Is there anything wrong with going back and remembering a time in our lives? In my own opinion I would say no. But so many people say that we can dwell to much on the past if we are not willing to move on.I agree to that debate as well, there comes a time in our lives when we need to take a stand. I am not talking about taking a stand in a political form or anything of that nature. I am talking about taking a stand for where we say the past is there for a reason, and we do need to move on despite how much hurt and past emotion is still there. The memories are still there and they will always be there to try and keep us down. But we know that we are stronger then those memories. If that time in our life that we keep going back to was so pleasant, would we still not be there now? Am I talking to my self in the entry more then my readers to a point I am. Does that mean I am just giving up on my dreams of going into the mission field one day? By no means it is dreams like that in which in fact are giving me the energy and encouragement every day. That just means I need to move on from the past hurts and times in which I was not truly my self or truly happy. Stop counting the days till the dream comes back.The memories in which are good, and peaceful are the memories in which I want to remember. I almost wish I knew who my grandpa was before he died, he always said he wanted a grandson. Two years latter I was born, but the memories of him are memories in which I want to remember even though I never knew him. So in closing there is nothing wrong in remembering, but let us remember for the right reasons not the wrong.Think of each day as a new start, a new memory to remember you have the choice in how the remembrance will play out.Happy Reading Adam
Are you ready for the adventure of your life? A trip that will both open your eyes and possibly open your heart, a new look on something that is seldom talked about? Now do not get me wrong this topic is talked about, at least once a year. For maybe a special Sunday or even for a weekend event and no I am not talking about Christmas and Easter. That would be a too easy of a giveaway. Now some “churches” do talk about this topic, some are even very passionate about this. There are even events or week long seminars about this topic, but how many of us would think that this would affect us? Let us open our hearts and minds to see how God will lead us. Maybe it will re light a flame that once burned deep; you may have thought you were the only one with this dream. Let me assure you that you are not alone on this.
Going back to very roots of the bible, back to the very start God has called some to go beyond their own borders. While at the same time, He has called some to stay within their own borders. Now with both aspects in mind, I am going to try and break apart the two. Give biblical examples of both, and point out some of the pros and cons. I am also going to use non biblical examples also. This may end up being a few sessions as well; the topic of choice for this entry is going to be missions. Think of it as missions 101, something the church talks about, but very seldom know about. For those of my non Christian readers, think of this as a crash course on something God will call you to the day you except Christ into your heart. Now some of you may be wondering why I choose this topic and what inspired the idea. What is my story when it comes to missions, how did I know that I was called to missions, and a lot of other questions in regards to that. I am going to answer all those questions and a lot more along this journey. So before I go any further I have a question for you: Are you ready for the adventure of your life to begin? A better question that will keep showing is, are you ready to join the adventure? What is stopping you from starting out on your own adventure? Are you called to go beyond your borders of protection and go into the un-known or has God called you to be a home based missionary?
The term missions: 1) A sending out or being sent out to a special service.2) A group of persons sent by a religious body to spread its religion. So now that we know the definition of the term missions, that should explain it all right? Wow a shorter study then I thought, wrong. That is not even to start to scratch the surface of the term, or even a look into missions. That is just the term that is best used to define the word. But there is a whole different aspect that we have not looked into a lot more we have left to do. In the way of adventure or journey, the suitcases are out and open. Now let’s fill it and get you out the door as well. Starting with the life of Christ, there are numerous biblical accounts as to where He advised that people were ready to hear the Gospel. But the question is who was going to tell them? In Matthew 10:37-38—“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray you therefore the Lord of the harvest that He will send out more laborers.” Also in Luke 10:2, He says the same thing how do we know if He is talking to us or to someone else? It looks like to me that the “Christians” are not doing as He called we are not open to the field, we are afraid to leave our comfort zone. The field is not going to come knock on our door as ask to hear the “good news” we need to get out there.
Once we decide to accept Christ into our lives we get a label over us “Christian and Missionary”, here is what I mean by the latter. Right before Jesus left this earth He left his disciples with a calling, a challenge and something not just to think about but to follow. Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Here He told his followers, hey the mission is yours now, go, tell, baptize, and teach. Does that mean we need to venture out and tell every single person we run into about Jesus? No, Jesus will place it unto us who to share with, does that mean not to actively live out our faith and get away with whatever “crap” we want? No again, non Christians will be able to see our faith lived out through our actions, sometimes even more so then with our words. This has just been the first part into a 5 part lesson. Happy Reading, Adam
Interesting title to say the least for this blog. I promise it will make more sense when I get done. The topic of choice for this blog, is something that I have covered once before, but it has been over two years. I figured it was time for an updated version.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
God’s armor brings victory because it is far more then a protective covering. It is the very life of Jesus Christ Himself. “Put on the armor” as Paul said in the letter to the Romans….”clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ”( Romans 13:12-14) When you do, He becomes your hiding place and your shelter in the storm–just as He was to David. Hidden in Him, you can count on His victory, for He not only covers you as a shield, He also fills you with His life. (John 15:5) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Since living in the safety of the armor means oneness with Jesus, we can expect to share His struggles as well as His peace. Remember, God offers us His victory in the midst of our trouble and hardship—-not in the absence of pain.
