Sunday, January 20, 2013

40 Years of life

"And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."    ~Mark 10:13-14~

We were all babies once, we were born to our Mothers and Fathers, whoever they may be, but even more importantly, we were a special miracle, and a special gift from God. Just think about it, one cell from your mother, and one cell from your father came together, and grew into you! It's an amazing thought isn't it? From the very beginning of time, God knew the kind of person we would become. He knew who we would be born to, where we would be born, the purpose we would be born for, and so much more, But what if we never had that chance?

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade. A court case, held on January 22, 1973, between Jane Roe and Henry Wade. This court case was held to determine whether or not it would be legal to abort babies without legal restrictions. Needless to say, it was a decision that would change the lives of millions of precious children. They never had a chance. They never got to see who they would be born to, where they would be born, or the purpose they would be born for. God has given us the special gift of life, and so many times, it has been thrown away. So today, in memory of those special little children, let's remember the lives that have been lost, the chances that have been missed, and the gifts that have been given away. Let's stand up for what is right!

If children were special to Jesus, they should be special to us too!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Blueprint of My Life

    Recently for my church, I have been teaching the Hudson Taylor story for some of the kids in their classes. It has been an amazing story. I knew the name, but I didn't really know the story until I took some time to read and study it. Hudson Taylor lead an amazing life. He opened the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship), He helped lead Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese people to the Lord, and he not only changed those people's lives, but he influenced hundreds of people's lives as well. People such as: The cricket player - Charles Studd, Missionary to India - Amy Carmichael, Olympic Gold Medalist - Eric Lidell, Twentieth-Century Missionary and Martyr - Jim Elliot, Founder of Bible Study Fellowship - Audrey Wetherell Johnson, as well as International Evangelists - Billy Graham, and Luis Palau.  At the age of 5, sitting at the dinner table, Hudson said "When I grow up, I want to be a missionary to China" But did he know what God was going to do in his life? Of course not! He didn't know that someday, a teenager in a small town of Grants Pass, OR would be teaching about him! He didn't know that when he passed away, people would still be accepting Christ as their personal saviour. He didn't know that because of his testimony, many people would give their lives over to God. No, he didn't know, but God did.

    He was able to make an impact in many people's lives, but he couldn't do it on his own. God had it all planned out. God knew that he would change many people's lives, God knew that he would be using him in a special way. God knew every detail of his life, and He knows every detail of mine too. All Hudson had to do, was say as Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:8

" Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."

    I don't know what will happen in the future, I don't know whether I will impact many lives, or none, I don't know whether God will use me in a special way, or if I will die in my sleep tonight. But God knows. He has a perfect plan.....a blueprint for my life, and he has it all planned out. All I have to do is say "Here am I; send me" He wants me to trust in Him, serve Him, and follow Him. So often in my life, I lose that trust. I know what I want in my life, and I reach for the stars, I shoot for the goals, I do things my own way. We live in a society that believes "Just do it" or "Have it your way everyday" or "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day). Of course, I am all for making the most of the time we have, while we have it, but doing it for our own glory? I'm not sure about that!

    There are so many things I would like in my life. I wish I could drive, it can be a big discouragement sometimes not to be able to. I wish I could serve my country in the military, I have a great respect for the men and women who fight our country, and if I could, I would seriously consider it. I wish I could go to college, I graduated out of high school last year, but the timing hasn't been right yet. I wish I could get a job, in order to go to college, I need the money to do so, but the opportunity hasn't quite come up yet. I wish I could have a young lady in my life. I know that's every young man's desire, to have a companion, someone to love, and to cherish, but God hasn't provided the right opportunity yet.

    The list could go on, and on, and I know as humans, we each could make a list of our own wants and desires. For me, some of those things will never happen, some of those things may happen someday, and possibly, some of those things will never happen. But God has a plan for it all. Sometimes we have to put aside all of our wants and desires and say "Here am I; send me" as Isaiah said. Sometimes we have to put aside our wants and desires and say as Jesus said in the Garden "Not my will but thine be done"

    What if Jesus had've changed His mind? What if he would've never come down to the earth? What if he was never born in a manger? What if he had've never died on the cross? I don't know where we would be today! He was willing to give up everything, EVERYTHING to do what God wanted Him to do! He was willing to go wherever God wanted him to go, do whatever God wanted to do, and be the kind of person he wanted Him to be.

