“If you meet a person who cannot get over your past, you meet a person that doesn’t understand the love of Jesus Christ.”

That’s a powerful statement.

Over the past few years, I’ve been in situations that, if I were honest, have in some ways skewed my view of God. It wasn’t intentional — the people involved didn’t mean for it to happen the way it did and I didn’t look at the situations as being something that would shape my view of Him. It just happened. Lots of things can cause this in life: things don’t turn out the way we think they should, people say things that are incorrect but we take them to heart, the list could go on and on. The quote I lead this post with is from a teaching series I’ve recently listened to on dating (side note: I was actually opposed to listening to it but glad I listened, as I discovered a lot of truth outside of dating) but it’s completely valid outside the dating scope. None are perfect, all have fallen short of the glory of God. I think that quote can be read quickly, liked my many, and never taken to heart.

I’ve heard it said that we always want to receive grace (from God, friends, family, etc) but we’re pretty reluctant to give grace. I’m noticing that a lot of the times my lack of certain gifts of the Spirit (like love, joy, peace, and patience) really has a lot to do with grace. I’m not going to really develop that further other than to say that we’re called to be examples of Christ (Christ-like), showing his heart for people. When we’re not walking in the Spirit, it shapes other’s view of who God is. Even those who have a strong walk, and especially if they aren’t plugged into life-giving people can be affected.

Why Did the Nations Rage?

I read Psalm 2 tonight, and then it was crossed referenced with Acts 4:23:31. Using the NKJV this time.

And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

‘Why did the nations rage,
And the people plot vain things?
The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

The Amplified says, “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the Word of God with freedom and boldness and courage.” Earlier in the prayer it says with full freedom to declare God’s message. That is what I want, full freedom and boldness. Christ has called us to proclaim His name, and spread his love and glory everywhere. There are those in other countries literally laying down their lives, and we’re often times too scared about what a classmate or coworker may say if we proclaim Jesus name. We have to become knowledgeable about the things of God — ignorance is no excuse, especially since we have the Word of God.

We need a passionate army for Christ.

Easy on the Christian

I heard a few months ago someone say that we, as Christians, are often times easy on the Christians and/or church goers, but we’re hard on the non-Christians.  It’s true and I’m wonder why that is?

I’m not really sure.  We’re easy to judge the “big” sins and easy to excuse the “little” sins.  You know what I mean, another Christian friend says, “it’s not really a lie, it’s just ‘extending’ the truth a little”.  Or “it’s like driving on the highway — everyone speeds, so it’s perfectly fine if you lie — everyone lies”.  Wherever did holiness and truth go?  However, we’re quick to judge those of the world (those not a part of our church, or the church as a whole).  We even judge people before we know if they’re guilty.  Every day on the news, someone is being accused of something — and we go right ahead and judge them, saying they should be locked away for life.

As for me, if I am doing anything that is sinful, I want someone to tell me and push me to remove it from my life.  Paul went as far as to say they should be removed from the church if they continue to live in sin so that they may return to the truth (read 1st Corinthians 5 for one of the times this is mentioned).  I’m not saying we should throw out everyone in our churches for sin — because we all sin — but we should be striving to remove it from our lives.  In 1st Corinthians 5:11, Paul says that we should not “associate with people who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin”.  He even made it clear that he did not mean those who were not claiming to be a Christian, but those who were claiming to be.

But this brings up the other point, why are we so hard on the non-believers?  We have to love them and show them the love of Christ, so that they will see who Christ is, through us.  We can’t remain in sin and try to lead others to Christ (then you’ll have a liberal-Christianity that does not follow the Bible, which is another topic in itself).  We have to show them love.  We have to show them what we believe what we believe, and why.

Now am I saying we have to do works to be a Christian?  No.  Actually, none of this is a work.  Christ said to the rich young ruler that he had to sell all of his earthly possessions to receive eternal life — that’s a “work”, but why did he say it?  He said that because Christ wanted to man to change his heart, to love Christ.  A mind change can’t get you to heaven, it’s a heart change.  It’s like a marriage, when you get married you aren’t going to have a few people on the side still.  The spouse should now have your heart.  In the same way, when we accept Christ, we have to change our hearts.  When you give Christ your heart, it will motivate you to want to remove those sins in your life.  There’s a quote in the book I read a few months ago, “When Heaven Weeps” (Ted Dekker) that says, “If you say you love Christ, but are not driven to throw away everything for that pearl of great price, you deceive yourself. This is what Christ said.”

Anyway, I’ve just had that on my mind for a while.

Skin Deep

Nichole Nordeman did a great front page article for CCM magazine about the pressures of outward appearance even in the Christian music industry and how even the artists struggle to remain real sometimes. Nichole Nordeman interviewed thirteen popular Christian music artists, some of which include Bethany Dillon, Chris Tomlin, Krystal Meyers, Natalie Grant, Bebo Norman, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, and Rebecca Barlow of Barlow Girl. What’s more, the article has several pictures of the actual artists in their high school years.

