Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jeremy Camp \ Lay Down My Pride

Every single word I say
You know it before I speak
You know every thought
The deepest part of me

You draw me closer than I see
Your presence is every thing I need to be
The child that you've created me to be
I'm ready now to see it your way

I lay down my pride
My desires my demise
I'm ready now to see it your way
I'm done I'm thru ignoring you now it's true
I'm kneeling at the cross of your grace
Lay down my pride

I was faced with passing time
But I knew the choice was mine
To finally come to you
And give you all control
I've wandered miles to find my way
And then you revealed this simple faith
I know that you can see the secrets of my soul

The cross the blood you shed for me
Your back was ripped and bruised
So I can know your love

I kneel I bow to you my kind

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chapter 7: Daring to Live Together

Imagine a community of people who lived together and shared everything together. Day by day they would meet together, work together, eat together (you get the picture). In addition those with things to sell would do so in order to provide for those in need. Now if you are like me, your first thought would be that that community kinda sounds like a hippie-new age community type thing. However, the picture i was trying to paint and the community i was describing is actually one found in the Bible.
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity[a] all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts 2: 44-47, NLT).
Part of being a Christian, is having a community that is able to help support you, lift you up when you are feeling down, and join you in praise when you are happy. In essence there are four main aspects in the "Acts 2" community describe above: being real, discipline, decision-making and open doors for outsiders to enter.

1.) Being Real
Ever hear the saying, "Honesty is the best policy", well that definitely applies to the life of Christian fellowship. By being completely honest and real with our fellow Christians, they can help us to grow and strengthen us in our walk. We must be specific when we share how we're doing or what we need to confess, where we need encouragement or what we are currently facing in our lives. Being real is a challenge, but is is necessary if trust, deep relationships and the simple grace of God are to grow among us.

2.) Necessary Discipline
Growing up, kids always hate it when their parents discipline them and send them to the time-out chair etc. However, through discipline are able to learn and able to grow. The same applies to our spiritual growth in which when a person fails into sin, some form of accountability and encouragement is necessary.

3.) Decision Making
Another way we learn and grow is by obtaining the wisdom of other people. Different people experience different things in different ways, each walking away for it with a unique perspective and look that can be passes down as advice to others. It is this giving and receiving of wisdom and the ultimate expression of unity in the submission of life decisions to the counsel of others in the community that really sets Christians apart from the "outside" world. By looking to others for advice, we can encourage and exhort one another in the faith. Most importantly when seeking counsel from others we should remember that we should not just seek those who will tell us only want we want to hear but also find those who will tell us what we need to hear and who will take this role seriously.

4.) Open Doors
When Christians open the doors and their hearts to those around them, this becomes the greatest tool of all to indicate to the world the grace and glory of God and his son Jesus the Messiah. A clear picture of this is described in this chapter and is pasted below.
Shawn entered college as a committed atheist. He even enjoyed discouraging Christians and making them doubt their faith. On a hot afternoon several fellowship members offered to help Shawn and his mom to move things into the dorm. Even though he was parked blocks away, he was not used to receiving help, so he turned them down. after another trip he and his mom had a good sweat going and, fairly exhausted, he broken down and agreed to receive help. In a few minutes several fellowship members were rounded up and the rest of Shawn's belongs were brought up in one trip. Sweating, tired and thankful (though a bit uncomfortable), Shawn went to the room across the hall to thank the guys for their help. He noticed that the refrigerator was full of soda (the guys had stocked it to serve folks on a hot day). When we was a offered a couple of sodas, Shawn decided he could not impose by taking two. He took only one to split with his mom and returned to his room.
Days later he was invited to the first fellowship meeting of the year. Though he had no interest in going, he felt obligated because of the soda, so he went. He hated the meeting and swore he could never attend anything else this group sponsored. Over the next couple of weeks Shawn was well served by the upperclassmen in the Christian fellowship. Through them he meet a lot of people on campus. He did some fun things with them that helped make the transition into college easier. The guys also invited him to the first Bible study they were having in their room. Firm in his resolve, he told them he wouldn't like it. Not to be put off so easily, one of the upperclassman responded, "How do you know you wouldn't like it if you've never been to a Bible Study?" Shaw couldn't really argue with that so he went just tp prove his point.
They studied the prodigal son story from Luke 15, and the discussion was lively. Though he disagreed with the way they understood the passage (he thought it was a great example of bad parenting), he liked the people and enjoyed the discussion. He gradually became a regular. Over time he found himself liking Jesus and began to think about God when we wasn't with his friends. As you can imagine, this was fairly disturbing for an atheist. God was drawing Shawn to himself through the way these guys loved each other and loved him. It was their sacrificial service and love that God used to present the gospel in action and to prepare Shawn's heart to receive the good news of Jesus' love for him.
Three months after school started the avowed atheist walked into the kingdom as a new believer. The authentic Christian fellowship of this community was a powerful witness to Shawn. The result was a life saved from the ravages and penalty of sin.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chapter 6: Gambling on God

