Thursday, February 21, 2013

A note from the heart

     Hello! I realize most of you are used to reading my blogs. They have a
lot of the same format, with the way we should live, the way we should be,
the greatness of God, the difficulties of life, etc. Then of course, I
normally try and find some scripture to put along with my point. Whether
it's Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 8:28, or 1 Corinthians 10:31. But I've decided
to write this one a little differently. This time, I wanted to write
something from the heart. I would like to talk to you as fellow bloggers,
readers, friends, and brothers/sisters in Christ. At this point in my life,
I am facing some difficulties. I am facing many questions, big decisions,
and a lot of responsibility. Sometimes I feel alone in a big world. So, from
my heart to yours, I would appreciate some prayer.

    The first thing I would could use prayer on, is that I would trust in
God, and His perfect timing, all the time. As I mentioned before, I am
facing many decisions, responsibility, and questions. There are so many
things that I want in my life. I have been looking for a job for the past
few months. I have filled out applications, dropped off resume's, checked
back on them every day, and I still haven't heard any word. I've been hoping
to go away to college the past few years. I've applied for colleges, applied
for financial aid, done research, called and asked questions, and the
opportunity still has not been available to me. I would like to have a young
lady in my life. Of course as most young people, they look forward to the
day they can meet their special someone, and marry the love of their life, I
know people left and right who are getting in relationships, or getting
married, and sometimes I ask "Why not me?". But I know, for all of those things, it's just not God's perfect timing yet. I struggle with waiting, and being patient, so I would appreciate your prayer for patience, and that I would trust in God's perfec timing for my life.
    Secondly, I could use prayer concerning my relationship with the Lord. Since I am here at home, waiting for His perfect timing, I have had a lot of time on my hands. I haven't had a job, I'm not in school, so I need something to do with that time. It's so easy for me to get on the computer I am now, watch TV, eat, or do just about anything, but then God reminds me to spend some time with Him. Sometimes I don't feel like it, but when I buckle down, and either study His word, or pray, I'm more refreshed, more encouraged, and
more blessed than I could be doing anything else. I've been working on studying, and absorbing God's word more and more each day. I haven't worried about how much, or how little I've read, as long as I can get something out of it, that's what's important to me. The more I read and study, the more I want to read and study. I recently read through the book of Hebrews (an AMAZING book to study), and I got so much more out of it than I ever have before. I then read through the Sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7, 1 Corinthians 13, and I've been working on Psalm 18 the past two days. So I would appreciate your prayer that I would continue to grow in my relationship with God. I know the devil wants to get me side tracked, and get my mind focused on other things, which can be easy for me to do sometimes, but I know I need to continually be growing in my relationship with God.
    Thirdly, that I would focus on God instead of the things of this world. As I am here at home, I have many luxeries. I have a home, a family, a church, friends, money, and so much more that I am blessed with. But I know those things won't always be there. It seems that some of those things are slowly dwindling away. I have grown up in a small-ish church without many younger people in it, so I've grown up with a few select people my age. As I've grown older, they as well have too, and they've moved on. They've all gone on to college, gone in the Navy, or moved on with their lives. Then there are people outside of church. Of course there are many wonderful people I have met ouside of church, but sometimes it makes it difficult when I don't get to see them very often. They go to a different church, they are very busy with their jobs, or I only get to see them in the theatre (which I haven't been able to be involved with recently). While all of these people are great, I have easily relied on them, for advice, encouragement, and love. I turn so often to friends, and
family, and church for advice, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it
becomes bad, when I rely on them, and stop relying on God. It's also easy
for me to rely on myself, and my own strength, and it's also easy for me to
focus on money. In the world we live in, money is a necessity, we need money
for anything, and everything, and for me, since I haven't had a job, it gets
easy for me to focus on it, and what I need. But God once again brings me
back to Him. I know, someday, when I go out on my own, I won't always have
friends, or famiily, or church, or even money, but I WILL always have God,
and He should be more than enough for me. I realize that whether it's friends, money, or even a family, the things of this world are temporary, but God's love will last forever, so I would appreciate your prayer, that instead of relying on what I do have here at home, I would rely on God.
    Fourthly, and lastly, I would appreciate prayer for wisdom. As I have grown older now, I am having to make many decisions, and take on many responsibilites. Of course, I know I'm not in this alone, but I do have some choices to make. This coming fall is a big decision for me. I really want to do something, go somewhere, and be used wherever God has me. I feel God is preparing me for something great someday, so I am considering colleges, jobs, or some other alternatives. I believe at this point, I would like to pursue going to either Crown College, in Knoxville, TN, or Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown, WI. Going to college however can be an expensive endevour, and time is quickly ticking away. I still have a lot of money to make, and a lot to figure and work out before that will happen, so there is a chance God shuts that door for this year. I am also considering going to community college. I can't say I am too keen on the idea, and I'm not sure I have a great peace about that decision, but I know if that's where God wants me to be, then that's the best choice for me to make. The fourth option that has been in the back of my mind for a little while is possibly attending the International ALERT Academy in Big Sandy, TX. I know it would be a lot of work, and I still have to do some research to see if it would even be possible for me to attend, seeing as I'm not able to go into the Emergency field of occupation, not to mention, the finances could be an issue, but I believe if God opens that door, it would be a big life changing experience for me, mentally, physically, and spiritually. So whatever I do, I would appreciate prayer that I would use wisdom to make the right decision. I know wherever God leads me I'll go.
    So, I would say I have a lot of thinking, and praying to do in the next few months. I know whatever God has planned for my life, He will work it out perfectly, and I look forward to the day that I can sit back and see how it all unfolded. Until then, I can't say how much I would appreciate your prayers.
    Anyways, thanks for taking some time to read. If there's anything I can pray for you about too, I would be more than happy to! Have a blessed day!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is True Love?

