Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EVIL: Part 1

I was reading through my Bible and I came across a verse that captured my attention.

Now, just to let you know, this is a regular occurrence...  Many verses capture my attention.  But!  There aren't many of them that I decide to do a blog post on because I learn so much from it!  This was just such a verse though.

Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. ~1 Corinthians 14:20

This verse is loaded with so many angles to explore!  I love verses and passages like these that have SO MANY applications for our lives!

As the title of this post suggests, I want to explore the dark side a little bit (and there's more on this!  I'm planning on doing at least one other post!), but I also want to check out the positive aspect as well.

Ok, I'm ready to delve right in!  I hope you are too.  ;)

If you notice, this verse contrasts two things from each other...  twice!  First, there's the contrast between children and maturity - and then there's the contrast between thinking and evil.

When we read contrasts in the Bible, we usually think of one thing as good and one as bad...  something you should do, and something you shouldn't do.  But in the first of the contrasts (between children and maturity), it's interesting to note that it isn't always a bad thing to be like an infant!  In fact, it's good to be an infant in something...  That's where the contrast between evil and thinking comes in to play.

Let's look at the positive aspect of this verse first.  ;)  Paraphrasing, it says "Do not be children in your thinking, but be mature."

We do not want to be like children when it comes to our thinking!  Have you ever noticed that children say the funniest things that totally make no sense?!  It's like God gives us no sense of reason when we're young.  There is no such thing as logic or a mature thought before we hit a certain age...  and the younger a person is, the worse it is!  Thinking is one of those things that gets better with age.  As we mature, we can actually reason about things, and logically figure things out.  That's how it is supposed to be!  We want to have spent so much time thinking that we are mature in it, and know all about it!  One of the more popular teachings among Christian circles is how we are supposed to become like children...  and that's true!  We need to have pure and simple faith in God like a child has...  But that doesn't mean we need to not think about things or use reason!  This verse is a call to use your mind in a way that glorifies God!  God doesn't say that if you believe Him that you'll get a couch to sit on and have a comfortable lifestyle....  NO!  We're called to get out of our comfort zones and go out in the world and work for Christ, be prepared for anything, and think like mature adults!

Ok, so on to the evil side of things...  don't say I didn't warn you it was coming!  Ha!

First off with this category, let's revisit the verse - "In evil be infants."
The contrast...  We want to be mature thinkers - but immature when it comes to evil.
One thing about infants...  they have no clue what's going on!  Haha!  Babies laugh at the strangest things that go on, and cry when you try to help them sometimes!  If they see something, they can't really put together what's really going on.  As they get older, they figure out patterns, and whatever the doctors say...  they develop this and that and the other...  But the thing is, as they get older, they start to know what's going on.  They have a knowledge of things (Please notice how that word is underlined, italicized, and darkened - it's really important!).

So, I have another verse.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. ~Psalm 101:3

I like how this verse is so negative!  Find one positive thing in there!  ...There isn't.  :D

The reason I like it is that it shows how EVIL is so bad that there isn't ANYTHING good with it!  We should stay away from worthless things, the work of those who fall away, a perverse heart, and evil!  Don't let it fasten its grip on you!  Another reason I like this verse is that when you say negative things about bad things, it tends to strengthen your resolve to have nothing to do with them!

And then we have it...  "I will KNOW no evil."  !!!  There's that underlined, italicized, and darkened word again!  We not only want to have nothing to do with evil, but we want to have no knowledge of it!

And I'm tired tonight...  I just finished my first day at my new job at a local hospital.  :)  And add to that the fact that it's after 1AM right now.  I'm tired out!  Well, as I said though - there is going to be at least one other post!  It may not be as long as this one...  I think it'll just have some more supporting verses and as many thoughts as I have about them.  ;)  But there is one question that I have been wondering about for a long time...  And which I don't have a good answer for (at the moment!  ...I'm trying to figure it out in the Bible), which is "if we are supposed to have no knowledge about evil and are to stay away from it, how are we supposed to address it when we come in contact with it in the world?  And how will we know what it is if we haven't seen it before?  We could see something evil going on and not even know it's evil!"

So I leave you with that thought...  if you have an answer for that, please shoot me an email!  I'll probably do a post on it when I figure it out (and I'll give a shoutout to you if you help me figure it out!).  ;)

Until next time!

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Friend

A man of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

That is from Proverbs 18:24

I'm in a pensive mood right now...  Thinking about this verse and the implications it has.

A man of too many friends comes to ruin...
I can't claim to be an expert on this subject, but if you think about it - if you have "too many" friends, what are you probably doing most of the time?  Trying to keep them, of course!  And how do you do that?  By entertaining them!  If you want to have few and personal relationships, you better be honest, open, and sincere...  But if you want to have many friends all the time, then you won't have time to get to know them all sincerely!  And if you do the math...  keeping "too many" friends around makes a man "come to ruin" - it costs money to entertain people!  But...............  It's more than just financial ruin.  It's emotional ruin.

