Monday, May 26, 2014


     Paul is by far my favorite apostle. It's not just because he wrote several books of the Bible, or just because he was once a murderer of Christians then did a full 180. Those are both wonderful things, but Paul is my favorite apostle because of Philippians 4:11 which says, "for I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content."

     Now, anyone can just say this, but this is Paul. Paul is the same man who wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 that says, "Five times I received at the hands of the Jews 40 lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and I day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys; in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches." and yet in all things, Paul was still content. Not to mention he was in prison for a good portion of the letters he sent. These things happen to Paul, and yet in verse 28, he is still worried about the church.

     In life a lot of things happen to us. Things that we don't expect, or maybe things that we do expect. Things that were brought on us and things that we brought on ourselves. Bad things happen in life because that's how we grow as people. There are two kinds of people in this world: those who are content, and those who aren't. Now, I know you must be thinking, "Wow. That is SO impressive. I had NO IDEA! You are absolutely BRILLIANT!" (sarcastically, of course) but what I mean is that you have a choice to either let the things that happen in life effect your actions, or let your actions effect the things that happen to you in life.

     You can either give excuses for why you didn't say a prayer today, or why you haven't opened up your Bible in forever. But on judgement day, God doesn't look at what happened to you in your life. He doesn't look at how others treated you. God looks at your actions and your actions alone. We need to remember that. So today I would like to encourage you all to overlook those things you could use as an excuse, and to instead look for the things you can do to get around those excuses.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Passion

     Everyone has something they enjoy doing. Maybe it's reading, writing, singing, cooking, or anything else. Our hobbies, or our passions are what we enjoy doing the most. Those things that relax us and that maybe we're not necessarily good at, but we enjoy. So today I want to ask you, what's your passion?

     Now, before I get into this, I'm not saying that it's wrong to like things that aren't exactly related to the Bible. Yes, we should make sure and guard ourselves from the things of this world, but we can enjoy sports, and reading and watching movies and all that. But the thing that we spend the most time on, our passion, what we love the most. What is it? What do we spend the most time and energy doing?

     I know that this is a rather short article, but I want you to ask yourself every day what your passion is? What you love doing?  What are you spending the most of your time on? If it's not God, then what is it? Now, you can use your passions for God. Like, I love baking. I like how you can take sugar, and flower, and brown sugar, and eggs, and butter, and salt, and baking soda, and oats, and chocolate chips and even though on their own, those things really don't taste that great, together they make chocolate chip cookies, and it absolutely blows my mind. Now, I can either make cookies and only eat them myself, or I can take them to others and visit with them. Or maybe if you love sewing, you can sew baby blankets for new parents. Or maybe if you love little kids, you can teach Bible class, or offer to babysit some kids in your congregation so their parents can finally take a break. When God is our main passion, the other things that we love to do will become aids in helping others and ourselves reach heaven.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Say What You Want to Say"

     "For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body."-James 3:2

     There is this song by Sarah Bareilles that has been out for quite some time, and it's honestly one of my favorite songs. She's got a lovely singing voice and it's up-beat and happy. The name of the song is "Brave". Basically in this song she is singing about how important it is to not worry about how people will judge you, but that you should just say whatever is on your mind, and "just let the words fall out." In other words, don't worry about what others think. Voice your opinions and speak up for yourself. While this is important, it reminds me of what the world thinks is brave and what God thinks is brave.

     Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not condemning the song or anyone who listens to it, nor am I saying that we shouldn't stand up for ourselves or stand up for the truth. But the world tends to think that it's more honorable for someone to always speak their mind and to never hold back on telling someone what they think. The tongue is a powerful thing. In Genesis 11, we read about the Tower of Babble, and how the men were trying to build a tower that reached up to the heavens. In verses 6-7 it says, "And the Lord said, 'Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing they propose to do will now be impossible for them. (7) Come, let us go down there and confuse their language, so that they may not understand each other's speech.'" And then in James 3:6 says, "And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell." Our tongues are powerful things, and if we don't control what we say, and if we aren't careful about what information we give others, we can cause some serious damage. I mean, if God had to confuse the language of everyone on the planet because they would be able to do too much, then what does that say about the tongue?

     The tongue itself is not a bad thing. We have to communicate in order to evangelize. But our tongues were given to us by God. What are we going to use them for? Are we going to use them to gossip or lie? Are we going to use our tongues to do nothing but talk about others, or to insult? Or are we going to use our tongues to uplift and encourage others? Today I would like to encourage each of you to remember that yes, it feels really good to not say that little nugget of gossip to that group of friends, but to only speak good to others. The world thinks that being harsh is courageous. But what's harder, really? Speaking your mind, or holding your tongue?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prolonging Your Life

     "Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."-John 4:13-14

     All the time I get on Pinterest and see articles like, "These are foods that you thought were good for you, but really are slowly killing you." or other things like that. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with eating healthy, or trying to prolong your life, or keeping yourself from getting sick. Your body is a temple, and it's important that we all take care of ours. However, and I know this is kind of sad, we will all die anyway. But, what if I told you that there was a way to prolong your life indefinitely? What if I told you that there is a way that you can make sure you will live forever?

     In John 4:13-14 as you can see at the beginning of this article, talks about this water that will quench our thirst forever. The water that Jesus is talking about is baptism. See, we can get so caught up in special diets, and health food, calorie counting, that we forget to study and pray, which are things that will prolong our life forever. We can do all the calorie counting and exercising, but the only kind of exercising that's important is exercising our knowledge for God's word. "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." Yes, it's good that we exercise and eat healthy, but it's far more important for us to study God's Word, and to practice it in our daily lives.

