Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gone Fishin

I became a fishing pole last night.

Allow me to explain what I mean.

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus says, "Follow Me...and I will make you fish for people!" However, notice I said I was the fishing pole, not the fisherman. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said in John 16:8: "He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:"

I went to the Mission Inn in Riverside last night and evangelized to the people there. Did I catch anyone? I didn’t. Did the Holy Spirit? Very possibly. You see, the Holy Spirit is the One Who’s truly fishing. I’m just the pole, and the Gospel tracts I hand out are the bait.

A lot more bait got out than clearly hooked anyone, but as I said to several people, “There’s a message on the back. If you read it and believe it, it could change your life.” I don’t believe that that is a misleading lie. In fact, the Gospel has all the power it needs. Romans 10:14 says, “But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?” The Gospel message on the back of the tracts is plenty to convict a person of sin if the Spirit so wills that they be saved. I’d prefer to explain it myself, but if they “don’t have time” or “need to be somewhere” I pray that the message on the back is read and embraced by them.

Something I noticed is that while I hold out these $1,000,000 bill tracts, adults will stare at them longingly, but children will come ask for one or even grab one from my hand. I think it goes to emphasize what Jesus said in Mark 10:15. “I assure you: whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” You have to be willing to take a step of faith. For the kids, it’s grabbing the tracts. For the adults, it’s following their child’s example.

Something I have to mention is that if I know I’m going to be out witnessing to people I always wear the same shirt. It’s bright yellow and it reads, “ON MY 11Six.” It’s put out by Reach Records—Lecrae, Trip Lee, Andy Mineo—and it’s based off of Romans 1:16, being unashamed of the Gospel. I wear it for two reasons. One, if I get lost, the yellow color will help anyone find me. Two, there are a lot more verses in the Bible than Romans 1:16, that contain 1:16 in the reference. You can get a decent theology just by looking at these verses. I will be releasing a song—hopefully in the near future—about this very topic.

I’m blessed that God would save me so that I can spread His glorious message to others who need it just as badly as I need it.

Anyways, I pray that if you read this you would become bold and share the Gospel yourself. If you aren’t doing it, why are you still alive? The goal of a Christian is to be in the world, not of it, so we can share the Gospel with the lost world.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Church Membership = Necessary?

     As of January 6th, I will be switching church membership from a large, well established church in my town to a small, relatively new church in the next town. I told this to some family friends about a week ago and the response I got was surprising. “You don’t have to switch membership. Membership doesn’t really mean anything anyways.”
     I must say that I do agree with that statement as far as the larger church goes, but based on the book, “9 Marks of a Healthy Church” by Mark Dever, membership is important and I see it as such at the church I will be moving to. At my current church the only thing being a member does for you is allows you to be on their payroll (as a custodian, office worker, childcare person, or coffee shop employee), but according to Dever—and what I see at my future home church—membership helps assure ourselves of salvation, helps evangelize the world, helps expose false gospels, helps edify the church, and glorifies God.
     I want to focus on the edify section. No, there is nowhere a perfect church, until the whole church of Jesus is safely in heaven, but some are definitely healthier than others. I will leave that statement at that and move on to the fact that all I have to offer a church is my sinful, grace saved self. Dever wrote, “Whenever you join a church, you will bring problems into that church! But don’t let that stop you—they’ve got problems already! That’s why they’re in a church. I’ve got problems; you’ve got problems. But we know that Jesus is Lord, and that His Spirit has already begun to work on those problems.” If you say your church is perfect, you’re drastically confused, because that would imply that you think you are perfect too. It’s not the case. Dever goes on to write that “church membership is our ability to…make it known that we are the responsibility of this local church.”
     This is where I want to land this thing. I attended the larger church for 18 years of my life, and have never been truly disciple by anyone. I’ve attended (“secretly”) my future church for the past year and a half and the pastors have already told me that they see me as their responsibility even though I’m not even a member yet. I need this kind of care. Jesus is the good shepherd; pastors are His undershepherds. I need to be cared for the way shepherds care for their sheep, and this is not happening at my current church, so i need to leave. Is your church providing for your spiritual needs?
     To close, I leave you a challenge. Dever wrote, “Jesus said, ‘I will build my church’ (Matt. 16:18). If Jesus is committed to the church, should we be any less committed to it?” (pg. 159). I fully agree with this statement. If you are not a member of a local church, why aren’t you? We need to be committed to Christ and we show this externally by committing to a church.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hat Flipped Up and Pants Sagged Down