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother...
This part starts out with a "BUT".  Meaning that you just heard a description of what will happen to you if you live a certain way, BUT there is a different way to go that won't have the same consequences!
I've found out that having a friend who sticks closer than a brother definitely doesn't cost as much as partying all the time would.  And not only does it save you from financial ruin, but also from emotional ruin.  Something has to be said here about talking with people and letting out your feelings and emotions.  I am not completely sure why, but it seems like most all of us humans are wired to want to let someone (or something) know what we feel...  We write in journals and diaries, we talk to friends and pray to God, and we blow up if we don't have an outlet to let our thoughts out with!  I think that's where close friends come in.  I know that my closest friends let me talk to them about the things I'm concerned about or going through, and I do the same for them!  It not only helps to get it out, but your closest friends know you and how that gearbox you call a brain works inside your head.  So when you start churning out your thoughts, they can see the bigger picture and it might not be as bad as you thought!  Friends are not only there as an outlet...  otherwise your teddy bear could be your best friend...  Friends are there to see the things you can't and tell you when you need it.  I could go on and on about close friends and what it looks like, but I think that most of you know what it looks like already.  :)

A friend who sticks closer than a brother?
There is a time when you realize that brothers are here for a season...  but they get married and move away.  Your family may not always be there for you.  But when you start out, there's nothing like having a brother by your side as you're growing up (I don't have any brothers, but I have several friends who have been like brothers to me...  And I've tried to be the best brother to my sisters).  But I think this verse is trying to make the point that we can find a friend who will stick with us closer than a brother does.  God may place them in your life through the work you do, or through the activities you attend, your church, or even your community.  But these relationships don't just pop out of the ground overnight...  you have to work on them - that's what makes it different than having "many friends" - the time and effort spent is way more than that, but the rewards are way greater as well.  ;)

Take time to build your relationships.  It's not a piece of cake...  it's probably more like 100 cups of coffee and as many afternoons of talking with someone to make a relationship last.
But if there's one thing I've learned in my first 20 years of living...  it's that no matter how many friends I have, I only know of a handful that I would trust my life to.  And the first and foremost among them is Christ.

I just got done talking with my good friend - the closest friend I have.  And I have been missing him since I moved up here to IL.  I think that's why I posted this...  but whatever the reason, it's something that I've thought about for several years.  This verse first captured my attention when I wrote out the book of proverbs about 7 years ago.

I am thankful to God that I have found a friend that sticks to me closer than a brother.  :)  And I hope you are in the same boat.  If not, I surely encourage you to sit down and think about your relationships!  If you are walking with God, you are headed in the right direction.  God should be first on your friends list.  ;)  He'll bring more to you as He finds fit.


P.S.  When someone else reads Proverbs 18:24, do they think of you?  Chew on that for a while...  And then go and try to be that close friend to someone else.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fix Your Gaze...

I was just reading some Western short stories...  you know - the type with rustlers, thieves, and a good guy who ties all the bad guys up at the end.  ;)  Anyways, I was reading and at one point in the story it was describing the good guy...  and he was NERVOUS!  I mean - this guy didn't know what was going to happen, and there was so much stuff to worry about.  So when he saw a person come out of the saloon, he didn't gaze directly at the figure, and he kept moving his eyes, scanning the country, so that his gaze didn't become fixed on the man standing down there.


If the man had nothing to worry about, if he knew what was happening - then he wouldn't have had a need to keep shifting his eyes.

"Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.
26 Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.
27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil."  ~Proverbs 4:25-27

Something needs to be said about a scientific fact we all know - When you fix your gaze on something for long enough, your eyes start blocking out everything in its peripheral sight.  And not only that, but if you temporarily take your eyes away from what you had them fixed on, you can still see the object!

What if our lives are supposed to be lived like that?  Where we know the path that we are taking, and we've seen it so much (with our minds), that we are able to still see the bigger picture even when we get bogged down in the little details of life.  When we have to take our eyes off our vision for a moment to do things in the here and now, we actually never lose sight of that vision!  Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established.  :)  And while you're at it, don't turn away from that path.  Keep your feet away from doing evil.

"The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord 
forever."  ~Psalm 23

"The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?"  ~Psalm 27:1

What do these verses have to do with fixing our gaze on the path in front of us?  Just this - The Lord, our shepherd, guides us in those paths - so what do we need to fear that may be off the path on the side???  I have always imagined the "Valley of the shadow of death" was a straight valley, with a narrow path to walk on with many things off on the side, distracting us and turning some of us off the path.  But here's the first fact about fixing our gaze that I stated earlier - if our gaze becomes fixed on something, then it blocks out the peripheral stuff - no distractions calling us to death on either side of the path God is guiding us down!