    I as well think of a wood maker. What if he wanted to make a wooden chest. He plans it out, gets the wood, cuts the wood, nails the wood, stains the wood, carves the wood, and creates a masterpiece. But what if the wood would've said, No, I want to be a chair, or No, I want to be a bed, or No, I want to be a desk. The creator's plans would not have turned out the way he would have intended it. God says in Isaiah 55:8:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. "

    Our ways are not always going to be God's ways, but Proverbs 3:5-6 says:

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In ALL THY WAYS acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

    If we acknowledge God, he will guide us every step of the way, and because He has a perfect plan for our lives, He will show us what He wants in our lives. If we follow Him, serve Him, and long to be the kind of person He wants us to be, We could end up like Hudson Taylor did, and impact thousands of lives. God may allow us to follow our dreams, reach for the stars, and shoot for the goals. And in the end, He will bless us. All we have to do is give our life over to Him.


Thanks again for reading, I hope it made sense! For me, when I think of it in my head, it comes out differently in words. Let me know what you think too! Have a great evening!

~Daniel~ :)

The Ramblings of the New Year

    Well, It's been an interesting couple of days! With snow, car rides, back aches, snow chains, and so much more. It's only been a few days into the New Year, and I can say I've already learned a lot! Firstly, I'm happy to say that I've kept up with my jar of blessings. No, I haven't been able to get a jar yet, I'm waiting for all our Animal Crackers to be eaten so I can use that, but nonetheless, I'm keeping a notebook from day to day of special blessings. Once the Animal Crackers are gone, I'll tear them out, cut them up by day, and stick them in there ;) It has been a special blessing to me, thinking about those blessings at the end of the day. I can recall the great things God has provided, and God has done. It'll be really nice to read them all at the end of the year.

    I've also learned that my prayer needs work. Of course I don't think it will ever be perfect, but I am always reminded of how powerful prayer can really be! I think back to the past year, and of course, I prayed whenever I could, but my prayer was always focusing around me. Things I was thankful for, things I needed help with, things that I wanted, etc. etc. Now of course, those things aren't bad to pray for, I think God wants to hear about me too, but I often neglected praying for someone else because I was too busy thinking about myself. So I'm learning to work on that as well.

    Thirdly, I have been reminded once again that spending time with God can be such a wonderful thing! This morning, I woke up in a terrible attitude, or in other words, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I decided I would keep my mouth shut so I wouldn't take it out on anyone else, but in my head, and my heart, I couldn't help but complain, get upset, and just flat out have a bad attitude. I woke up later than I wanted to, I didn't get a chance to read or pray like I normally would like to, I was preparing for being stuck in the car for a few hours, and due to my parents hurting their backs, I was preparing for my brother and myself packing up the cars, by ourselves, to head home from a few days in the snow. Anyways, I woke up, got changed and washed up, packed up, had breakfast, and got in the car, but to my dismay, I still had a bad attitude! I don't know exactly what it was from, or why I had it, but it was there. I think the devil was using it to his advantage. As I was in the car, I had a few hours to kill. I could listen to some music, listen to a sermon, take a nap, or read. Of course I normally get queasy when I read in the car, but I thought I would give it a try again. I knew I wasn't able to read before, due to waking up late, so I decided I would use the time I had to spend a little time with God. I think it was a good choice! I have been working on reading through different books at a time, and while I am in Deuteronomy, I took a little hiatus from that to work on reading through Hebrews. Today I was in Hebrews 12. Because I had so much time to read, I used the time I had. I read through each verse, slowly, contemplating it, thinking about what it meant, reading the study portion of my Bible to see what they thought, and reading it over, and over, and over. After I read through Hebrews 12, I remembered a chapter, a friend recommended to me. I had read it before, but I can always get something new from the Bible, so I read it again. I then read in Romans 9. I did the same thing, I read each verse, over, and over, and over. I contemplated it, thought about it, and studied it. I ended up reading for almost an hour!!!! Now, I don't say all that to toot my own horn, That's the only time I've ever read that long, but I say all that to say, it was such a refreshing experience! I read things I had never noticed before, I thought about things I had never thought of before, God had given me peace, and my bad attitude was gone! It seemed all bad thoughts went away, all complaining went away, and after thinking for so long, I now have a new idea for another blog post :) We are so priveleged to own a copy of God's word. It's taken some work to put together, but after some effort, time, and inspiration from God, 40 men put together a great letter from Him! There are so many people in the world who have never even seen a page, never heard the name of God, and many will die without doing so, but in this great country we live in, we have the freedom, and privelege of owning several copies of that Bible in our own home. Today was special for me because I could take that great letter, and spend some time with God. I hope to continue to spend time with Him every day.