Why are people so quick to judge? It’s really annoying. Not going to lie, but I hate being judged. I hate being criticized. I hate being looked down on. Don’t get me wrong though— I appreciate constructive criticism— in fact I love it. What I hate is when people look at me— specifically how I dress— and judge me in their mind. Allow me to explain myself.
I was at church this weekend and a missionary we support was visiting. My friend and I decided to talk with him after service. She was excited to talk to the missionary about Africa and stuff and the missionary was thoroughly interested. I tried to keep quiet (I’ll explain more in an upcoming post). Finally the missionary asked me what I wanted to do in the future and before I could answer my friend said, “He wants to be a pastor.” I saw the missionary look me over— head to foot to head— and watched his face change. Basically saying, “This tall, skinny kid whose hat is cocked to the side and his jeans are falling off wants to be a pastor? What’s this world coming to?” I was appalled.
You see, there are at least five Bible verses that I have taken up that put my casual dress appearance to ease. Allow me to share. 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Corinthians 9:22b, Colossians 3:1, Romans 7:14-25, and 1 Timothy 4:12.
1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”
When it comes to how I dress all I have to remember is that God doesn’t care about that. What He cares about is where my heart is. And where my heart is, as I will show in the following verses, is on God. My dress keeps me focused on Him actually.
1 Corinthians 9:22b says, “I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”
I’m all about going out and spreading the gospel. One key way I go about that is through rap music. My own. Shai Linne’s. Trip Lee’s. If you do rap music, you can’t wear your pants above your hips. It just doesn’t give the right image and people say, “wow, what a poser. I’m not gonna listen to him.” So, to fit the image pants must sag. In addition, I live in a “ghetto” of my city. If I’m gonna do any good I’ve got to dress the part. It’s that easy. No gangster is going to listen to someone who wears his pants above his waist, shirt tucked in, etc.
Colossians 3:1 says, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
This verse speaks about my hat.  Well not really, but soon you’ll understand. I had a really good friend, who I rarely talk to anymore unfortunately, but I would always turn my hat crooked and point the bill at her, saying, “my hat points at my favorite person in the room.” She never liked it, but the truth is now: I point my hat at my favorite Person in the world— Jesus Christ. If He’s at the right hand of the Father, up in Heaven, and my hat points at my favorite Person, then logically my hat is pointing up, slightly right of center. Every time I remember my hat I think of Jesus. He’s higher, better, and greater than me, but He is my right hand Man through all trials, temptations, and struggles.
Romans 7:14-25 says, “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
This passage is a long, complicated way of saying, “sin is warring against me, trying to get me down. I have to fight the temptations to come out on top.” This is where my sagging jeans come in. If my pants are slowly working their way down my waist every day, and I have to pull them back up constantly, it reminds me of sin. I have to keep on top of temptations and not them get a hold in my mind, because that is when sin comes in. I have overcome several temptations recently, solely by thinking about my pants— or even just in the process of getting them back up above my hips. Sin wants to get me down just like my pants want to fall down, but I have to work to keep myself above sin and to keep my pants on my waist. If I kept my pants above my waist 100% of the time I’d forget about the spiritual warfare quite quickly.
1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
This verse will close out this post. Nowhere in here does it say that you have to wear your pants above your waist to be an example. The closest thing to that is “conduct”, but I believe that is speaking of how you live your life, not how you dress while living life. Purity isn’t really an issue either. My mom has told me numerous times, “girls would like you more if you wear your clothes right.” Thus, I would be leading more people into sinful thoughts if my pants were up high than if they’re slightly sagged.
Well, there are my thoughts. I want to be a pastor one day, and yes, when I am preaching I will be dressed up. But as long as I’m not behind a pulpit I will dress to reflect Christ (with my hat) and my war against sin (with my pants). Say what you want but this is me.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Prayer Bargaining pt 2

Judges 11:30-35— “Jephthah made a vow to the LORD and said, “If You will indeed give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon, it shall be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” So Jephthah crossed over to the sons of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD gave them into his hand. He struck them with a very great slaughter from Aroer to the entrance of Minnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim. So the sons of Ammon were subdued before the sons of Israel. When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, behold, his daughter was coming out to meet him with tambourines and with dancing. Now she was his one and only child; besides her he had no son or daughter. When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are among those who trouble me; for I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot take it back.””