God is the defense of our life - whom shall we fear?  It's a rhetorical question.  If you don't know the answer, I suggest you read a book - The Bible.  ;)

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."  ~Hebrews 12:1,2

So, in conclusion, we need to remember some things:
  • We're running in a race, going down a path mapped out for our lives.
  • God is protecting us, so we don't need to worry about the people/things that distract us and turn us off the path and into evil.
  • We need to have the vision of the path in our minds so that we can still "see" it even though we need to stop and do something at the moment that means taking our eyes off the path.
  • And last, but certainly not least, We need to have our eyes fixed on Jesus!  If you look at Hebrews 12:2 closely, you'll see that it's telling us to have our eyes on Jesus, because He finished the race!
I completed my first obstacle race this past Saturday, and let me tell you, it encouraged me to run my best because I heard of (and saw) people running the race quickly and efficiently!  And if I had someone guiding me on the race, you better believe that I'd be better off with someone who knows the path so well because they've endured it before.  Doesn't it say something in the Bible about the blind leading the blind?  Well - trust me, the person you want to guide you through your path in life isn't someone here on earth (thinking of the Joel Osteens of this world), it is Jesus Himself!

So give control of your path through life to the One who can guide you through it.  :)


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I ran again.... in the rain.

Hello faithful Blog readers!  I'm so glad you decided to peep into my blog to read this.  :)  I haven't kept up my posting as much as of old, but when I have a thought, I always want to pop on here and write it down.  And I hope you enjoy those thoughts.  ;)

Anyways, I want to talk about running - and more specifically about running in the RAIN!

First off, I really think that the Bible uses certain analogies and draws certain parallels on purpose.  There's much to be said about how the Bible teaches us.  It uses scenes from nature to help us understand key Biblical principles (Faith - like a mustard seed.  Sowing and Reaping.  Psalm 1 and the righteous man.  Etc.).  With that in mind, I do believe that there's a reason that living out our faith is compared to running a race (twice) in the New Testament.  There's something to be said about striving after a goal.

Anyways, I went running today.  And let me tell you about the weather - it has been overcast all day, and it has been raining for a couple days straight!  That means that everything has been thoroughly saturated.  ;)  When I left the house, it was kind of drizzling, and it never stopped while I was running...  if anything, it got worse and became a heavy sprinkle.  That being said, I noticed something...

When you're running in the rain, your tendency is to lower your head and plod on so that you don't get water in your eyes and become uncomfortable.

Sometimes doesn't life feel like that?  We are wet to the bone, can't see the sunshine, and everything seems dreary.

The Bible has just such an answer for your situation in Hebrews -  "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..."

Jesus was lifted up on the cross!  I'll tell you something...  I learned that I couldn't tell where I was going when I had my head down...  I mix it up when I run - I'll run on the cart paths and on the streets, alternating between both depending on how far I want to run.  But today in particular, I hit one uphill part that was hard to keep my head up on, and I missed my turn-off onto the cart path...  and I wondered if I had gone too far...  So I turned around and ran back a little bit.  ....Only to realize that I hadn't gone far enough yet!  So I turned around yet again to get to the right path.  It's the same in life.  We need to keep our heads up and fix our eyes on Jesus, or we will lose our way and lose time trying to find the right path.

When we get into these pits of life where it seems like our life is the hardest to live, if you keep reading in Hebrews - "...who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Now our trials seem little in comparison to what Jesus did for us.  And He did it for the JOY before Him!  I didn't go outside to run and make myself sad...  no, I knew I needed the exercise and I wanted to run my course.  If you look at the wording - "who for the joy set before Him..." it gives you a sense of being able to see what lies ahead.  You have a purpose here on earth - you have goals you want to accomplish...  When I was running home, I always know where I can stop my timer to give me an accurate time for a perfectly mapped out 5k - and when I'm running down that last stretch of road, it's like the race is perfectly set out before me...  this is the completion of all that I've been running for!  I can see clearly how far I've come, and how far I have left.  It helps a ton to be able to lift up your head and eyes and see what's before you.

Keep reading - "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Consider what Jesus did.  The Bible says to Consider Him.  We all know we have sinned.  We have sinned so much in our own lives, that someone else had to forfeit their own so that we wouldn't feel God's wrath on us every second!  Consider this as well - when you break a law, you are hostile against whatever made that law.  If you break an American law, then America would consider you hostile towards itself.  God says it's the same way with His laws.  But!  He not only knew about our sins...  but He endured them on the cross for us so that they wouldn't be counted against us!

When we are down...  We know we have sinned in some area, or we are just uncertain of what we should do or what the future holds...  Consider Christ.  Christ endured so much that in comparison, my trials and hurts seem insignificant.  I can look to Christ and I won't become weary or lose heart, because I know that He endured.  Jesus finished the race.  His example is the best one there is.

I'm almost finished...

"Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;

And if you run, you will not stumble." ~Proverbs 4:10-12

The theme of running/walking is widespread throughout the entire Scriptures.  I think it's only wise to understand what it means.