    Love..... I have to say, it's an interesting thing. Today of course is Valentine's Day. It's the day every year that people run to the local retail store to purchase roses, chocolate, a teddy bear, or a pretty card. There are "I Love You" 's, kisses, hugs, dates, engagements, and marriages. People everywhere think about their spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, love in the past, love in the future, love that could've been in the past, or love that could be in the future. It's the day that everyone celebrates Love. But let's put aside the flowers, put aside candles and kisses, chocolate and hearts. What is the real meaning of Love?

1 John 3:16 says,

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."

    When you think about what the Bible has to say about Love, 1 Corinthians 13 says,

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
    I think there is no greater example of this Love than God, and His Son Jesus.

I am reminded of my favorite song:

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
~Genesis 1:26

    God showed His love for us by creating us. He didn't need us, He didn't have to create us, but He made us because He loves us. He then put us in authority over all the things of the earth. The animals, the plants, and every living thing.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ~John 3:16

    God showed His love to us by sending His one and only son to the world. How many of us would be willing to give up the person closest to us, for the lives of everyone in the world? I'm not sure I could make that choice! But God loved us enough, it wasn't even a choice for Him.

"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also"
~John 14:2-3

    God shows His love for us by preparing a place for us someday. Once again, we don't deserve it. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) but if we know Him as our personal saviour, God has prepared a special place for us, and He's coming to take us home someday.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
~1 John 1:9

    God shows His love for us by forgiving our sins. It's nothing that we deserve, we have all done bad things, but He forgives us without excuse, without questions, without conditions, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanses us from all sin.

"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
~Hebrews 2:9

    Jesus showed His love for us by coming down from Heaven. He made Himself in a lower state, that way we could someday be higher. He came down from the right hand of God, and was born in a manger. He was born into this evil, sinful world so we could be saved.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
~John 15:3

    Jesus showed His love for me by giving his life for me. He who had everything, gave it all, so I, who had nothing, could have everything. He made the biggest sacrifice anyone could ever give.
    In return, God has given us two commands.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment."
~Matthew 22:37-38

    God doesn't ask much of us. He doesn't ask money, He doesn't ask for everything we own. He doesn't ask for all of our time, or attention, He asks for our Love. He wants us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength too. He wants us to love Him with everything we have, and in every aspect of our life.

"And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." ~Matthew 22:39

"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." ~John 15:12

God also wants us to love others around us. Whether it is our family, our friends, our acquaintances, or someone we may not even know, He wants us to show love to others wherever we go.