So, I read this today and it reminded me of my post from a couple days ago about prayer bargaining with God. Clearly it’s not a good idea. Because, it would be highly possible for to happen. I would not be able to follow through on my vow, but we as Christians are called to live up to our word. So the warning is not to promise God anything if He will do one certain thing for us. So, I thank God again for showing me that I shouldn’t bargain with Him, and for allowing me to hear Him through His word.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Transformed Mind

Romans 12:2- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Let’s just say that I had tons of stuff to write on this verse, specifically the “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” section, but I just started thinking about the rest of the verse and it made 65 times more sense why God had put the verse in my head at all. I’ll keep it simple for you though.
Tuesday night I was lying in bed and my mind was wandering where it shouldn’t have been. All of a sudden “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” popped into my head and it helped immensely. I still haven’t been able to get it out of my head so I decided to write it down, and in doing so I wrote the whole verse.
Reading the verse in its entirety clears it up for me as to why God put it into my head. Let’s just say I’ve been praying for Him to reveal His will to me, and there it is. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is”. So therefore, in order for me to know God’s will, my mind needs to be transformed.
This leads to questions about whether this happens at salvation, or whether it’s a Christian maturity thing. Personally, I have no clue. I think it’s more along the lines of maturity because I’ve been a Christian for almost two years now and I know for a fact my mind could still use transformation. Romans 7 and the whole topic of sanctification back me up on this.
But, in closing, let me just say that God does speak to us through His Word when we take the time to get to know it and the time to quiet ourselves to hear Him.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Prayer Bargaining pt 1

Prayer... As i said before, it's one of those things that has a lot of different ideas swirling around it. For the last 6 or 7 years, my view of prayer has been changing significantly. Six years ago i decided (stupidly) that prayer was pointless because i couldn't see any proof that it was working. (All i prayed for was a good day and for my left hand to get better.) Then, almost exactly 2 years ago this view of prayer led me to say that there was no possible way God could be real. (Nothing is further from the truth.) But now i've found myself longing to pray, but every time i do i find myself falling into this really bad habit of what i have come to call 'Bargaining with God'.
It’s not that it’s an evil thing to do, because it’s in the Bible and it works for the people that do it. However, I find myself constantly praying something like, “God, if I’m supposed to do a, let x happen, but if I’m not supposed to do a, let y happen.”
You might think, “oh, that’s like what Gideon did,” and yes, I’d have to agree with you. Judges 6:36-40 tells the story:
Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.
Which is exactly what I’ve found myself doing. “God, if you want me to do this, let this happen, and if you don’t, let this other thing happen.” I don’t know if it shows a lack of faith, demanding a sign, but it’s confusing. Another key example in the Bible is Genesis 24:12-14:
He said, “O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’—may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.”
The story then goes on to explain that a girl came out, named Rebecca, and did everything the guy prayed for. She later became the mother of Jacob and Esau.
So my thing these days is to stop doing this with my prayers. What I need to do is just pray. No giving God requirements. His plans are higher than mine. His plans are holier than mine. His plans are better than mine. I mean, honestly, if I had had my way, I’d probably be playing baseball somewhere right now saying, “God look at all the money I’ve got. I don’t need You.” And then end up in hell when I die. I thank Him every time I think about it that He gave me a stroke so I would hit rock bottom and realize, “dang, I’m gonna be in big trouble if I die without You.”
So, after hearing my pastor preach, verse by verse, on what’s commonly known as “the Lord’s prayer,” which he dubbed “the disciples’ prayer,” due to the fact that it was our Lord teaching His followers how to pray, I decided to make a list of things to pray for every day. It went well for a few days, but soon I had stopped again. Things crowded it out and I would put it off and never get back to it. Never a good idea.
When I took a road trip back east at Christmas time, I decided to take the six sermons along so I could rejuvenate my prayer life. It worked. For like a week— if that.
So, after this past week I’ve decided to try again— differently. You see, I’ve started running again (after almost two years off) and I’ve realized that’s a great time, especially early in the morning, to just pray. There’s really no distractions while I’m out on the sidewalk. Just me and God for the most part. Especially at 6 a.m.
But, I’ve caught myself, especially this week, pulling the Abraham’s servant prayers again. I mean when he did it, there was no problem with what he was doing. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with mine either, but I think I should just settle with praying, “God, give me guidance and direction in x, y, and z in my life.”
Tonight, walking home from church, I decided to take an out of my way route and spend a good fifteen minutes just praying, out loud, to God. At least five times I caught myself doing the Abraham’s servant prayer, and then I’d say, “nevermind. Just give me guidance and direction please.”
It’s complicated but it’s true. I know there’s no real answer to anything here, but I figured I’d give you my thoughts. God wants you to pray for everything, even the little things. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “…Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” Don’t just pray for big things. Pray for little things too. He wants to hear you speak to Him.
And just as a closing thought, I thought about this earlier today.  When I used to hang out with my best friend everyday, we’d always talk about girls we like. And, for some probably similar reason, it seems like that’s my favorite subject to talk to God about. A guy can never have too much Godly guidance on that topic.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Music Bumpin' Out My Car

