Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's #1 in your life

Today I have been reminded of something very important, not only in my life, but in the life of all Christians. I have been pretty busy recently, this past week I taught a lesson for the kids in my church, so I had to prepare for that, I have also been preparing for a Murder Mystery Dinner party for my dad's 50th birthday, and I've been juggling, practice, and lessons, and those all take time as well. Anyway, back to my point, I have gotten side tracked quite often recently, thinking about what I need to do next, and what's on my to-do list and things like that, and God gets pushed farther away. Each morning I determine that I am going to do my devotions, I take time each day to pray, and read, and spend time with my own Heavenly Father before I get too involved with my own wants, needs, family, or friends. This morning was one of those kinds of days, I had prayed, and spent a little time with God, however my whole focus wasn't on Him, I hadn't got out of bed yet, so I was dozing off, and thinking about other things. So, I finished praying and decided since that took so long, I would take a little break before I read my Bible. So I got out of bed and got on the computer, I was focused then on the Murder Mystery Dinner. I started writing up some papers that needed to be done for it, and her it was 3:15, I was still in my pajamas, and hadn't read my Bible yet. My awesome juggling teacher, and good buddy, Devin texted me and wanted to do a lesson today, Of course I love juggling so I jumped on it, I got in the shower, and I left for his house for the lesson, needless to say, I still hadn't read my Bible, I still hadn't spent time with God, and I was too focused on my own wants. I was too busy thinking about what I wanted to do, that God got pushed farther aside. As we were having our lesson we got talking about a book called "The Slight Edge" I haven't read it yet, but I'm hoping to shortly. It's about how everything we do in our lives can make the biggest difference, and Devin brought up something that I needed today. He said it goes for spiritual things too. The littlest thing as reading your Bible, will help you grow, and the more time you spend doing it, the better it will be for you. I didn't say too much, but it was like a kick in the pants, saying, "Hey, he's talking to you!" It was the reminder that I needed today. God should be number one in my life, As I was thinking of a verse that could go with this thought, the one that instantaneously came to mind was one of the 10 commandments.
In Exodus 20:3 it says
"You shall have no other gods before me"
So why do we? No, we don't have golden calves, or wooden statues like they had in the Bible, but we make our own things our god. We put juggling, or a Murder Mystery in front of God, and push God aside.So many times we put our own wants and needs before God. Sure, there are some times you just can't do your devotions, if you wake up late, and have to be somewhere in twenty minutes, or you're sick and can hardly move. God understands, but it's things like putting your own thoughts before God. We should all put God as number one in our life. Whether it's taking some time to read or pray, or thinking about God throughout our day, that's how we should put God as first in our life. I know God sent me a huge reminder today, and I know it's something I continually need to work on, but I know in my life, I want to put God as #1. Thanks for the great reminder Devin! Have a great night,, God Bless!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving what does it mean?

And thus ends another Thanksgiving holiday. It's another year, Another turkey eaten, another parade gone by,, another day where the whole country gives thanks for the harvest, friends, food and family. But is that really what Thanksgiving is about? Is it really just another day where we are thankful for the food and family we can spend it with? Thanksgiving has a whole different meaning for me! Of course we are supposed to be thankful for the harvest, family, food, and friends, but most people don't get why we should be thankful. They see it as another holiday, or another excuse to get together and eat, but is it really? Thanksgiving for me is a day specifically set aside to celebrate the blessings that God has given us. Sure, it's great to be thankful for the family God has blessed us with. Sure it's always good to sit around a table and talk about what we are thankful for as we eat a scrumptious meal, but why? God has blessed us so much! We can be thankful for salvation and His wonderful grace, We can be thankful that He has a perfect plan for our life. We can be thankful that He cares about every detail in our life, and we can be thankful that we have an eternal hope and that we know what will happen to us when this life is over. As this day is set aside for Thanksgiving to God, I believe that we should set aside a little time each day to thank God, because He has done so much for us! We shouldn't let a whole year go by and not thank Him, we should be thanking Him every day, and for every thing!
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,
" Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus"
Times will be tough, and liife won't always be easy or fair, but it says here iin God's word that we should be thankful in all things. It doesn't say for all things, for iinstance, we shouldn't say, Lord, thank you that my life is not easy, but it says to be thankful in all things. In other words, we should be saying, Lord, even though times are tough, thank you so much that you never leave me, and that you never forsake me. I thank you so much that you work all things for good, and that you have a perfect plan for me. It won't always be easy to thank Him, we won't always understand it, but as the Bible says, give thanks in all things. So I believe as Thanksgiving day reaches it's closing we should remember in this next coming year to set aside a little time each day to thank Him for all He has done, and in all things we should be thankful! Have a great day, Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The best friend a person can ever have