I know that when people are hurting, it's not a light matter.  In other places in Scriptures, we are supposed to feel how others are feeling at the moment, and then make our responses appropriate (weep with those who are weeping, mourn with those who mourn, etc.).  But I think this lesson can apply to us personally when we are going through rough trials.  We aren't supposed to hit others with the line "Why are you sad, you're supposed to be happy!  It's rough?  Oh, well, you're just not seeing things!  Wanna get some more cotton candy with me and take a stroll through the park?"  No...  Being bubbly all the time isn't the answer for every situation.  But if we apply it personally in our own lives, then there is also a right time to communicate it to others and encourage them with it as well.  You can't go wrong with suggesting passages from the Bible for others to read.  There is no such thing as "too much Jesus".  ;)

I hope you have gotten as much from this post as I have from thinking about it.  In fact, I hope you got more from it!  When one wants to learn, the opportunities are endless.  :)

That's all for now!  Until next time.  ;)

P.S.  Just a thought - but we were given such an advantageous spot (in life and the universe) where the only times we can't see light is when something comes between us and the Sun.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I went for a run today

Yes...  Yes, I did.

I go for runs all the time in my city (which is perfect for it - with over 90 miles of beautiful golf cart paths you can run on).  And I have a new goal of being more active, so I have been taking advantage of them a little bit recently.  But today I decided to run a little further (instead of faster).  And I did one thing that made me think....  btw, you can learn a LOT when you're just out for a jog!  I didn't realize there were so many things around me that had something in them to learn from, if you just take the time to think about them.

Before I tell you what I did that started the whole brain exercise off, I'll just tell you that I'm just going to write my thoughts down as they come...  they'll probably be very short, and most likely require you to think a little bit to know where I'm going.  ;)  JUST a disclaimer!  :D

So the thing that happened was this - I tried to crack my neck while I was running.

Sounds fun, right?  Haha!  Well....  I crack my neck frequently (especially when I'm working out...  it just gets cramped, and ready for some popping.  ;)), so that's not something abnormal for me to do.  But I made this observation while doing it - You can really stagger around like you're drunk if you're running with your head sideways!  :D

The body follows the head.  Christ is the head of the Church.  Fathers are heads of their households.  Husbands are heads of their wives.  When I was running, and I twisted my head a little bit, my body naturally turned with my head!  How many of you are able to run one way and turn your head the other way?  It's hard (if it's even possible!).  There are so many points you can make off this one point...  But I'll move on.

Then I ran further and while I was thinking about that, I ran off the side of the path a couple times...  making me thankful that I have strong ankles!  But then I realized...  The head is in charge, but the rest of the body is just as important!  The body of Christ...  just read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26!  Husbands are supposed to love their wives as their own bodies....  etc.  If there weren't other parts of the body with the head, the head wouldn't be able to do anything!!!  So, the body naturally follows the head, and the head can only work with the rest of the body...  so far so good...

Now, I sorta switched gears here (I'm sorry, but it's just coming out as I thought about it).  But as I thought more and more, I thought of life as a race.  Maybe not a race (since I wasn't trying to beat anyone), but more like a course...  When I left the house, I went out with a route in mind.  The route didn't change, but as I ran along, I found myself running to smaller goals (just make it to the lake...  okay, now make it to the other lake), and I thought...  We all know where we're going after we run the course - Home - but we also can get too focused on the short term that we don't plan for the longer run.  I had to pace myself if I wanted to make it home!  Make short-term goals for sure, but don't let that be a reason to forget the long run...  your short-term goals should always help your long-term goals.

Then, as I ran further, I ran past one guy I've been "friends" with for about 5 years...  I say "friends" because we've never talked to each other before...  we're usually both working out or on our way to do something, but he has one of the most catching smiles around!  He always smiles when he sees me coming.  :D  I make sure I wave to him and encourage him on as well!  I also passed another guy (about my age, running as well, and wearing almost the same stuff I was), and I gave him a "thumbs-up" sign as we passed.  He looked at me, smiled, and signed back.  :)  Encourage others.  Your friends may come in a variety of ways, but they're all placed there by God for however long He chooses.  Make the most of every opportunity.  I really appreciate the random happiness among some Southerners.  :)

It started raining after I passed that guy.  I kept running, and it felt so good.  Rain, sun, wind, clouds?  Life isn't about waiting out the storm, it's about learning to dance in the rain.  Favorite quote of mine right there.  But it's so true!  God doesn't call us to sit on the sidelines when things are getting tough!  Have you ever seen the dedication of some guys who are playing Football?!?  They'll get out there in the worst of storms, and they'll keep at it until the lights go out!  We need to bless God when He sends his blessing as well as when He withholds it.

