this!
Why?

We should be proud, because we serve a Loving, Caring, Forgiving God who fills in the fault lines (our imperfections) if we just ask Him. We should take pride in the fact that we are imperfect, because in those imperfections, the Glory and Strength of God is most obviously shown. It's not big secret, although some Christians would try to convince you otherwise, that even as Christians, we are any more perfect or better than non-believers. We're all dirty, we're all bad, we're all just lousy bags of bones. As Christians, we should be boasting in our imperfections! I fear I'm starting to repeat myself, but I can't stress enough how important this is - God is not glorified by us doing things ourselves. God is glorified when we realized how lousy we are, and give it up to Him to fix, and let His Perfection shine through in our inabilities and imperfections.

This especially speaks to me, because as much as I used to despise it, I have become the closed-off, guarded-heart Christian who only admits his imperfections when its convenient or unavoidable. While I admit and say I'm a lousy bag of bones, I still find myself consciously trying to...shy away from things I could say or do that would emphasize my imperfections.

Funny, as I type this, "The Message Is You," by Amen The Animal comes up on my iTunes, which only aids the point I made in the previous paragraphs - WE are the message of God's Love and Forgiveness to the world, and that makes it even more important to allow God's Perfection to show through our imperfections - because we are THE BEST WAY for others to see God, and find out His characteristics.

God is good. I am loved, and for no other reason that because of who God is, and what I owe Him, I am going to improve my fear of showing my fault lines.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

What can I do with my obsession
With the things I cannot see
is there madness in my being
is it win that moves the trees
Sometimes you're further than the moon
Sometimes you're closer than my skin
And you surround me like a winter fog
You've come and burned me with a kiss

My heart burns for you
And my heart burns...for you

And I'm so filthy with my sin
I carry pride like a disease
You know I'm stubborn, Lord, and
I'm longing to be close
You burn me deeper than I know
And I feel lonely without Hope
And I feel desperate without Vision
You wrap around me like a winter coat
You come and free me like a bird


You've said it all, Delirious.

Friday, January 29, 2010

You Are My Joy!

And He set me on fire, and I am burning alive.
With His breath in my lungs I am coming undone.
And he set me on fire and I am burning alive.
With his breath in my lungs I am coming undone.
And I cannot hold it in
Remain composed.
Love's taken over me
So I propose the letting myself go.
I am letting myself go.

You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.

And He set me on fire, and I am burning alive.
With His breath in my lungs I am coming undone.
And He set me on fire, and I am burning alive.
With His breath in my lungs I am coming undone.
And I cannot hold it in and remain composed.
Love's taken over me and so I propose the letting myself go.
I am letting myself go.

You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.

I need to catch my breath, I need to.
I need to catch my breath, give me a moment now.

You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.
You are my joy.

I'm laughing so hard
And I'm laughing so hard
And I'm laughing so hard


This song has been all over my mind, heart, and stuck in my head for the past month straight. Let me preface this by saying, that is by no means a complaint. I have been able to relate to this song in my Walk with Christ more than any other Worship song ever written.
I take a very positive approach with my walk with Christ. My life verse, (Genesis 50:20) basically tells us that anything intended for evil, God can make Good. I take that same approach to my walk with Him - I still get nervous when I am bequeathed blessings, because I'm afraid I'll waste them, or not use them to their best of my/their ability - but then I remember what the foundation of all of this is - faith. Belief. If God gave me such blessings, then I am going to BELIEVE He is going to give me Revelation and His willpower to use it to the best of my ability.

As a result of having a positive mindset in my walk with Him, as well as the inherent Joy that comes with knowing Jesus, I tend to stay happy and Joyful the majority of the time. Granted, I do not get tested much - I have it great, no financial hardships, a loving family, a surrounding circuit of believers and friends who build me, but I still tend to stay Joyful in almost every situation in which I find myself.

Something about the chorus of this song, just screaming "YOU ARE MY JOY!" at the top of my lungs over and over, really just telling Him exactly what He is - I just, GOSH, I could do that forever; He's so worthy, He's so worthy HE'S SO WORTHY!!