So today I’ve been thinking about my driving habits. Nothing inherently wrong with them. It’s just that I’ve noticed people giving me dirty looks as I drive around town. It’s not that I’m breaking the law— because I’m not— I’m just bumping music loud and singing/rapping along to it. And, to clear it up at the start, it’s Christian music every single time.
I can’t stand the secular rap anymore— it puts me in a bad mood. Besides, as Tedashii said in the song Listening Choice, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with listening to non-christian music, but as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” I’d rather be building myself up with music than tearing myself down.
But, to get back to my driving habits, it seems that every time I’m driving around town someone gives me a dirty look that says, “Why are you playing that incessant racket??!?” I ignore the looks of course, because I’m too busy busting out a Shai Linne, Lecrae, or Trip Lee verse to care, but it makes me think. “Am I supposed to be blasting other people with my gospel centered rap music?”
My verdict, is “yes”. This is due to 2 Corinthians 5:10, which says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” It’s talking about stewardship of the stuff you own. If I’m gonna be called to account for how I use my stuff, I really should be blasting Christian music so others can hear it. (And yes, I do secretly hope, every time I’m at a red light, that the car next to me will have it’s windows rolled down). And yes, I’ve had people roll up their windows. And yes, I’ve gotten the dirty looks. But no, I won’t stop.
When I walk around town I rap the verses on the street. So when I have to drive, I feel like I should do the same. I’ve been saying for the past several months that you can’t be an evangelist in your car, but you can on your feet. Romans 10:15 doesn’t say, how beautiful are the cars of those who share the good news. It says, “how beautiful are the feet.” Therefore I would rather walk, but, if I must drive, you ain’t gonna stop me from getting some Christian influence in your ears. And if you decide to roll up your windows on a hot day instead of listening to some Christian music and feeling cool air, you’re just getting a brief image (though a very weak one) of what hell will be like if you don’t open up to the gospel one day.
I feel I’m ranting now, so I’m going to stop. Either way, enjoy my music or crank your own (as long as it’s Christian).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Missionary or Pastor?