Then I passed some other people...  about 3 of them were smoking (one had a huge cigar...  Whew!  Hadn't smelled that in a while.  :P  And the other two were teens smoking...  something not good).  Your sins affect others!  Even if you think it may not be a problem, you are affecting yourself negatively, and most likely affecting others in the same way!  (I recently listened to a sermon that talked about your sins affecting others, so this analogy might be stretching it...  but I made the connection in my mind, and it helped to cement it in, for me at least)  As I was running, I found the smell to be offensive.  Others may be more accustomed to that smell, but it's the same with sin...  We should find it offensive.  And some of us are more hardened to it (great thing though, God came to heal the sick, he saves the worst of sinners to show how mighty His power and how amazing His grace is!).

At this point in my run, I experienced a cramp.  I get cramps while running all the time, and they force me to slow down.  But here's the deal - As we're going through this life, God doesn't say there won't be any pain!  There WILL be pain!  Unless you're taking the course so slow that there is no pain at all.  (now, runners, I'm not saying pain is good...  this is all just an analogy.  My thoughts.  So take them with a grain of salt).

People passed me...  there were golf carts and other runners...  and some people that were kinda not really all there (if you know what I mean).  People going the other way...  A lot of people.  I found myself running faster when either a golf cart passed me, or I was in a more popular area...  that actually partly led to my cramp, was going too fast instead of pacing myself like I should have.  And I had this thought - We can go through life watching others and pushing ourselves to meet their expectations of us, or we can go according to the design God has planned out for us, no matter what others think.  They can look at you, but who cares if they're watching you go slower?!?  God always has the best plan...  I would have gotten more out of my run if I had kept it steady and not sped up and gotten that cramp!

Well...  As I neared my home, things started hurting more (I'm too young to be drawing this analogy from experience, but I've listened and learned from those who have), but as you get older, things start to creak.  And I mean no disrespect at all to my elders!  It happens to everyone who gets there.  I'm sure I'll probably hurt the worst, based off of how well I've kept myself over the years.  But anyways, I had to take it even slower then (I had gotten over the cramp and started running again, like any soldier would do - fall and rise again), because I can't risk not finishing the course just to try and be as manly as possible.  But it's funny, all this time while running, I had my headphones in and was listening to music (it's only sort of hard to think while listening to music...  :D  But God gets across what He wants to get across, no matter the circumstance), but anyways, a song came on.  A song that reminds me of my older sister's wedding.  In my mind, I've attached it to that day, and honestly - it describes it almost perfectly.  Songs can hold emotions in them - you hear certain ones and think of certain things.  It's natural to do that (here's the song in case you wanted to hear it, just listening to it now, and I'm getting those feelings [trying not to cry. xD]. Gold Forever).  Here's my point - Memories are amazing things.  You can remember people, places, days, sounds, smells, and more.  When God reminds brings something to your remembrance like that, you can praise Him for letting you remember His greatness in your life!  I'm praising God right now, my sister has a baby on the way (due in TWO MONTHS!!!!!! :D), and her and her husband are amazing examples to me of a young, Godly couple.  I thank God for letting me hear that song and remembering them.  :)

Last point.  I'm almost done.  I'm tired, nearing home, my course is almost finished...  I'm thinking about all the things that made this run memorable, and I get to the door.  And I realized something.  All this time, the only thing I took with me the whole way was my cell-phone!  I thought about that for a little bit.  Some of you may know that I recently bought a car from my awesome Grandpa, and I keep "climbing the ladder" at work and in other realms - hoping some day to provide for a family, help others, etc...  But when I got home, I realized that all I wanted was some rest, and to get inside my home, I couldn't take my car in with me!  All along this run, I had a means of communication with someone who would come pick me up if I inured myself...  We are able to talk with God all the time!  Sometimes we forget that we are holding a "cell phone" and that we need to be using it.  I like to think of it as a bluetooth - constant communication.  ;)  And this other thought - We have to leave it all at the door.  (Matthew 19:16-26, anyone?)  But as I look outside in my mind's eye (it's too dark to see out there literally), and imagine my "new" car out in the driveway, I know that it's not there as something to focus on, but rather as a tool that God has given me to use in His service and for His glory.

I think that's all for now.  I know I had a lot of other thoughts, but those were the main ones.  ;)  You know what?  If you're still reading this - I admire your perseverance!!!  =D  It's always different reading something than writing it, so I hope it's not too bad on your end (and I'll tell you something, aside from the occasional backspace as I've been writing, I haven't gone over it to edit it...  kinda scary.  O.o  But since I'm not editing it, you get it as it comes straight out of my brain.  xD).

Whenever and wherever this finds you (or you find this, as the case probably is), I hope you are having a blessed day!  May God be with you as you endeavor to run the course set before you.  I'm always praying for you and all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).  :)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Frisbeeman.... or Schoolman?

Well, I have a new hobby.  School.

That's right!  I'm now working on school like I actually liked it!  (shock)

After taking wasting one year of college in which I only got 12 credits, I'm trying to pick up the pace and graduate faster.  :P

I'm on pace to finish off with 9 credits gained THIS MONTH!  That would put me at 21 total (I'm at 18 right now).  :)  Still a Freshman, but going at a fast pace.

