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!


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 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.