    Today I would like to encourage each of you to remember what's the most important in your life, and to spend less time worrying about what fruits can do this and what vegetables can do that, and start focusing on what's really important: God's Word.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Making Time" for God

     "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." -Matthew 6:33

     In our lives, there are many things that can distract us from our main goal. There's physical distractions like friends, TV, the internet, books, or sports, and then there's nonphysical distractions like our feelings and what we want, etc. Now, there's nothing really wrong with any of those things. Jesus had friends. The Bible talks all the time about how we need to rest. Even Jesus would go off by himself to rest at times. However, when we stop fitting those things around our relationship with God and start fitting our relationship with God around our hobbies and interest, who are we really putting first in our lives?

     I once saw a picture of a jar with a bunch of rocks and sand inside, and had to read what it was about. I clicked on the link and it was a classroom illustration of how we should spend our time. See, there was a jar, and a few rocks, and a bunch of pebbles, and then some sand. The teacher stood in front of the students and told them to try fitting things in in this order: sand, pebbles, rocks
The students tried and tried, but no matter what they just couldn't get everything to fit. The teacher then told her students to try to put the pebbles in first. When that didn't work, the teacher told her students to sit down. She then showed the students that if you put the rocks in first, and then the pebbles, and then the sand, it all fits. The moral of that lesson was that we have to get our priorities straight. In order to put in the sand, we have to put in the pebbles first, and in order to put in the pebbles you have to put in the rocks. But not only do we need to put the most important things first, we also need to check and see what is most important to us. Who is our rock? Some peoples' rock is TV. Some peoples' rock is sports. Some peoples' rock is earthly knowledge. What is your rock?

     Today, I would like to encourage each of you to remember who or what your rock is, and if you see that your main focus in life isn't to please God, then you may want to think about changing that.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


     "For no prophecy has ever been produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." -2 Peter 1:21

     A few articles ago, I wrote on Ephesians 2:8, which says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," In case you missed it, the article was about how this verse is commonly viewed as a contradiction, and how people use it to say that we are saved by faith alone even though James 2:24 says the exact opposite. In the article I talked about how we have to be baptized, but it's not us that forgives us from our sins, but God. I talked about without the salvation of God, we wouldn't be saved, but we also have to have actions. Today I am going to be digging a little bit deeper into the subject, and talk about pride.

     Genesis 1:1 as I am sure you are well aware says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." And in Hebrews 3:4 it says, "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God." Man can do a lot of things. Man can create a devise that can access any and all information from around the world that you can fit into your pocket. Man can take mud and build a stable house out of it. However, none of this is impressive. You see, man can do whatever he wants, but when it boils down to it, no one can forgive himself of his sins. No man can create a machine that washes away our sins. I mean, the technology that has been invented isn't even original. There's this joke about an atheist and he's talking to God and he says, "I can prove that you're not real! I can make my own man out of dirt!" and then you see him in his lab and he's got all his machines and God says, "What are you doing?" and the atheist says, "Well, I'm making a man." and God says, "Get your own dirt." Now, this is clearly fictional. God doesn't talk to us directly anymore. However, this is true. No matter what man makes, God has already created the things that we used to make it.

     What I'm trying to say here is that man has accomplished nothing spectacular, because God is the Creator of all things. He created you, He created me, He created everything. And if it weren't for God, then you couldn't be saved. So next time you feel like you've accomplished something, make sure that the first thing that you do is to thank God, because nothing happens without Him, and if it weren't for Him, then you wouldn't even be there to have accomplished anything. Always remember to be thankful.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why Do We Have a Dress Code?

     I'm sorry I haven't been posting on the regular days lately. I've been out of town a lot. But starting today, I will be posting regularly again.

     Yesterday I was browsing through Twitter, and someone had posted a link to an article called, "Why do we have a dress code?" The article was about how it's not a woman't fault if a man looks at her, and she should be able to dress however she wants and boys should be taught not to look at a girl in that way. Having seen things like this a LOT all over the internet, I thought that I should write about it, because frankly, it's a very childish way of looking at it.

     First of all, I would like to say that yes, I do think that it isn't taught enough that men should respect women even in their own minds. I'm not saying that it's okay for men to look at a woman and lust just because she's wearing something inappropriate. What I will say, however, is that it's a problem on both ends. No, men should not lust after a woman, but it's the woman't job not to put that temptation in front of him. Romans 14:13 talks about this very thing. It says, "Therefore let us not pass judgement on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother."

     Having an older brother, I am very much aware of the fact that no matter how strong of a Christian a man is, if he sees a woman wearing suggestive clothing, it can be a stumbling block. Sometimes, ladies, I don't want to sound harsh, but sometimes men don't want to see your entire body. I'm not saying that everyone dresses inappropriately, but when you show off your body and reveal 90% of your body to everyone around you, you cannot get angry when a man has a hard time looking at you and not have a difficulty keeping their thoughts pure. One of my least favorite sayings is, "Don't show people everything you have. Leave some for their imagination." The whole point of dressing modestly is so that people don't imagine what you look like, but keep their minds away from that.

     Yes, it is important for boys to not look or think anything when they see a girl wearing suggestive clothing. But it is even more important for girls not to dress in a way that makes men stumble. What's the point in dressing inappropriately if the only guys who will look are the ones who will disrespect you and your body, and the ones who won't look are the ones who will respect you and your body?