So yesterday I was texting a friend— asking random questions— and a crazy idea I had in church one day was brought back to the forefront of my mind. The crazy idea is to become a pastor (my life goal) and go on missionary adventures to places that have never heard the gospel before; plant churches and disciple some leaders and then move on. Kind of like Paul and Silas.
This thought first came up in a sermon about Big Evangelism vs. Small Evangelism at my church. Big evangelism is going out to places that have never heard the gospel and preaching to them. Small evangelism is going door to door and telling friends, family, coworkers, and random people on the street about the gospel. My pastor said that our church would one day like to be able to send people out to other countries but that we can’t do it yet. And I got this weird thought that I definitely didn’t put there myself about going somewhere and preaching the gospel to people who’ve never heard it before— planting a church, discipling it’s people, and moving on, or coming back to my home church for a while.
Now, you must understand, I had completely forgotten about this idea until yesterday. And now I can’t stop thinking about it, so maybe if I write it down it will help a little.
You see, my friend yesterday asked me what I want to do after college, so I logically said, “be a pastor,” because that is all I want to do (besides be a husband/father). And then she asked me if I’ve ever considered going to another country to be a pastor. I quickly said yes, but I’ve never really seriously thought about it.
Which was 100 % true until after she asked it. Now my brain has been going back and forth for 24 hours.
That’s what you should do!
Your parents wouldn’t be able to deal with you living overseas.
It would be an adventure.
America is in plenty of need spiritually. Why go elsewhere?
Other places have never heard of Jesus.
I could plant a church in America and train up lots of other people to go overseas or plant more churches in America so the cycle continues.
But you hate the United States government.
True, but maybe that’s more reason to stay.
You want to be somewhere and risk persecution. Life on the edge is awesome!
Persecution will be in the United States soon enough.
And so it continues. Part of me would love to go overseas and be an evangelist. But another part feels called to the United States. Our society is going downhill fast. The founding fathers would turn in their graves if they could see a glimpse of America. Sex sex sex. Drugs. Free money. The list could go on. The country was founded on Christian principles and now our government is trying to destroy them. If they have their way I can see America making it illegal to be a Christian in the next ten years.
We need a revival.
That’s basically all there is to it, but at the same time I’ve felt called to go to another country and plant churches there. There are 6000 tribes and tongues that have never heard the gospel and Jesus will not come back until every tribe and tongue has been reached with the gospel. It’s clear in scripture. So part of me wants to go do this as well.
But, I really don’t think I can live long term in a foreign country. What I would 100% love to do (though not necessarily what I’m meant to do) is plant a church in the United States and train up more leaders there so I can leave it in good hands while I take a year or two to do the same in a foreign country. Then come home, share the news about the trip, retake my position at the church, and then like a year or so later do it again somewhere else. It’s kind of like what Paul did in Acts 13-16. Thirteen, he leaves for his first trip, setting several able bodied men in charge. Fourteen he’s on the trip. Fifteen he comes home and sets some stuff in order. Sixteen he heads out again— to a new place.
That’s how I feel right now. Who knows what will end up happening though? Besides God of course. My life’s in His hands.