    The Bible refers to Love many times. Depending on which version of the Bible you use, it can be used anywhere between 310 and 508 times. As we think today on Love, it's not about dating, marriage, candy, or roses. I am just so thankful to God for the great example He has left for me, and for the true love that he gives me unconditionally, sacrificially, and selflessly. I hope and pray that my life will display the same kind of love He has shown to me every day. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

My life as a Disney Movie

    Many of us, who have lived in the past 50 or so years, have grown up on the American family classics. Mary Poppins, Dumbo, Peter Pan, Jungle Book, Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and so many more. These are the Disney movies we all remember as little kids singing along to "The Bear Necessities", "Under the Sea", "The Circle of Life", "Beauty and the Beast", "Supercalifragilistic......."Uhhhhh, okay, I admit, I don't know how to spell that one, but you get the point. We all remember them, love them, and cherish the memories we had watching them with our families. If you're lucky, you can still pop the VHS into the VCR, and enjoy them at an older age too. However, that is not the point of my post today.

    As we think back on these classic movies, and we think back on each of the story lines, they are all very similar. No, of course not the plot, and no, not the characters either, but think about it. They all, like many other movies, tv shows, or books, have an introduction, a dilemma, and a happy ending. There are many people who have come together to put together those movies. There are actors, directors, producers, editors, storyboard makers, managers, designers, stylists, supervisors, artists, assistants, compositors, checkers, painters, scanners, and animators...... just to name a few. They all come together, and work as a team to make not only a great movie, but a masterpiece. It all starts with a little planning. They put together meetings, they talk about it, and they plan every detail, to make sure it all comes together perfectly.

    It's a little like our life, except instead of many people coming together to plan all the details, there is one person. No, He doesn't have to draw out the characters, He molds them. No, He doesn't have to edit videos, He teaches lessons. No, He doesn't have to come up with ideas, He already knows it all. He's just that great of a God! As we sit on the edge of our seats, waiting to see what will happen next, we know there are no surprises for Him.

Our lives are similar to each of these movies:

    We have an introduction. It's not Tinkerbell flying over Cinderella's castle. We are given the gift of life. Every one of us is born into the world, and we are given a chance to live the life God wants us to live.

    Of course, we will face dilemmas too. God is taking us on a great adventure. There may be bumps and bruises along the way, and we will most definitely face a villian. It's not always easy, but in the end, it will be worth it.

It reminds me of a scene from one of the Disney classics.......

So often we push God away. No, we may not call Him a "stuffed shirt, swaggering peacock". No, we may not tell him to "jump off a balcony" either, But we tell Him to leave us alone. We tell Him we don't need Him. We rely on money, other people, even ourselves, instead of the one who has it all planned out perfectly. Yet, He doesn't give up on us. He loves us! He reaches out His hand to us and asks "Do you trust me?". He wants to be our guide on the adventure. He wants to lead us through all the bumps, bruises, and dilemmas, but He allows us to be "free to make our own choice". We just have to take Him by the hand, and trust in Him.

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."   ~Psalm 23:1-4

    And thirdly, after the adventure is over, we have something great to look forward to. As I mentioned before, all of the movies end the same way. Someone's dream comes true. Someone becomes the prince or princess they wanted to be. Someone get's to be a part of the whole new world. And of course, you can't forget "They lived happily ever after". If we know Jesus as our personal saviour, that will be us someday too. This world is not our home, so we will get to be a part of a whole new world. We will be proud to say we are the child of a king. We will get more than our wildest dreams can imagine, and we will get to live happily ever after with God. I'd say, in the end, it will be worth it all!

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."  ~Psalm 23:5-6

    I understand, this may be a little bit of a strange way to look at the Christian life. I don't mean to make light of it at all; But I hope in my life, as my story unfolds, as I sit on the edge of my seat waiting to see what is coming next, I will take God by the hand, and until He brings me home, fully trust in Him, because He has it all perfectly planned out. 


Thanks for reading my post. I'm not sure whether or not it came out the way I had hoped it would, but feel free to let me know what you think! If you have any critiques, or comments, I would love to know that too. I hope you have a wonderful day, God Bless!

~Daniel~ :)

P.S. Welcome to my blog, to those of you who have recently joined. Thanks for following me! I hope you enjoy!