So the question is how do we then put on the armor of God, what does that truly look like. Here is a graph I found that will hopefully better explain everything.
Know the Truth about…
Affirm key Scriptures
|Belt of TRUTH||God: the Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit|
|Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS||The holy and perfect righteousness of Jesus in those who are “born again” and filled with His Spirit||“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) Psalm 100:3; Rom. 3:23-24, 6:23; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 3:8-10.|
|Sandals of PEACE||Inner peace and readiness|| “For He Himself is our peace…” (Eph. 2:14-15)
Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14; John 14:27, 16:33, 20:21.
|Shield of FAITH||Living by faith||
“I am crucified with Christ:…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God….” (Gal. 2:20) Rom. 4:18-21; Heb. 11:1; 1 Pet. 1:6-7
|Helmet of SALVATION||Salvation through Christ today and forever||“Nor is there salvation in any other…”(Acts 4:12) Each day: Ps. 16, 23; Heb. 1:3-6
For eternity: 2 Cor. 4:16-18; 1 Thess. 4:17; 1 John 3:1-3
|The victorious Sword of the spirit: GOD’S WORD||God’s Word countering spiritual deception and accusations||“…the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory….” (John 1:14) Heb. 4:12; Matt. 4:2-11; 1 Pet. 3:15; Ps. 119:110-112|
There is a lot of truth in what I posted, a lot to think about, but the question is what if I wanted to apply a lot of this to my daily prayer life? What would that look like? Here is a model of what I use.
The belt of truth: Thank you, my Lord, for showing me the TRUTH about Yourself, Your plans and Your ways. Thank You for reminding me that You are the only God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the King of the universe, my Father who loves me, and my Shepherd who leads me. You are my wisdom, my counselor, my hope, and my strength. You are everything I need each day!
The breastplate of righteousness: Thank You for showing me the truth about myself — that on my own I could never be good enough to live in your presence. Thank you for taking my sins to the cross and offering me your perfect, RIGHTEOUS life. Lord, show me any sin that I need to confess right now, so that nothing will hinder me from being filled to overflowing with your Spirit. [Take time for confession] Thank you for forgiving me and for filling me with your RIGHTEOUS life.
The sandals of peace: Thank you for the peace you give me when I trust and follow you. Show me how to help others find that PEACE.
The shield of faith: Thank you for helping me have FAITH in you. I choose to count on everything you have shown me about yourself — and everything you have promised me in your Word.
The helmet of salvation: Thank you for promising me SALVATION both for today’s battles and for all eternity.
The sword of the spirit, the Word of God:Thank you for the scriptures you have given me to memorize. Please show me which you want me to use to cut through deceptions and gain your victory in any battle I may face today.
But the question remains how did I come up with my title in regards to this blog? When you re read over the armor what does it say about guarding your back? Meaning what if the arrows come from behind. When we slander/talk down to we usually do not do it to there faces, instead we do it there backs. We as Christians need to be united and stand together, we need to be one for all and all for one. If we know of a way to help someone, instead of just waiting for them to ask, offer the help. This is very true in my own life lately as I have had some Jeep trouble. But God knew what He was doing even if I never did. Acts 2:45-They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Am I saying to sell everything we have and hope that God will answer that call? By no means what I am saying is look around at what you have… what are your gifts? Are you good at fixing cars. are you good at even just listing to someone being there? Fixing a home cooked meal, offering a ride? Those are some things maybe not a gift per say, but we all have abilities to be able to help one another.Look around this holiday season and see what you can do to reach out and help one another.Happy Reading, Adam
“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
How many times have we told God no just because we are scared as to where he wants us to go? How many times have we backed down on sharing our faith even with our own family members for the same reason? To many different times to count right? But if we really think about it what is holding us back? He says that He will rescue us and that he is with us. But we are still scared the main question is why? Now I am not just talking missions on the global level I am talking about local missions as well. Here let me put it another way.
18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Now that makes more sense right? Still have some doubts? It is ok to be scared but to remember that Christ has a plan for each and every one of us. We do not need to ever leave the country to make disciples of all nations do we? Of course not some of us maybe called over seas permanently but others of us have not been called over seas at all. God can still use us no matter where we are. Let me end with this thought answer it for your self’s.
Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives him or her patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
So each and every year around this same time, a few things never seem to change. Some of those things are the fact by this time of year we are wanting it to slow down, but that never seems to happen. The other is something that started awhile ago, and the traditions are still passed on to this day. Of course I am talking about getting our letter to Santa Claus, wow did I have all of you fooled. Most of you thought I was going to write about Thanksgiving, or even the true story of Christmas. Oh believe me sooner or latter those will be appearing or making an appearance. I am not even going to go into the mystery of how Santa came about. Come on you all should know me better then that. But at the same token, you should know that I will not leave you hungry for more. Well indirectly yes lol, but I promise it is not planed.
When I was a kid, now I may not be certain about this. But I do not remember going to the mall that much to see Santa. Maybe I did, the point is I still believed in Santa without having to see him at the mall. Something about writing the letter each year, and having hmm interesting side note. In order to believe that Santa would bring the presents each year I would need faith, the thought I had was how to keep the faith in Santa even as we get older. Just like in our Christian walk, we need faith to believe in Jesus. But we do not grow out of that relationship, how to keep our child like faith though that is the question.Wow that went a lot deeper then I thought originally, maybe I will write more on that topic later.
But the part that I remember the most was writing my letter to Santa, and asking what I wanted for Christmas. I always thought how cool it must have been to work with Santa, I mean seriously trying out the new toys, video games. Epic within it’s own right, plus to be able to make all the toys for the rest of year. Does Santa hire a elf to be the personal secretary? I mean I never got a response to my letters, but I always wanted one. But more so to translate and go through each letter. Especially with those of us who have bad hand writing. I know hard to believe right, but sadly yes. I think it is funny how I can get so far off track within my own blog, wow I even impress my self at times.
When I was a kid, I believed in the Great pumpkin, cupid, and the Easter bunny oh yeah and the leprechaun dude from lucky charms. But over time I stopped believing in cupid, when I never had a girl friend for Valentines day when I was younger 😦 But I am ok with that lol. Great Pumpkin is something I think that Charlie Brown made up to try and make another holiday. Easter bunny i saw adults hiding the eggs, next thing I knew I was doing that also. Lucky charms dude he is so real. No trying to argue with me, what am I saying I know he is not real. Leprechaun’s are just part of our imagination. But what is it about Santa that keeps the dream alive? I am a grown up and here I am writing a blog about Santa. But yeah that is the interesting perspective that I am dealing with.
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this year seems so different then others, a few job changes. And my apartment while it is nice, and feels like home.I do not have that many Christmas decorations to put up. It is hard to get excited for Christmas when it is just one person, by no means am I complaining it is all part of God’s plan for my life. Let me switch that, I have friends and family just not that one special person. The bunny is starting to show again.But seriously I know that Santa can not bring me the extra holiday spirit that is needed. That is a choice of my own, and I choose to take joy. And remember to send your letters to Santa.
Santa Claus P.O. Box 56009 North Pole, Alaska 99705-1099
So many times in our lives we have troubles and tribulations. Now the world’s view only gives us two options really. We can either learn from the experience and grow, or option two run away with the problem and not look back. Now in some regards we really do both options at the same time. Case in point, let us say we are dating someone that we care about, you get into an argument. Are you going to be able to talk it through? Or are you going to run away and bury the problem and act as if nothing is wrong? If you are able to talk through the problem, you can learn from the experience through a trial and error. Try not to make the same mistakes. If you choose option two, who are you really benefiting through this? Is your goal not to hurt your self, or do you truly care enough about that other person not to hurt them?
By this point into the blog some of my readers may be wondering what this has to do with lifting my hands, and I admit I was going on a nice bunny trial with a lot of questions. That have yet to be answered, but I assure you that is not the topic for this blog. The topic of this blog is about lifting my hands. It is about how when the world offers two options that there is a third option that is always available. We in the”Christian” community know what this third option is, and it is our responsibility to share this with the rest of the world.
What does this look like though? When are times in which we can turn to this option? Chris Tomlin a Christian music artist wrote a song called” I lift my hands”, there are some very true points he made in his song.
“I lift my hands to believe again You are my refuge, You are my strength
As I pour out my heart These things, I remember You are faithful, God, forever”. But not just in instances like that, when we loose a loved one. Let us rejoice for they are with God.When we loose a job, God will still provide. God has our best interest in mind, yet we as humans turn away from God, or even blame God when things go wrong in our lives. At all times we need to be praising the Lord. Faith will still be there, and as we reach out to God he is there to reach down and provide for us.