Part Two: Committed in Relationships
"Be extravagant for God or be extravagant for the devil, but for God's, don't be tepid!"

You always hear from pastors and Christian speakers that gambling is a sin and that its bad etc etc etc. However what they don't tell you is that living the Christian life is a HUGE gamble! Now you may be thinking,"Stop, rewind.and play that again! How can Christianity and gambling go together when we all know that gambling is a sin!" Well allow me to explain....

As Christians we risk everything, our joy, our minds, our hearts, our very lives on the belief that God is real, and that he raised Jesus from the dead. If this risk, this gamble turns out to be a bust then as Paul says we are to be pitied the most of all mankind for we have been made fools and have risked everything on a lie.
If corpses can't be raised, then Christ wasn't, because he was indeed dead. And if Christ weren't raised, then all you're doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. It's even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they're already in their graves. If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot. But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries. (1 Corinthians 15:16-20. The Message)
However as that last verse points out, their is hope in our gamble.God promises many different things in the Scripture: a loving relationship with him, joy, his abiding presence, heaven, homes, brothers, sisters and his glory, and with these promises we are able to find true happiness for we have Jesus in our lives.

Before I end i want to leave you with a passage from the chapter that i think summarizes everything it talked about....
"Risking with Jesus means losing the world's eyes yet winning in God's eyes. If you bet the whole house, you will gain all of Jesus. If you decide to play it safe in your faith-life, you may not gain any of Jesus. He asks for high stakes. At this blackjack table of the casino of God the minimum bet is your whole life. If you want to bet any less, go do something boring and harmless like pursuing the American Dream."
So are you ready to gamble your life away on a belief most of the world thinks is foolish? Or are you too afraid and want to stay this round out? The choice is up to you....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chapter 5: Connecting with Jesus

Open the eyes of my heart Lord!
Open the eyes of my heart,
I want to see you,
I want to see you....
To see you high and lifted up!
Shining in the light of your glory
Pour out your power and love
As we sing Holy, Holy, Holy

Today's chapter takes a look at Luke 24, in which in the story of Jesus' resurrection is revaeled to the women who visit his tomb (v1-12), the two disciples on their way to Emmaus (v13-34) and to the all the disciples as a whole (v35-49), with the main focus being on the Jesus' revealment to the the two disciples on their way to Emmaus.

According to the book, there are two main things that are shown to us in v15-16: 1) Jesus takes the initiative to come to us and 2)we do not always recognize his presence. Both are points that i don't really think about too often but when you do finally think about them, they make a lot of sense. Actually as i write this blog i am reminded of the poem "footsteps" in which one of the famous parts is when the guy asks God why, during the hardest, loneliest, most difficult times of his life there is only one set of footsteps in the sand. The guy at this point is thinking that he was all alone at these times and that God had abandoned him. However God surprises him and says that the points in his life in which he sees only one set of footprints are the points in which God had carried him. This shows how so many times we let our feelings of loneliest, despair and frustation get in the way of feeling God's presence. However in Matthew 28:20 we are told to "Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." God never leaves us, he is always there waiting for us to embrace him and to listen to him.