And I know that most worship is very emotional now-a-days, and lots of crying and conviction, and that David Crowder has raised some eyebrows with the last line of this song - but I love it. "I'm laughing so hard!"
What do you do when you're happy? You laugh! So when we're Joyful, should we not laugh that much more? I'll catch myself laughing between verses of many of the different songs we play at Church, and I just can't help it - I'M Joyful and laughter is a physical manifestation of it.

And although I wouldn't consider myself a tongues-speaking Charismatic, but man, when I feel the Holy Spirit ("He set me on fire, I'm burning alive, His breath in my lungs, I'm coming undone") I CAN'T remain "composed" in the eyes of the world. I cannot stand/sit still when I sing those words - or when I ever think about God, or feel His Presence!

And letting myself go? I propose that every day. I wish I could completely let myself go - because that would leave so much more room for God to come in and exemplify Himself, and Glorify Himself through me.

This song, is a masterpiece.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

As I sit hear listening to Sabian and Zeppelin, the two most recent and youngest additions to the Auman ark, I can't help but think about God, and just how Good He is. Not only that, but also how much of what an understatement what I just said is.

So many times satan tries (and many times, he succeeds) in convincing me that I'm the only person struggling with whatever temptations and sins I am trying to overcome. Lust, hard-heartedness, and an inability to be friends with a girl for nothing more than the sake of friendship are some of the biggest struggles I've been dealing with lately. And just when satan has finally convinced me I'm the only person on the planet, Christian or not, that is struggling with my many struggles, God sends along someone to remind me I'm not alone, and assuming so is not glorifying to Him in the least.

Today was really humbling for me. Realizing that I'm NOT alone, like I was so willing to believe; as well as God reminding me that I DON'T have things all figured out, like I think I do, and my Walk with Him is not something I can plan or do the same way every time. I fear that I've become somewhat systematic in my walk, which disgusts me to no end.

While I do not have much of anything truly figured out, I know that as a Christian the very least I can do is act in a kind, loving way that shows others they ARE important, and they ARE loved, and they ARE worth so much more than they'll ever understand.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Qualities of God

I've helped to revive the long-since defunct youth group at my Father's Church, basically taking the position of acting Youth Pastor, with the help of the Spillman family, as satisfying the Safe Sanctuaries requirements adopted by the UMC.

Anyways, for our activity to involve the youth, I wrote "GOD IS:" on a large whiteboard, and asked the kids to name qualities of God. They started out with the usual, "Good," "Awesome," "Perfect," and the like. After going around the table of 15 kids twice, the answers started to dwindle - so I advised them to look in the book of Psalms for more words, as the entire book is essentially songs being sung to God in praise. To tie in the activity to the lesson, I had two main points. I pointed out that even with the 250-odd words we had written on the board, we still were not even beginning to scratch the surface of what God really is. I also brought up the fact that as Christians, our one and only job on this planet is to exemplify Characteristics of God. I asked them, "How many people who saw you this week would say you were forgiving? Loving? Understanding? Compassionate?" I find it funny, that in reflection, that was a very humbling experience for me; since I am considered a "teacher" in this context, I am held to a higher standard. However, that does not mean I meet said higher standards. As hard as I try to maintain a positive, Godly attitude in every situation, I'd be a liar to say I do.