I stopped receiving CCM magazine a few years ago, but all is not lost. Anyone can read the article thanks to Nichole Nordeman and CCM. Her website states:

CCM has partnered with Nichole Nordeman to bring this special digital issue to you, their fans, absolutely FREE! Just click on this link and use the login listed below:
Username: freeissue0704 & Password: name417

Like what you read? Spread the word and pass it along – it’s free for your family & friends, too!

This is one of those articles I recommend that everyone check out because it is good to know that it is not just everyday people who face these issues. This article starts on page 48.

Confused Frustrations

I’ll try to skip the usual “it’s been a long time since I last posted” spill, and get straight to the point this time.

So many things are just frustrating and confusing me.  I see this and that and I push to do what is right, but there’s times where I just feel worn out.  It’s been almost five years and I have no one to confide in here.  I’m not wanting sympathy, partly because I think this is somewhat of a phase in life anyway.  If I have to stay in the wilderness (as it often appears) for the next 20 years to move to where God has for me, then I’d rather stay there.  What makes it frustrating is when some things look lost.  I don’t want to move until God tells me to move.  It’s discouraging sometimes looking at where others are and feeling there’s no hope to get even close to where they are.  I know there’s hope though.  There’s always hope.

In the mean time, I’ve been listening to my pastor at church and many different podcasts.  If it weren’t for podcasting, I don’t know where I’d be.  Lately I’ve been listening to theMill, Desperation, _tag, and the onething podcasts.


Entertainment captivates people. It’s something people pursue. Entertainment is a part of life, we all want to be entertained at some point or another during our day. Some people live for it, while others just enjoy it from time to time. Where does entertainment go from being just something we enjoy, to being an idol, something we obsess over?

I’m not going to say I know that answer, because I really don’t know exactly myself. Entertainment in itself isn’t bad. I like to watch movies sometimes, play games, and the like. There is always a point where too much can become a bad thing, though. There’s a point where it can steal away and blind a people from the things of God, from living our life in positive worship to God.

I enjoy playing video games. Is this wrong? No. Too much time spent playing them can be though. I’m writing to myself tonight. There’s been weeks I’ve spent hours and hours just wasting away at video games. I’m not alone, I’m sure there are other people who spend three and four times as much time as I do playing games. I think many times it’s a way to fulfill a need of just something to do.

I’m, in no way, trying to say spending a little time playing video games is wrong. There are certain games, movies, and music (all entertainment) that I do believe is wrong or can be wrong. I’ve wrote several things about my thoughts on those here.

I’ve been thinking a little bit tonight. I think often times pushes us away from Christ. From a military standpoint, I believe this would be a good idea for an enemy. If there is a way to preoccupy the opposing foe with fun and enjoyment, it will both blind and weaken the enemy. If this enemy is blind to the army all around it that is about to overtake it, it cannot fight (blinded). It cannot attempt to fight if it’s not trained (weakened). It’s a great strategy, and is used in diversions – where the opposing side brings a small force to the diversion front, but then surprise attacks from another direction.

In the same way, I believe, we can be – and are being – blinded and weakened. We spend time entertaining ourselves, while not realizing there’s an enemy at our doorstep. We are weakened by not knowing the Word of God. I think we’re all guilty, and no one can ever fully be prepared. However, we can prepare. We all cave in to sin at times even though we don’t want to, but even so God has given us everything we need for life and Godliness.

Do I know all of the Bible? Of course not. I dislike, and think I’m horrible, at memorization, and honestly take less time than I should at trying to memorize. I still need work in areas. There’s obvious things we can do though, such as limiting our time on the computer, watching TV, and just wasting time with stuff that doesn’t matter ten minutes from that point. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I need to get more serious. It’s not always easy going through stuff alone. Sometimes it feels like I’m alone, but I know that I’m not alone. There’s always going to be valleys and trials, those are always the times where faith is decided. And we must go through those valleys, because those are the times where character is built.

To sum it all up, we need more of Jesus, less of us. More love for Christ and others, less self-love. There’s a real enemy out there. We, myself included, need to wake up. What are we going to be committed to?

Do I Dare

Do I dare to walk in sin
To live my life giving in
To the lie: I can live however I want
And call myself a Christian

Do I dare to stand irreverently
To enter in Your presence so easily
Thinking I can meet You whenever I please
Without fear and trembling?

For so long I thought I was living for You
But all of this time I’ve been playing the fool

Like a mirror
Your holiness illuminates my sin
Lord, I don’t want to live my life
In darkness again
I want to be purified
Changed by refining fire
So I can be the light

Week after week, day after day
Listening to what You have to say
Learning Your word and knowing Your way
Do I dare to disobey?

I don’t want to fall away from the truth
But walking the narrow road isn’t easy to do
I know it will happen to me
If I don’t hold on to You

For so long I thought I was living for You
But I’m so tired of playing the fool

1 John 1:5-7 / Ephesians 5:8-10

Do I Dare by Carrie Pettit

I love these lyrics.  I was listening to a song (Life of Faith) on the radio Thursday night, and finally found who sang it.  I love her music.  Very real — very relatable.