Continuing on with Luke 24, we are shown that there are 4 important ways in which Jesus meets us and reveals himself to us: prayer, scripture, fellowship, and worship. Now if you couldn't already guessed, the last two are my two favorite ways in which to meet and discover Jesus, and the the first two are were i am weakest. However through conducting this media fast and spending time with the Word, i hope to change that and make all four my favorite and strongest methods. There is so much more i want to share but i am getting really really tired right now and my thoughts are being to jumble so i will leave you with some bible verses that i really liked that were pointed out in the book. enjoy!
  • Acts 2:42
  • Romans 8:26-27
  • Ephesians 4:3-6
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21
  • John 4:23-24
  • John 16:12-15
  • 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Media Fast: Day 2

From now on, my post may become shorter for the mere fact that i fell guilty and am tempted when i come on here to make a post. I may start to keep a journal IRL to write down my thoughts etc and any "juicy" tidbits post them on here but we shall see.....

Media Fast Update:
Today has been better in a way. while i was home the temptation to put on music wasn't as strong however when i was driving today it became very strong especially since of just driving for 5 mins there and back (10 mins total) i was driving roughly 20 mins there and then 20 mins back. That was rough but i survived and I thank the Lord for that. Also another thing that i have notice is that i have begun to pray alot more then i have in the past and that is def a good thing. I just pray for continuted strength as i continue on this long. road

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chapter 4: Dangerous Truth for the Daring Life

I want to Testify
I want to tell the World about Jesus
How you touched my heart and grabbed my soul
You put my feet on the rock and my name on the road
I want to Testify.....with all my heart!

So after i posted my last post...i gave in and started to listen to one of the worship cds that i have. Ironically enough the first song that started playing was called "I want to testify" which ties very nicely with the chapter i read today from Faith on the Edge. Above are some the lyrics from the song and i will discuss how i feel the correlate to the chapter today but first let me explain something real fast.

For years i have said that music is my life. before today i have listened to music almost 24/7. One of the first things i do when i am getting ready is to turn on some music, in car right after i turn on the ignition i turned the radio on. Basically the only times i don't really listen to music is when i am walking around campus ( i don't have a mp3 player) and when i am sleeping, otherwise i am always listening. I will admit i am addicted to music. Now while i recognize this as a bad thing, it can also be a good thing. For one of the reasons why i love music is because most times the lyrics are able to convey a message, a feeling, or a thought that i just couldn't describe, and yet this artist has been able to. Music is gives me energy, it helps to keep my focus, and it is my favorite part of worship. Writing this all down makes me realize just how dependent i am on music instead of God. For when i am angry i to turn to angry music to calm me down, when i am sad i play sad music, when i am full of energy i play hyper music. I let music describe my mood and to comfort me instead of turning to God and letting him be my comfort and my source of strength and calm. Hopefully by the end of this fast i will be able to make that switch but for this week while my addiction is still strong i am going to try to limit my music intake to just a few songs a day (one cd length at the max) and try to ease to no music at all. Today i almost made it through the day with it and so far i have only listened to two songs so i believe its a possibility, i just have to ask that God will give me the strength to succeed!

And now on to the chapter.....

John 1:14 tells us that Jesus is full of grace and truth and as Christians we are taught that we are supposed to share that with the world around us. Well what exactly does that mean? Well in the book Robbie Castleman describes it as..."Grace moved the Savior close to people. Truth then moved them close to him." ....It is this picture of grace and truth that we are supposed to model afterwards when we spread the "good news" However, we don't always succeed. Some are filled with more truth then grace and begin to answer questions that haven't been asked or preach to those who just want to talk. In essence they reduce the wondrous gospel to just a few facts. (Think a child's view of a rainbow (wonderful, magical, colorful) in comparisons to a scientists view (photons, reflections, light tricks, no magic). Then you have those who are so full of grace that they forget to distinguish the radical truth that is demanded from people who choose to be a Christian. We must a strike a balance somewhere. It is important for us to wait to share the truth after grace has had enough time to work. The ground must be fertile before the seed can be planted (Luke 8:4-15).