Relationships and Valentine's Day

I sat alone— besides my laptop and an iced coffee— at the Starbucks I often frequented in between college classes. It was the first Valentine’s Day I’d spent alone in three years. Well actually, depending on how one looks at it, it was the third— I was alone the year before, though “in a relationship” with a girl who lived in another state; and I was alone two years ago though I had a serious crush on a girl who liked me back.
Valentine’s Day has always been a lonely event for me. You see I’ve only ever been in one legitimate relationship before. And that only lasting from the beginning of September until Columbus Day the next month. It was nice to know someone cared. But at the same time, after it ends, you question the truth of everything they said to you. If you truly loved me, why would break up with me like it’s no big deal?
But, to get away from that episode, I’m not bitter. Me and her are still good friends. I guess I got lucky— most people I talk to say that they can’t stand their exes. For me on the other hand, she is like a sister.
So, to get back to Starbucks, I was sitting at the table trying to figure out my life.
What to do after this semester of college— work for a year or start working on my bachelor’s degree? I knew what I wanted to do for my master’s degree, but besides that I was clueless. Writing was what I enjoyed the most— I wrote during ninety percent of my free time— but I wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted to do for a living. Writers don’t make much cash and I need enough to one day be able to support a family. I don’t need more than that— because too much money takes my eyes off what is truly important. Off of what my master’s degree study was going to be— seminary study to be a pastor one day.
That was the only thing I even cared about at all. Glorifying God through my life and my words— written or spoken, book or sermon— was my goal. Maybe one day I would find a wife to share this venture with me, but until then I knew what I needed to do. School. Study. And pray.
Prayer. It’s one of those words that brings back memories of “unanswered” chants up to the sky. You see from age two I have had a very physically weak left side of my body. From a stroke. And, from age seven until probably fourteen, I would pray religiously for God to heal my hand. And, it never happened. NEVER.
The truth is that it was answered. God said “No” because He knew that it wasn’t the best thing for me, and all He wants for me is the best. His definition of best is a lot different than ours.
So, when I say school, study, and pray are what I knew I needed to do, I mean just that. By school, I need to finish my bachelor degree so I can move on to my masters. By study, I mean that I need to stay in the Word of God so I can better prepare myself for life. And by pray, I mean that I constantly need to tap into the free access I have to God and pray for His will. Prayer is the hardest one and I think I should listen to my pastor’s series on the disciple’s prayer every other month. I need to pray for will for education, will for life, and will for future wife. I mean, honestly I know what and who I’m looking for— the only thing I’m missing is a name.
Which again, takes me back to Starbucks. The door of the establishment opened and two lovebirds came in— in each other’s arms. If only I had someone, I thought for a second. Then a voice in my head spoke up, One day you will. Don’t sweat it right now. God’s plan is better than yours. That comforted me a lot.
You probably are curious about who and what I’m looking for. Well it’s very simple. The main thing is that she needs to love God more than anything— even me. If she can love God that much then her priorities are straight and life together will run smoother. She needs to love the lost people of the world just as much or more than I do. Not just caring for the poor and needy physically and economically; but spiritually as well— if not more so. And then third on the list would be that she would like writing/reading just as much as me.
It’s what I pray for every day I think about her.
Thus my thoughts went— the whole time I was at my favorite coffee shop.

Belated Valentine's Day Post

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Just wanted to share a valentines day story with you all.

"Once upon a time, probably around the year 2006, there was a man who loved a woman.
May not sound too out of the ordinary but it's true. This man was completely taken with this girl. Here's the thing though-- this girl was nothing to look at. In fact, according to society's standards, she was ugly-- overweight, pock marked face, and scarred from continuous cutting. However, this didn't stop the man from loving her. He saw something more in her, that even she didn't know was there.
One day, she was feeling especially low, and decided to go visit some "friends"-- who weren't really friends at all. They were desperate men who used women for what they could offer them. She had decided to become a prostitute in order to feel loved, not realizing there was a guy who loved her deeply despite who she was.
Well, to make a long graphic story short, she ended up murdering one of the guys who was using her because he kept calling her derogatory names and beating her. His friend decided to use a knife on her face and arms and legs-- completely mutilating her. When she finally got away, she ran right into the arms of a police officer.
He arrested her for murder and threw her in prison. The day of the trial came and the judge pronounced her guilty-- issuing the death penalty.
Just then the man who loved her came in and declared to the judge, "I'll pay any fine and take the death penalty for her! Just don't touch her."
The woman was completely confused. Who in the world was this guy? she wondered.
You see she had no idea the guy even knew her. All of a sudden he was ready to take her punishment. It wrapped her brain in knots.
The judge accepted the man's request. Pronouncing him guilty and her innocent. As she was led past him out of the courthouse, he said, "I love you. Don't ever forget that."
the end"

Well actually it's not the end. Look at Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

You see, this woman represents you and me. We are all guilty of breaking the laws of God. Maybe you haven't murdered anyone, but your still guilty. Ever told a lie?Ever stolen something? Ever disobeyed tyour parents?

Look at James 2:10: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all."

You and me and everyone else on earth is a sinner deserving Hell. Thank goodness for the guy who pays the fine and takes the death sentence though. Jesus Christ. He died so we could live. And then, he rose from the dead so He could make Christians His bride.

Look at 1 John 3:1: "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God."

Children of God, the Bride of Christ= the same thing. Jesus is God's son, so Christians are His sons/daughters-in-grace. Not in-law, because we aren't under law any more.

Take some time to praise God for loving you that much today. Or if you never have believed it for yourself, all that is required is belief in Christ and a repentence (turning) from sin.