Thursday, August 27, 2009


This isn't going to be on what you think it's going to be on. I say that because this I'm not going to observe the normal aspects of that magic word, I'm going to take a look at the side we often forget about. I mean we talk about loving each other through not insulting each other, helping each other physically and mentally through holding doors for the ladies and giving up chairs and giving our buddies some tips on their homework, praying for each other and all of these things are important aspects of loving one another. But I've been realizing that I don't always honor my friends when it comes to times when I disagree with them. I mean I try not to go around bashing them with insults on a regular basis, but when it comes to arguing about something (especially the theological); man, I really have trouble holding back my frustration. I have major trouble giving, I often feel like i must never give up because if I do my "philosophy" that i have worked so hard to stand up against theirs will crumble. But that sort of dug in mindset can really destroy my relationships. Cause if you are always on edge making sure that the other guy doesn't catch you off guard with a good argument, there is a level of mistrust that will rise. Abraham Lincoln said "A house divided against itself can not stand." This is especially true in the House of the Lord.

Take my ongoing debate with Andrew about video games, most of the time (thank God) we usually end by coming to the realization that we both believe that Jesus Christ saved us both from our sins and go away with a healthy relationship. But there have been times when I have been VERY frustrated with him over the issue (even though it really is a minor issue and about personal conviction). If I at those times had let my anger feed my relations with him, our friendship might have split and with it other people's relationship. our whole group of friends might have become divided, in turn even the whole ministry as the conflicts added up. And WALA!! You have a divided group in the church. We become immobilized body parts. We can't work together for God's glory because we are to busy arguing over our petty differences.

Unfortunately this is a repeted pattern in the Church, a question arrises as to a certain doctrine, sides are taken to the extreme and a split takes place over a minor doctrine. This doesn't as much apply to the split of Orthodoxy and Prodistancy since that was over Salvation. I am talking more about the split between Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Purtitan and other "dominational churches" which is often taken very seriously. The problem i see here is that we forget we are ONE CHURCH not a bunch of scattered ones. What makes us one church is the fact that, despite our differnce in oppinon on Baptism, Communion, Bible Translation, we are all God's children who believe that Jesus is our savior and have been born again in him. The same principle should be applied to any theological argument. It is good for us to debate yes. But when our debates put a wall between us and our brothers and sisters we should evaluate why we are holding on so tightly to this "truth." We are not God! We are not all knowing! We have a LOT to learn, not just from God but from each other. Let's not look at our differences but rather look at the Lord, in whom we are all the same thing: SAVED CRIMINALS WHO ARE NOW CALLED CHILDREN OF GOD!!!!

I am sorry for being stubborn and I am going to pray God makes me humbler and humbler,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Heart (thanks part 2)

So the other night I was babysitting, and Dalton who's about three was throwing a temper tantrum because he wasn't allowed to play with the Play Doh. He was screaming and crying and I told him that we have to have a happy heart even when it's hard and he replied to me through heavy heaving sobs "I don't want to have a happy heart! I just want to be sad!" I laughed but then conviction struck. Wow did that sound like me.

"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

How many times have your parents told you to have a happy heart? My parents still tell me to have a happy heart because I constantly need that reminder. I've had so many times through tears talking to my mom about what's going wrong in my life and what's not going my way and she tells me to be thankful for what I have and to find joy in the Lord. So so SO many times I've replied in self pity, expressing that I just want to be upset. I don't like whats going on, I don't like whats not's going my way and I think that's an excuse not to be thankful for what I do have.

That's SO wrong.

Like I said in the post before, we have so many blessings and it's so easy to look over them. Especially when things don't go our way. The first thing that reminds me of this is the song JOY! From the new Sovereign Grace CD "To Be Like Jesus".

When I am lonely or feeling bad
When things don't go my way
When my heart's broken
And I am sad
And tears won't go away
That's when I turn my eyes to you Jesus!
Joy! You fill me with Joy!
You fill me with Joy
You are always with me
You will always give me Joy!

So simple, but So incredibly true!

Another thing I think about when it comes to Happy Hearts is Madame Blueberry! Yes, that classic veggie tales character. I know this may sound silly to a whole bunch of teenagers but I think it might be a good idea to watch this episode of Veggietales. It's got such a great message, "Because a thankful heart is a happy heart. I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy way to start..."

And I do encourage you to make a list of the blessings in your life. And talk to your parents about where you need to improve in this area.

In His Grace,


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thanks and Blessings

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things acording to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory, In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance unti we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:3-14

The passage above may be long, but it contains so many truths. We are SO blessed! David and I were talking about this last night and I felt so convicted. I can be so blind to all the blessings in my life- God is SO good.

God has truly bestowed on us every spiritual blessing! He predestined us to follow him before there was time! We've been saved through him, through faith in his son! We have been placed in loving Christian homes with amazing parents who teach us in wisdom and follow the Lord. We have amazing Christian friends who lead us back to the cross and challenge our faith. I'm so thankful for my parents, who love me no matter how stupid and foolish I am and continue to pray for me and help me grow. I also am thankful for all of the strong Christian friends I've made that challenge my faith and help me to mature and love God more. And we have an amazing church, with incredible pastors, a fantastic youth ministry. And we've been installed with a true passion for God.

We are truly surrounded by so many blessings. And I know I can be so blind to what I have. There are so many people who don't have the christian envoirment we have. David was saying last night that without all this, we'd most likely be indulged in a life of sin in love with the world. There are so many teens and children living in non christian homes with no real influence of God at all in their lives and the majority of them are pretty much encouraged to live immoral lives because of this loss. They've been lost to sin, living foolish lives based on what they want and feel. And it's so sad to think there are so many people living like that, that don't have what we have. Isn't that such a smack of reality?

We should be so unbelievable grateful for what God has blessed us with! He's so good!

My friend Amy challenged us once to write a list of all the blessings in your life. I'd encourage you to take on that challenge.

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!"

In His Grace,


(ps. Just to clarify, I want to make sure that you all know that all sin is counted equal in God's eyes and I am not saying that we are in any way less sinful or better than anyone else.)