And you know what?  I've been working this whole time too.  ...And coordinating Frisbee!  :D  Guess you just have to prioritize when you get older.

Just wanted to update y'all on my school, and then I'll get back to posting more stuff on Frisbee and Theology (I think and hope).  ;)

I hope you're having a good day when you read this!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Frisbee - Work and Attitude.

Well Frisbee guys, we have exactly 10 more days to the season opening game (which means you'll have to wait one more day to get a weather forecast for the day).  :D

I know I haven't been posting much on my blog recently, and most of it isn't related to Frisbee - but this is a Frisbee post for you if you're interested.  And it's pretty short, with not a lot to it.

Ok, so look one more time at the title....  How do work and attitude apply to Frisbee?  Just this - It counts for EVERYTHING in a game!

Let's look at opposites....  Work and laziness - A lazy person won't move around much in a game, and they shut down when they start to feel just a little tired.  A hard worker runs around until they're ready to drop!  Now which one would you rather have on your team?

Attitude - Good or Bad.  A person with a bad attitude won't have fun on the field, especially if they're losing.  A person with a good attitude will see the fun in every game, winning or losing!

The benefits -
Morale:  If you have teammates who are working hard, and are having fun doing it, the morale of the team will be brought up by them - if not, the morale of the team will be brought down.

Fun:  It's a lot more fun to do your best and have a lively spirit about it!

Exercise:  Q: What are you doing if you give up before giving it your all???
A: You're not exercising your full potential....  you'll get a better workout if you're working hard and being happy about it.

Legend:  Your legend will be remembered by teammates for a long time.  People will be inspired by you to do the same.

I can't WAIT for Frisbee!!!!!!!!!  :D

So whatcha say?  Shall we all try and have a positive impact on others at the field?  I'm going to try, and I sure hope you help me out!  :D


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When Change Comes...

Well, I haven't really posted anything in about a year (although I've gotten a few more followers - you know who you are!  :D), but I was just thinking about things...  So I just had to do a post!  ;)

Last year I made a post summing up what changes were in store for me (This post) - And I was just looking back and thinking of my expectations...  Some of my ideas never happened, some did, and some new opportunities came up that I couldn't even think of back then!  But I'm coming to a realization: God is in control of my life, no matter what I try to do with or without Him.  I have a verse for ya.

"The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

With that being said, I'm at a point in my life where more change is either happening or needs to happen.  And for some reason, it came around again in March...  I guess I'll just adapt and make March my "Life Planning and Seasons of Change" month.  Hah!  ...But I digress.

Back to what I was saying, This time my outside environment isn't changing all that much.  I'm back to working during the night, and still working my way to become a supervisor (and I have a more realistic goal for doing that.  I'm disenchanted with the idea of becoming one before I'm twenty).  But this time there's more "personal change" going on.  I'm in a group of a few people at my store that's being "trained" and given leadership opportunities and experiences by our operator, and that is stretching me to my max...  Not to mention the fact of actually getting into a routine of doing school - which, yes, I have done.  I've actually accomplished figuring out how to manage my time so that I can work almost full-time while completing college in three years. - so my life is pretty busy at this point....  But....  The change....  Several of my managers and people I respect have told me that to take my leadership to the next level, I'll have to change some things about how I work.  I need to change my mindset about a few things.

And that, my friends, is going to be really hard for me.  It's a step in the right direction, and it's necessary to be an effective leader, but my inner man is still fighting it with every ounce of strength in him....  It's almost like my brain knows what to do, but it goes into "auto-pilot" when it comes right down to it.

Will crying fix it?  No....  Although I wish it was that easy.  I believe that God, prayer, hard work, a right attitude, and dedication will be the only things that can see me through this to bring God glory.

Not to say I haven't felt like crying a couple times already.  But hey!  You've all heard that "Life isn't going to be easy, in fact...." etc.  But I think (and this has been said a lot by many other people as well) that you need to just get right back up when life knocks you down, and keep at it!  That's the only way to live!  You'll die if you stay on the ground.  And I'm picking myself up and gearing up for the battle.

It's a battle of the mind and heart.  And one I can't lose, because of my great Captain.

Are you going through any change in your life?  If you are, don't give up just because it seems hard!  God will give you the strength you need for the challenges you face.  :)


P.S.  In other news, Frisbee is about ready to roll around again.  And I'll start to post a little more on here as I have time (Lord willing, and the creek don't rise - as they say here in the Sunny South).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How to make yourself mad - Numero Uno.

So...  The title begs for an explanation.  :D  And I'll tell you the first way to make yourself mad - just think about something that bugs you.  It's really that simple...  Once it bugs you, if you start thinking about it - it'll make you mad eventually.  But it's what we do with that anger that determines what type of person we are.  ;)  Going about fixing things takes guts...  Yep, the things in your inmost body that are the difference between really caring or just wanting to help.  If you really care about something - you try with your whole brain/body to perfect it (sometimes this requires a lot of fixing up - sometimes it just takes a little tweaks).