    Not only can we hear from Him, but He allows us to talk to Him as well. We can come to Him anytime, about anything, anywhere, and we can tell him our needs, wants, cares, worries, and the prayers of others too. I own a very special purity ring. It was a Christmas present a few years ago from my parents. I've made a promise to myself, my future wife (whoever it may be), and most importantly to God, that I will stay pure until the night of my marriage. For me, it's a symbol of that promise to myself, and others around me who see it. Anyways, I hardly ever take it off for the fear of losing it. As we were playing in the snow the other night, I took off my gloves, and was brushing some snow off my jacket sleeve. Sadly, my ring went flying! Due to my eyesight, I wasn't able to see exactly where it landed, not to mention, it was dark, and the sun had gone down. I got down to look in the little light that I had, but I couldn't find it. There was nobody nearby either because they were walking the dog down the street, or they were inside, so I called to somebody, but nobody answered. I would've run to get someone to help me, but I didn't want to move because I knew the generic area it was in. That's when I decided to pray. I knew if anyone could help me find it, it would be God. He cares about every little sparrow, every little hair, and every little grain of sand, (Matthew 10:29-31; Luke 12:6-7) so why not my special ring too! I prayed, and asked if it was His will, He would help me find it. As I finished praying, I pulled out my cellphone for a little extra light, I squatted down to try and find it once again, and the very first place I looked, right in between my feet, there it was, lying in the snow.

    As I said before, I say none of this to boast about myself, I would be the first to tell you, I am far from perfect. Of course, I try and spend as much time with God as I can, but that doesn't make me any better than anyone else either! I as well know that there wasn't really a main point behind today's blog post, and for all I know, it may not make sense to anybody, but for me, I have learned a lot already in the New Year, and I'm here to say, with the many blessings of life, with reading the Bible, with praying, and with so much more, God has been good! We serve a great God, and while I may have been rambling on a little bit, I look forward to what's in store for the rest of this year!

    I still have that good idea for a blog post, but I will save that for another day. I will hopefully write again very soon! Have a great evening!

~Daniel~ :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Time Flies By

    Another year has come and gone. 2012 has come to an end, and I look forward to another year ahead. As we have counted down to midnight, honked our horn through the neighborhood, lighted fireworks, and wished many Happy New Years, there are family's all over spending time together, there are millions of people in Time Square, dancing and waiting for a crystal ball to fall, there are many couples waiting until midnight to give each other a kiss, there are bottles of champagne and sparkling cider being opened, and people are excited for the journey ahead. There are so many things that can be said about the past year, and so many things I can say about the coming year as well. As I think about the New Year, I read last year's eulogy to 2011, and the title was "Time Goes By", I was then thinking about the title for this one, and I felt "Time Flies By" was appropriate.

    I think about the past year. God has been so good! This year has brough along engagements, marriages, babies, deaths, trials, temptations, friends made, friends lost, good times, and bad times. I have had the honor of watching, at least, four kids accept Christ as their person Saviour.  I have been able to be a part of another full scale musical (Cinderella) and I have been able to go back to my theatre home, Barnstormers,  for another beautiful show (Our Town). I have had the pleasure of being a counselor once again at our church's Jr. Camp, where we had a broken arm, a broken canopy, thunder, rain, memories, friendships, and many decisions made. I have made several friends. I have grorwn in my relationship with several friends. I have had the privelege of becoming a Sunday School teacher, and a bus worker, and I have had the privelege of being a part of those kids lives. I've been to my first Masquerade Ball, I've learned to Waltz, I've had a double birthday party for the first time (Special thanks to Devin Kruse) and God has blessed in more ways than explainable.