Ok, taking a step back, i will be honest. I have always had issues with evangelizing to others, i have never liked to do it and whenever pastors or speakers talk about i immediately am turned off. Now i know this should be a sign that it is something that i need to work on and i know that it is something that i should be doing. But at the same time i do want to feel like i am forcing my beliefs on to people who do want to hear it. I guess that is where the whole Grace and truth thing comes into play. I guess i would be the type of person who has two much grace and doesn't truley convey the truth of the matter. This is partly due to the fact that i don't want to offend people...."People are wary of being 'sold' someone else's goods. And the exclusivity of Jesus as God incarnate, as well as the cross and resurrection, sound intolerant and rigid in a world addicted to relativism and feel-good religoius franchises."....
and from the human nature of just wanting to accept everyone and have it so all belief systems, world religions or sincere efforts could lead to eternal life. However as Robbie points, as Christains, unfortuantly we know that this isn't true. And we know it because of the cross. If there was any other way for the Jesus to have saved us instead of dying on the cross then God would have told him so and would have saved his son. But the fact that there isn't and he didn't shows that there is only one way to enternal life. And as a final food for the thought:

"The truth isn't easy to hear and is even harder to believe, but it doesn't bend to personal preference or accomodate to the culture."

Media Fast: Day 1

So today is the first day of my media fast. And for a majority of the day i was doing alright. I drove to and from campus without the radio worked on stuff for my research during free time and wasn't too phased about not being about to go on the internet or listen to music. That is of course until i came home for the night. that is when the trouble started. I walk into my apartment and there are two of my roommate sitting there watching tv so i scurry off to my room so i won't be tempted to watch. This of course forces me to eat dinner in my room, which is kinda awkward cause when i usually do that i am in front of the computer eating, usually surfing the web or something. So yeah it has been a rough night. I have come to the conclusion that i can live with out tv, i can live with interent, but living without music is absoultely killing me right now. For the past couple of hours i have been trying to read my bible and read Faith on the Edge but without my music i just can't focus, my mind keeps wondering and i am constantly getting distracted but something or another....ugh! I really just want to play some worship music right now since my teacher said that was allowed during the fast, but at the same time i feel like that would be cheating but i dunno what to do. Please Pray that God will give me the strength to perserve for i can not do this without his help!

Friday, January 30, 2009

intermission--omnipotent and benevolent deity

I started reading the book "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown before i went home for winter break last semester got about halfway though and it and then just stopped. And then the other day when i finished another book, i decided that i should prolly finish it. I have been reading bits and peices of it here and there and then today i decided that instead of taking a nap i would make some coffee and then sit down and read for a bit. That's when i came across the following passage and felt that i should share...hence the intermission from Faith on the Edge. Hope you enjoy!


Chartand took a deep breath. "I don't understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing."
The Camerlengo smiled. "You've been reading Scripture."
"I try."
"you are confused because the Bible describes God as an amipotent and benevolent deity."
"Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning."
"I understand the concept. It's just...there seems to be a contradiction."
"Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness..."
"Exactly!" Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. "Terrible thinsg happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possible be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't he?"
The camerlengo frowned. "Would He?"
Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask "Well...if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help."
"Do you have children Lieutenant?"
Chartrand flushed. "No, signore." "Imagine you had an eight-year-old son...would you love him?"
"of course."
"Would you do everything in your power to prevent pain in his life?"
"Of course."
"Would you let him skateboard?"
Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. "yeah, i guess,"Chartrand said. "sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful."
"So as this child's father you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?"
"I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle hime if that's what you mean."
"But what if he fell and skinned his knee?"
"He would learn to be more careful."
The camerlengo smiled. " So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?"
"Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn."
The camerlengo nodded. "Exactly." (end of ch 89).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Chapter 3: The Healing Journey

"Do you want to be healed?"

such a simple questions...and yet such a loaded one. It is this question that Jesus poses to the lame man near the healing pool of Bethesda in John 5. Now it may seem like a silly question to ask but if you think about, i mean really think about, you will realize that it is one of the most important questions that you have to asked yourself. Do i want to be healed? Do i want to change my life? Do I want to change my Identity, the person who I am now? Am i willing to give all that up for the better?

for so long the man had been sitting there by the pool (38-yrs to be exact), it is all he knows. It has become who he is, a sick man. However, here comes Jesus giving him the chance to change all that. Should he take it? or should he deny it and stay the way he is but always wonder?