And that goes right into what I was going to talk about - politics.  Yep!  You correctly guessed about 1 second ago that politics make me mad!!!!!!!!!  So...  How do you fix it?  I mean, a lot of us get really caught up in trying to change it and it pains us to the core to think about where we are headed, but why don't our political efforts change anything?  And how can we make society realize the need for a savior?

Here are my thoughts...  And this is what made me mad, and what I drew from my thoughts.

So.  The point arises, should we try and change the politics of our nation and take back the law?  Or should we try and change our society and culture and hope the politics will follow?

There are three things that I am going to try and talk about...  Politics, Culture, and Society.  I will define them in my own words so that you can figure out what I'm talking about when I say it (I know, I know, it's not the best idea to make your own definitions for things, but I'm sticking to what they really are - just in my own words to make it concise).  So...

Politics - The Laws.
Culture - The Things.
Society - The People.

The laws affect you, the things influence you, the people live with you.  

Bear with me as I try and follow the logical path of these three areas.  I'll assume, for the sake of the argument, that you'll be working to fix the other areas as well, but will be focusing on that one area.

Fix Politics:  The political system gets a total overhaul - young leaders come into power from the homeschool movement.  They shake things up and make Godlier laws than even the founding fathers had.  Good!  But...  There are still books out their that teach falsehoods and music that still defies God and art forms that degrade human beings (culture), and there are people who are made to live with these laws, but they really don't like them, they're just forced to follow them, and there are some who actively try to put them down (society).  In the end, once the lawmakers die off, and their children take their stead - well, their children were raised in the society and around the culture that their parents didn't care to fix (just regulate).  So they probably make good politicians, but even they start to lose a little ground...

Fix Culture:  Take over the arts!!!!!!!!  I mean, if people are only listening to Christian music all the time, and they never see a bad photograph - they'll grow up and change things for better, right?  Nope...  Those kids are still evil at heart.  There will be some rebels (granted) who will just go against anything that you try to change, but for the most part, these kids will still have terrible leaders in office, and they will just see that a certain group of people are just trying really hard to influence people in a certain area (and succeeding, perhaps).  But they won't have anything to do with it.  This will hardly fix any problem at all and won't last as long as even fixing our political woes.

(Now, just to be honest here, I'll lay out my bias on the table - you can debate it all you want, but it's what I believe, and what I say will follow my knowledge...  But.  I believe that "fixing" society is the right way to have an impact on our generation [and any generation] - so my analysis of what will happen is sorta biased, but tell me if I err in any of it!  ...I might not recant, but I am not so close-minded that I am not open to looking at what others have to say.  ;D)

Fix Society:  Fix the people!  Spend time developing relationships with the terrible people of the world, spend time with the unwanted, and spend time with your responsibilities (Fathers - that means your wives and children.  Pastors - that means your flock as well).  Let people see Christ in you.  Be a good example for others to see!  Those people who you lived your life for, they will change and come to Christ as He draws them to Himself.  He never says that your life will be wasted here on earth, so know that you weren't made just to save yourself - you're a lifeline for others!  God is the one ultimately tugging them in, but He uses us, the outcasts of the world, to reach them.  These people will get to know God and they'll teach their children if they truly believe.  And God blesses the people who love him and keep his commandments.  (You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. ~ Exodus 20:5,6).  See...  Jesus said to His disciples that "IF you love Me, you will follow my commandments" (John 14:15) - Because if you TRULY believe in Christ and love Him, then you will naturally want to do all in your power to follow Him and keep His commands...  And that means that you'll follow His commands for politics and culture.

Yes.  Take it in - if you change someone, they will WANT to do the right things.  You can force it on them all you want!  It doesn't matter, if their heart is not changed, then their hearts will still be in the same depraved place that they started out in, cursing God!

But seriously, we can change the place we live in, it just takes faith in a just God, perseverance against the Devil, Truth on your side, and setting an example.

I have been talking with a man who's not a Christian recently (through my work), and I just recently started to talk about theology, worldviews and politics with him, and it's sad to see where he's at right now - but I wish more Christians would see everything the way he sees it.  And I seriously mean that.  He told me that the reason he doesn't go to church (among multiple other reasons - which I agreed with him on all of them), is because the churchgoers live a different life on Sunday than they do the rest of the week.  Now tell me, if you (not personally, but we - the Church) want soooooooooooo desperately to get non-believers to come to church to listen to what you have to say, then tell me - were you being a good example for this man?  I don't think any of us can say that we live perfect lives, but you don't have to go to church on Sunday to be spiritual - it's living it out in front of everyone all the time!  It's taking the time to talk with these guys to help them, it's walking what you talk on Sundays, it's influencing the people around you that God has placed in your life to be a LIGHT to!  This man only saw a bunch of flickering candles and didn't want anything to do with something that's failing!