In a previous blog I wrote that God bases us on our hearts which is very true, but when we are week, when we are going through tough times God wants us to reach out and lift our hands to worship Him. He is the one that created us, He is the one that will not turn His back on us no matter how many times we turn and walk away. But as our faith deepens and grows with more of a passion to long after God our hearts will follow. We are not the victim anymore. For we have victory. We are not lost anymore but are found. Remember God is always and will always be available to us. But we need to meet Him. So lets all lift our hands in prayer and worship and Thank God for giving us another chance. Happy Reading, Adam
They say that God does not look at our our word shell, He notices our hearts. How much harder then should it be for us as ” Christians” to do that as well? So many times it is based on skin color and what church they go to or what there outer shell looks like. There is so much more to everybody other then skin deep, what does this have to do with my heart? I wanted to set that as a definition more then anything. This is how God views us by our hearts. This is how we should view one another.Does that mean this is how I view everybody I meet, by no means, what I am saying though is ““Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:8 should be the guideline in which we live.
My heart is open and visible, but also like everything else in this life there are two sides. But the question is will you still want to know me after you see both sides to this heart? One side shows signs of rebuilding and healing going on. Walls of forgiveness, self worth who my Christian character is based on. Were my identity is based and nothing is going to shake, my heart is focused on the One who choose to give me life again. In Him there is no condemnation, but words of healing and affirmation.
The other side is a side which is hardly seen, the walls are walls of destruction and self doubt. Not allowing my dreams to come true due to shame, past hurts, and false hope. Brokenness does not let the light shine through to offer healing due to fear of getting hurt again. The light shines for a time but is repelled back. The darkness tries to take control of the situation and takes advantage. We believe the lies of the enemy that we are still victims.
Little by little, there is a hope and forgiveness that is shining through. They say that the heart reflects who our identity is based on. We are the church for the world that needs a light. Yet so many times like i said before just notice the outer-shell and do not even attempt to get to know the heart of someone. Our hearts take in the word of God and help build walls of encouragement, and who we really are. Yet so often we take our heart and often put it on the shelf and walk within the world instead of with God. Satan tries to block our hearts, from turning it over to God by trying to remind us we are not good enough. If we are not in tune with God then our hearts will follow that trend. Not to try and discourage anyone who may read this, once we accept Christ into our lives nothing is going to change that, yet the fire is going to burn out. Our passion for Christ is not going to be one as it once was.
To be able to figure out what true humility looks like first we need to break down the idea of what humility looks like. Humility can be defined as follows, is the quality of being modest, and respectful. Another way humility can be defined as, is the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.Just what is humility? Whatever it is, we need it to please God! Humility is defined i the bible as follows. Micah 6:8—He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Remember that God is all powerful.He owns everything. No other creature even approaches His magnificence. And yet who is it this great Being wants to dwell with? Isaiah 57:15—For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Through out the Bible God puts much emphasis on humility. Humility is a state of mind. A person who is humble understands his true worth. He does not think He is better then he really is. Colossians 3:12— Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
A humble person recognizes where he is on the road to total conversion. A Christian should not “think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly [realistically, truthfully]” (Rom. 12:3). Just that alone should be eye opening that we as “Christians” are all on different aspects towards salvation. God’s timing is what we are working with not our own and with that,having a humble attitude requires a deep understanding that without God we can do nothing (John 15:5), but that through Him we can do all things (Phil. 4:13).
One example of humility Jesus gave was washing the feet of His disciples. How do we show that now? That is an honest question so many times we back down from serving that we rather live in our cookie cuter shell of a life instead of branching out. One way that we could even come close to that is volunteer work, http://www.opendoormission.org/volunteer help feed the homeless spend time with them. know that they have stories and lives just like you. Help work in your local food bank if your church has one. Mentor a student, I have done that in the past and I still keep in touch with them to this date. I know I am getting a little off track from humility but to be honest that is part of it. Putting others before your self. Here is a good example of that also. Say there is someone in your church that is newer, you always see them, maybe even sit with them. Why not offer to take them to lunch… find out what there story is.
Humility is the opposite of the “I-know-it-all” attitude. “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Prov. 11:2). The humble are teachable. God says, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word” (Isa. 66:2). That is teachable humility! God is not looking for the super pastor He is looking for those who are earnestly seeking after Him.
Humility is knowing when to be inconspicuous. Jesus said we should not call attention to ourselves every time we do a good work, remember God is watching and He sees everything that we are doing. And that is all that counts.Did you notice that the humble are told to seek humility? That’s because humility is something we grow in by degrees. Humility (meekness), one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:23), must be developed. This has been an interesting study to do. Happy Reading, Adam