Now before you answer, lets switch to a different story. Lets go to Mark 2 in which a man is lowered through the roof into a crowded room in which Jesus is teaching. Jesus commands this man to get up and walk. Now think what must be running through this boy guys head. First his friends drag (literally) him to this place where this "miracle-worker" is talking, then when they get there it is so crowded they can't get to him so they decide to lower him through the roof! Now just imagine that, you can't move, you are lying on a mat, and you are being lowered through a roof. Now only that but the guy your friends brought you to see tells you to get up and walk. HELLOOO! if i could walk i wouldn't have had to have my friends lower me through the roof. But maybe you aren't that cynical but just afraid. What if you body doesn't respond to what your brain tells it to do? What if you get up and fall down in front of everyone? Do you even remember how to walk? Yet, despite your cycanism and doubts, you know, like the man near the pool, that if you don't obey the command that this man has issused you, you have 0% of being healed. you know that you not only have to listen but OBEY what he is saying. once you do this you will be healed through his goodness.

This is what we must do, all of us are broken in one shape or form. All of us are hurting and in need of healing. however it isn't till we obey what God commands to us are we able to begin the healing process.

Typically one of things that God calls us to do in order to heal is to tell our story. Telling our story is not only theraputic for us because it allows us to shed the layers of hurt and anger, but it all paves the way for forgiveness against those who hurt us. In addition, by sharing your story with others, it allows you to form a sort of spiritual community that can help and support you through the healing process.

However telling our story also reveals our volunerabilities, it forces us to face our past, and shows the world that we may not it as together as we would like to think. Although this may not be easy, Jesus tells us "DO NOT FEAR, ONLY BELIVE" Believe that he will give you the strength you need, that he has a plan for you that is for the better and not the worse, and believe that there will be a dawn at the next day. There will be beauty from the pain, as long as we obey and believe.

Living Your Faith:
  1. In what ways are you holding on to your idenity as a sick and wounded person? I am holding on to this idenity like is was a safety ring. It is this hold that prevents me from taking that final leap. Do i want to be healed? part of me yells: YES, but another part me is content with where i am in in life and content with my sicknes........
  2. In what forum (bible study, small group, prayer partnership, family) can you break the power of shame by telling your whole story? I can and will use this website to share my story (post prolly tomorrow cause its late and i have class in the am). I also plan on attempting to create an art journal that chronicles it and to share my story with those i have begun to become friends with at my church.
  3. In your healing process, who is your community? How are they helping you through this time? My community are you my readers, my friends, my family and those who attend my chrurches. All support me through advice, guidance and prayer. They all help to provide a ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and arms to hug.
  4. How are you demonstrating and proclaining Jesus's goodness to you? I would like to say through my words and actions but i am not sure that is true. Also i am not sure that i am truly demonstrating this and is something that i need to work on.
  5. How can you tell your story to help others consider Jesus? By telling and sharing my story, it allows others to see that i am human just like them and that i have gone thourgh similar things that they have gone through in the past or are going through now. It allows me to be an example as to what can occur when you stop fearing the unknown and simple believe and obey God.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chapter 2: Gaining by Losing

"Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. " (John 12:25)

I dunno how many times i have read this verse or had someone point it out to me and never really got the real message until today.