What characteristics of God are you exemplifying?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I have refrained from watching movies that involve exorcism, and demon possession since I have become a Christian. I believe that evil attracts evil, and by watching these types of movies, it is making myself that much more vulnerable to an attack by demonic spirits - essentially allowing them a foot in the door, if you will.
As I type this, Constantine, a movie in which Keanu Reeves plays the role of an Exorcist, is playing in the background. I feel that I SHOULD be watching this just as much as I shouldn't.
I'm praying constantly that I would not ever in my life have to deal with a demonic spirit - aside from the one I battled late last year. But regardless, there is so much peace in the fact that in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter - the battle has already been won! Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Religion teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world"

I stumbled across this as someone's Religious Views on Facebook. To me, it represents the war between Science and Religion/Christianity that has been ongoing for centuries. I can't help but think that if THIS is what religion is to non-believers, we are doing a terrible job of communicating the love of Christ. I think that our approach to debates such as Abiogenesis vs. Intelligent Design are nothing more than self-serving, as I have yet to see ANYONE converted as a result of said debate.
The love of Christ is not manifested by "I'm right, You're wrong" attitudes, regardless of the fact that we do indeed know The Ultimate Truth. The Love of Christ is not manifested by low-blows, and personal attacks on those who may not believe the same things we do. I think that too big of a deal has been made of Evolution and Abiogenesis by Christianity as a whole.

Christianity is a message of Love, Grace, and Forgiveness, not to mention Acceptance, beyond anything we will ever be able to comprehend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It might seem a bit pretentious of me to say what I'm going to say, but I'm going to say it anyway!

God uses me! I know He does! I can feel it and see the effects of His Power everyday. I'm nothing special, I'm certainly not deserving of having such a Perfect God working through me - but He does anyway! I'm not perfect, I'm not great, I'm not even good - but He uses me! HE uses ME!

GOD FREAKIN' USES ME!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I got into another heated debate about whether Christians should use vulgarity or not today.

And someone brought up a point I've been flirting with a lot lately - using EVERY single opportunity, item, chance, ANYTHING to further God's Kingdom. EVERY single thing. Every decision. Every single little thing.

A lot of people have been giving me a hard time about buying so many guitars lately. Fair enough; it has gotten rather out of hand lately. And honestly, I bought all of these guitars for one reason: To play and make music that glorifies My King. And if I ever use them for any other purpose, whether it's personal gain or any of the countless other idols I find myself bowing to, I hope they are stolen from me quicker than I can ever comprehend.

Honestly, I've felt guilty for having so much most of the time lately. Jesus didn't need much of anything, and I shouldn't either. But I do. And I hold onto it way too tight to ever dream of letting it go.
But I will say this - I am learning to try and glorify God in EVERYTHING I do. EVERYTHING I own. I'm failing miserably, but I'm still trying. Having a car to drive all the time means I should not be stingy in the least bit for friends who need rides / people who need help etc.

Having more money than any teenager ever should have with a $7.50/hr job means I should not withhold when asked for help (Luke 6:30) at all. $5 gas? You got it.

Genesis 50:20 states:
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives

Make the best of this rotten, lousy bag of bones Father.
I have noticed lately many Christians justifying using course language and vulgarity because they are "Culturally and socially attributed" and are not inherently "bad."

I have yet to see any fruit come from cursing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

There is a difference between Joy and happiness.
There is a difference between depression and sadness.
And it is through Christ I realized these differences.

Joy is constant, happiness is fleeting.
Depression is constant, sadness is fleeting.

You can be sad, but you're not going to be consistently sad over a long period of time. When you are, I think that is when it becomes depression.

The same equation can be applied to joy and happiness. I think you can really happy about something, but eventually it fades away. Happiness seems very short-term. However, Joy, that is consistency. Joy is longterm.


I have some friends that are extremely upset with me. I hate it. I want to fix it. But I'm not allowed to. I am frustrated.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I am by no means condoning skipping church for weeks and months at a time.
But I will tell you this;
After missing Sunday Morning Service for 7 out of the last 8 weeks, when I finally came back...I realized what I was missing. Nothing spectacular happened, no life-changing sermon and altar call. But I just felt so....good. So wanted. So appreciated. So cared for.
I was a fool to ever think sleep was a better choice than Church.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I don't know if what's happening in my garage is the most effective way for me to further God's Kingdom, but gosh darn it is so good, and it is moving people, and energizing people, and just...so awesome. God, You just....blow my mind. Everyday, I think I have you figured out and You just blow me away. You're so Good, and I'm so not.