In conclusion, (and if you can't tell, this is something that I am really passionate about) - to change the "system", you have to change hearts - YOU can't change hearts, God does it, but He chooses us as His method to reach others.  You can't be used if you're trying to fix something else on your own, it's like proverbially trying to fix the symptoms but not the cause of the disease.  I think God uses us as examples for others.  We need to step up to the plate and allow the Holy Spirit to guide our actions day in and day out.  We'll fail on our own.  But with Him, all things are possible!  People can be changed.  You can be used.

Will you live a life full of yourself?  Don't live for politics, art, science, work, don't be a family man if all that means is that you don't have an impact on anyone else, but you do it for yourself.  Instead, deny all else and take up your cross daily!  Be a light to a dark world - raise up a family dedicated to being a force out there and keeping the fire aflame.  Be a child of God.

I seriously just wrote this post up as it came to me (which meant many interruptions, seeing as it's Christmas day here already), so after a long day, I have finally let all my steam out.  And I'm better now.  :)  I think I'll title the next post on how to make yourself happy.  ;)

I hope that if you've read this far, you either have some 1. Correction for me - whatever you disagree with me on, I'm open for discussion.  Or  2. Encouragement for me - because I truly do enjoy seeing that there are people out there who make my rants their rants.



I hope you have a wonderful day!


P.S.  In Ephesians after it tells us to put on the whole armor of God, it then says that we should pray for all the saints.  I'll be praying for you, and I would ask you to pray for me as well (especially as I try and be an example not only to the guy I know from work, but to everyone else as well).  :)

P.P.S.  Here's Psalm 112 for you.  You wish this to be you (if you're a man seeking to follow the Lord), but do you wish this to be others as well?  I hope that I'll meet many men who are like this because God used me to get to their hearts.  :)  And another note - doesn't it look a lot like this man has influence?  He's a GREAT example to others!

Praise the Lord!

How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.
It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.
For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.
He has given freely to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted in honor.
10 The wicked will see it and be vexed,
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked will perish.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Life. ...Is full of everything! Questions... Leave a comment too!

So...  How many people actually still read this blog???  Just curious.  ;)

As most of you know, I'm going through a rough stage in my life.  Rough in many ways.  Mostly, I'm at that stage of life where something hits you like a brick and you know you need to change, or you'll never reach the goal that God calls you to reach.

I asked my manager at work tonight - "What can I do to get better, to get to the next level?"  And he replied - "The biggest thing for you is maturity."

That pretty much says it all right there...  I've heard that many different times, by many different people, and many different ways in the past couple months.  And I've been making some changes.

It's weird how emotionally connected we get to things though.  :(  I'm having a hard time giving up things I know I should give up, and doing things I know I should do.  But the best motivation I have right now is this
I look down the road a few years from now and I see my family.  No faces, just grey outlines of my wife and kiddos.  I don't know whom God is going to say "Start a family with her" about, but I know He'll pick the best for me.  And I don't know what my kids are going to act like, but I know He'll give me the wisdom to deal with them.  And I don't know how hard this year and the next are going to be, but I'm praying that He'll give me the strength to see it through while giving 100%!

And then I look at Christ.  He saved me.  That is enough motivation for ANYONE!  You don't need more than that to live life expecting to be a help to others and to glorify Him through your life!  I see all this, and I realize that having a family is just one goal that God is calling me to.  I look at my career.  A goal.  But both of these - and any other area we're called to be in - are just tools for us to use in glorifying God!  Men need to lead.  I can lead my family and help them, I can lead my coworkers at work and help them as well!  I can lead at Friday Frisbee, and help my friends!

It's funny how you can look at things.  I can either choose to view the world as my own little place - walking around and doing what I want to do, because I only feel what's good for myself, or I can view it as an opportunity for more - doing things for others because I realize that I'm not the only one that matters.

When you start looking at the world as an opportunity, not as a place of indulgence, then you realize that most of your "goals" are in fact just tools to help you in your mission.  Mission:  Glorify God through your calling.

And thus my ramble ends.  I hope this helps you as well.  :)

Sorry about the upcoming contest too!  :-/  It was an idea, and it never got enough steam to move forward with.  :(  But I will make it happen if we get enough steam.  ;)

I'll finish by saying that my parents had let me do Google+, and I was enjoying that, and they let me keep up this blog, but I'm going to be coming less to the online world and focusing more on what God has in front of me.  So yeah, I hope to be more personable when I see you face-to-face, even if it's tomorrow, next year, or in 1,000 years (I'm still going to be alive then.  ;).  I will still keep both of these, but it won't be a main part of my life like it has been.  I'm just going to use it as the tool that it is if you use it right.

So goodnight you guys!  My email is  Contact me there if you want to talk, catch up, or just plain want to say something!  My ears are always open to friends.  :)

For Christ's glory!