Well, It's that time of year again! It's the beginning of the holiday season. Thanksgiving kicks in, then people prepare for Christmas, then New Years. Families get together and sit around the table, as they cut the Thanksgiving turkey, and pass the cranberry sauce, they share in a time of laughter, a time of joy. Time they can spend together, and memories are made forever. It's this once a year, people all over the world share what they are truly thankful for. Of course, it's not quite thanksgiving yet, but as people prepare, it's always a time of thinking for me. I don't quite have the family that I wish I did have. Due to several different reasons, my family hardly talks to each other any more. People are spread out all over the country, from Pennsylvania, to Georgia, to Alabama, to Oregon. We hardly ever receive a phone call, and aside from the occasional Birthday card or Christmas gift card, we hardly ever hear from each other. I think about family! As much as I hate to say it, I don't have the best family in the world. Of course I am blessed to have the mom, dad, sister, and brother I have, and my mom's aunt and uncle we love dearly we hear from most, but that's about it! We've had to set some boundaries. There's been too many arguments, too many split-ups, too many insults, and too many feelings hurt. I don't like it this way, but I know it had to be done. I know this all sounds depressing, but that isn't the point of my entry tonight. I want to thank God, that amidst the family I do have, no matter how disfunctional it may be, He has blessed me with friends! I have adopted grandparents, adopted aunts and uncles, adopted cousins, even adopted brothers and sisters! No, it's not quite the same, of course I wish I had a closer family, a family I could get together with on holidays and share some special memories, but God truly has blessed. Whether it's my church family, or my theatre family, or my juggling teacher and people I have gotten to know through Him, God has truly blessed me with each of these people. I am honored to know so many great people. These people are people who love me, accept me, people I trust, and people I would consider the closest "family" I could ever have! So, I would like to dedicate this first part to my great friends. I thank you for accepting me, including me, loving me, and welcoming me into your family!
In Proverbs 18:24, it says " There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother"
I can say I have many friends who are closer than family to me, but as much as I do love my friends, and I appreciate the love they have shown me, I have an even greater friend. He shows me more love than can ever be shown here on earth. He is closer to me than any brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, parent, or even best friend to me! He is my Heavenly Father, He has showed me more love than I can ever express, and I can't thank Him enough for being the best friend I could ever have. So, while I may not have the best family in the world, I can say I have some amazing friends, and I am so thankful for them. I can also say, I have the best friend in the entire universe, I know him personally, and he has shown me more love than can ever be expressed, and I thank him for that! I hope in the following few weeks, as we each celebrate the holiday season with our best friends or our own family, we will remember the love that Christ has shown us, and may we be thankful to Him for everything! Have a great night, God Bless!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The privelege of free will

This may be an item of discussion, and I love seeing other people's point of view on things, so feel free to discuss it in the comments, I won't start any arguments, I just like thinking about other people's opinions on things.
Anyway, I have a friend who does not believe that God has given us a free will. At this point I personally believe that He has given us a free will. The first reason being, we all know that God is a good God. We all know he is loving, and kind and fair, so why would he act like we are a lottery? "A lucky few people will get to go to Heaven, and the rest of you, you are going to hell, I'm sorry, we can't have a personal relationship, and we will never be close as I am with those lucky few" It just doesn't make sense to me. Maybe you believe that it isn't just a "lucky few". Maybe you believe He sees people and decides on his favorites. I don't believe that's like God either. However I believe He has given us a free choice. In Genesis 3, we read about creation. We read how God specifically told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, However he gave him the choice. If he wanted to, he could've put an electrical fence around it. He could've put an angel standing there with a sword, such as he did when Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden. In fact, he could've never even put the tree there, but that brings us back to the choice. He wanted to give Adam and Eve the chance to choose between themselves and God. He has given us the same choice. Do we choose to do things we want to do, or do we choose to do things that would please God. You may be saying, why did he create the choice? God created the choice because it is a privelege for us. He didn't want us to turn out to be like robots "Yes master, yes master, whatever you say master" but he wanted us to show him how much we love him. If we choose his ways, he will be glorified, we will show him that we are willing to give up our own wants and needs to do whatever pleases Him. If we don't choose God's ways then we show him differently. This is a huge question in so many peoples minds. Why would God create so many people and so many are going to be sent to hell?  I know God is a loving God, the Bible says it a million times how much he does, but He is not willing that any should perish, he wants us all to be saved! It's something that could go in circles for hours upon days upon years, and we could go back and forth, but the bottom line is we just need to have faith in God. We know he loves us, we know he has a perfect plan for our life, but I believe he allows us to choose. He has given us the great privelege of free will. This is a HUGE subject. Many people have questioned this, and I have thought a lot on it myself, but I know that God loves me, He loves the whole world, and I believe that he has given me the choice. People have different opinions, and I know you may disagree with me, I totally respect that. I would love to know what you think too. Like I said, I won't start any arguments, I like knowing why I know what I know, so it'll give me a little more to think about too. Have a great night, God Bless!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't worry, Be Happy!