    Amidst the many wonderful experiences, 2012 has also provided many opportunities to think. The past few years God has provided a central theme for the year, whether it's Romans 8:28, and God working all things together for good, Proverbs 3:5-6, and trusting in God no matter what, or 1 Corinthians 10:31, and glorifying God in every aspect of my life. This year has been quite an interesting year. As you may have seen in some of my past posts, "To Live for the Glory of God", and To Die for the Glory of God this year has brought up a lot about death and life. Whether in sermons I've heard, Questions that have been asked me, Discussions I have had with friends, Working on a play that deals with that subject, and Experiencing other peoples life and death experiences as well. This year has been a great opportunity to think. I have realized, this year, more than ever before, that life is a vapour that appeareth for a little time, and vanishes away (James 4:14). I have realized that whether in life, or in death, I can't take the time I have for granted. God has blessed me with the time I have here on this earth, and if I'm living, I should do it for the glory of God, if I'm dying, I should do it for the glory of God, I should treat every day, every hour, every minute, and every second as if it could be my last. Year after year, as we count down until midnight, I think back to the past New Year, and it seems like it was just yesterday. Time is a vapour! The time we have flies by, and we should take advantage of the time we have, while we still do! Of course plans will change, I know mine did this year! Of course things won't turn out quite like we had planned, I know I speak from experience on that part as well. But the thing that remains constant is this: God is always good! In good times, and bad, He's always blessing, always guiding, and always providing. He knows how long I'll live, He knows when I'll die. He has a perfect plan for my life, and as long as I continue to trust in Him, and follow what He has for me, I can, and will, never go wrong!

    I can say this year, I am a different person than I was last year! Mistakes have been made, experiences have been had, things have been thought, lessons have been learned, and God is continuing to teach me, mature me, guide me, and helping me grow. I know I am not perfect, but I pray, that every day, my relationship with Him will continually grow closer, and I pray that every day I will grow to to be the young man He wants me to be.

    For the New Year, I'm not sure how I feel about resolutions, as those are meant to be broken, but as for a goals, I do have a few:

This year, I would like to spend a little time with God every day. Whether it's studying the Bible, listening to a sermon, or spending some time in earnest prayer, I want to put all other things aside, even if it's for a few minutes, and spend some quality time with Him. I know it won't be easy, I know it will take some motivation, and determination, but it's something I, sadly, can't say I did this past year.

Next, I would like to focus on the blessings of life. I found this picture on facebook, and I think it's a wonderful idea.

I would like to find a big jar, and start it myself. It won't take but a few minutes every night to sit down and write a little something every day. That as well may take a little motivation and determination, but I'm hoping the outcome will be great!

Thirdly, I would like to write in my blog a little bit more. I know 2012 only had 9 posts in it, so this year, I will try not to worry so much about what people will think, or what I have to say, and I will try and write a little more often.

Fourthly, I would really like to be able to go away to college. I know I have planned on this for a few years now, ever since I have graduated, but my ways are not God's ways, so if it's God's will, I would like to go to college somewhere. Until then, I will pray about it, do some research for it, and
prepare right away.

Fifthly, I would like to find a good job. 2012 brought a few job experiences for me. I worked at Wal-Mart and a contact lense place (OOGP) for about three months, through Express Employment Services, a temp agency. I also had the opportunity to work at Evergreen Federal Bank's Bear Hotel for a week. While those things were great, it seemed very short. So this year, I hope to find something a little better.

Then of course I have my life goals. In my life, I have two of them. Firstly, I want to glorify God in everything. I know God has placed us here on the earth for a reason, so I think we should glorify God through it all. Secondly, I want to make an impact in someone else's life for God. I want God to use me in a special way. My life would be more than worth while if He did that through me.

    Now that 2012 is over, I look forward to what God has in store for this coming year! As we were reminiscing a little earlier today of what happened in 2012, I realized that most of those things, good and bad, were never planned out, we didn't expect them, we didn't know they would happen, they just..... happened; We didn't know, But God knew! This year will be full of many of those same things too! This year I could find my favorite song, I could eat my favorite food, I could find the girl of my dreams, I could find a solid job, I could go away to college, I could lose someone very close to me, I could pass away this year, or this could even be the year God comes back to take us all home! With God, anything is possible. Let's just keep trusting Him, Love Him more every day, and grow to be the kind of person He wants us to be, no matter what He has planned for our life.

I hope you all have a very Happy and Blessed New Year! I will hopefully write again very soon!

~Daniel~ :)