Sorry It's been a few days since I've written, I'm trying to keep up but time seems to fly by faster and faster. Anyway, those of you who know me, know that I am a recently graduated 18 year old boy who is looking for a job, so if anyone sees something available, I would love for you to leave me a comment below! Anyway, that's not the point. I have handed in around 40 applications and resumes, prayed a lot about it, and anxiously waited for a phone call.

I've gotten two phone calls, one from Subway. They called at 11:30 one morning and wanted me at an interview 35 minutes away at 1:30 the same day. Where I'm not able to drive, and my mom, who works nights, was sleeping, I was not able to do that. But that as well is not the point. I also got a call from Dairy Queen, they sounded a little more promising. They gave me an interview, were very nice, and I think the interview went very well. But sadly I never heard from them again. Needless to say, I didn't get the job. I seemed alright with it that day, but the next day it kinda hit me. Here you go again, back at the start! You have no job, and you could really use some money.

But that didn't last long. I was reminded of one of my favorite verses in the Bible. One I believe not only should everyone know, but everyone should live by it.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight"

I couldn't have said it better myself. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't rely on the things you know, but in everything, turn to Him, and He will guide you each step of the way. It's as simple as that. There are so many verses in the Bible it reminds us not to worry, not to be anxious.

It says in Matthew 6:34
"Do not worry about tomorrow"

It also says in Philippians 4:6
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God"

And the very middle verse in the Bible says in Psalm 118:8
"It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man"

So why do we rely on what we know? Why do we worry so much? Why are we so anxious about everything? We should simply trust in God! We should put everything in God's hands, for he is a soverign God! He is in control of absolutely everything! Just put everything in his hands, and He will provide it all. It's not always easy, we won't always understand why He's doing what He's doing, but we shouldn't rely on our own understanding. Of course I don't understand why I have done so much work for only two phone calls, and no job offers, but He is in control of everything. So we should stop worrying, we should stop being anxious, We should stop relying on mere man, but fully trust in the sovereign God. In the words of Bob Marley "Don't Worry, Be Happy" For God is in control of it all! Have a good night, God Bless!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

It's finally November, It seems like the year is flying by before I can even think about it. It seems like yesterday we were sitting and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and now we are back in November.
As we enter the Fall season, I think about the leaves changing color, the cool fall breeze, apple cider, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving, and everything I have to be thankful for. The fall season has been a season to celebrate the harvest. There are harvest festivals held all around the world, and people celebrate everything that they have grown, from pumpkins to corn we celebrate it all. As we think about the harvest season though, there is one verse I am always reminded of.

Matthew 9:37 says
"Then He said to His disciples, the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few"

Jesus is making an analogy here. He is referring to each of our lives, and everyone in the world. There are a lot of people out there, even more so he is referring to there being a lot of lost souls. The harvest is plentiful. There is a lot of work to be done, but the workers are few.
How many times do we turn down an opportunity? How many times do we turn down an excuse to be a witness for God?
We don't even have to go knocking door to door to be a witness, we can do it wherever we go. If we are a good testimony, others will see that Christ is in us, they will see that there is something different about us, and they will want it too.
So we as Christians are the workers. There are few of us, but there is a lot that needs to be done, so we should all do our part. We each need to prepare the harvest. We should examine ourselves and our everyday lives, and make sure we are a good testimony to others all around us. We also need to make sure that we don't turn down any opportunites God has set for us. He has placed us in the right place at the right time for a reason, so don't turn it down. We should be working hard, we should all do our part, and we should all prepare the harvest.