when we hate the life we lead and realize how much it is truly killing us, but are willing to head over our life for a new in Christ, that is what meant by following Jesus. In this chapter, Robbie Castleman made the analogy of a heart transplant in order to drive the point. In this analogy, there are several types of patients all of which who are giving the same diagnosis: They will all die if they don't have radical treatment and get a heart transplant. However, some of the patients will downplay their sickness and refuse the treatment, others who believe the diagnosis but cling to the heart they have and therefore refuse treatment and lastly there are those who submit and accept the treatment. It is this last group that we should be like, they hated the life that they were living so much that they were willing to risk losing it in order to get the radical treatment in hopes of living.

now i wish i could say that i was part of this group, the group that hated life so much that they risked everything in order to be with Jesus and have their old dead sinful heart replaced with the new living pure heart of Jesus. but alas i cannot make such a claim, for in my heart i know its not true. I am still holding strong to the ways of this world and afraid to make that final leap of faith. I like the second group. I know that i am sick and that i need to change but i just can't let go. Instead i try to live what Robbie refers to as the "Balanced Christian Life." She describes balance as....

"Balance is just another word for compromise, accommodation or selfishness. 'Balance' can be a way of worshiping your life , an unwillingness deep down to really lose it for the kingdom. 'Balance' often teaches us to juggle 'God and worldly goods' 'serve two masters' and accept anxiety as the price for being responsible.'Balance' is often but a quest for social acceptance, economic security and a religious comfort zone. It is disobedience to the radical teachings of Jesus for his disciples."

When i read this passage, it struck me, and it struck me hard. This is what i am doing. This is what my life has become. I am trying to balance between the two and trying not to give 100% one way or another. However, God is a selfish God and he wants all or nothing...but am i ready to give him my all? I want to say yes...but fear gets in the way so i dunno....

But as Robbie points out, being a Christian and leading a life of discipleship means living out the life of the "heart Donor". This means day by day, minute by minute following Jesus in the way of suffering to share his glory. This also means that you must reach the point in which you willing embrace a life that includes suffering as well as the loss of yourself as the source of your satisfaction. You must hate life so much that you are willing to lose it in order to gain life.

Living your faith:

1. Look up the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. If you are a disciple, how did your initial encounter with the gospel compare to Jesus' summary? If you have not trusted God radically, where would you place yourself in Jesus' description of becoming a disciple? Once more, no matter how many times i have heard it before, today i finally understand the message of the beatitudes. Every line/stanza goes against everything that the world teaches us. But that is what we are called to do as Christians. Where the world tells us to be strong, to be loud, to be proud and to be selfish. Jesus calls us to be meek, to be humble and to be selfless. If i had to place myself in Jesus' description of becoming a disciple i would say that i am on my way to living the radical life but first i need to take that initial leap of faith and fully on God's Strength to take me there.

2. "For the early followers of Jesus being a disciple didn't look 'balanced'--it looked fundamentally extreme, counter cultural and radical to the core." In what way does that describe your life? In what areas does your life conform to other expectations, dreams or standards? This describes my life and my view very well. The view of Christianity that is painted in this book are so radical and so extreme and yet i know they are are the true picture of it and not merely the "knock-off" that i have been living. My life is not radical or extreme in any fashion but like i said above its more "balanced" with me conforming in multiple ways. I find myself constantly down-playing my faith to others in hopes of not offending them. I constantly come up with excuses not to go on mission trips or to support various things. I let pity things like apathy, laziness and fear stand in my way. And it is these that I need to lay at the cross before i can make that leap of faith.

3. What are one or two things you can do for others that will significantly cost you (time, money, effort, status) as a disciple? One thing that i have always wanted to do and always felt called to do but never actually done was to go on a mission trip. However i have always had some excuse as to why i couldn't go (i didn't have the money, or i couldn't find the time for it, etc). Even now, in my mind i am using the fact that i am grad school as an excuse to not attempt to go on a mission trip, but if its God will he will pave the way and i must believe in that.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chapter 1: What is a Disciple?

Part One: Rooted in Christ
"He who has a why to live for can ber almost any how"-- Friedrich Nietzsche

Chapter One: What is a Disciple?
I wish i could copy the whole book and post it here but that alas is called plagiarism and is frowned upon :( also that would take forever and a day to do. So instead here are some snip-bits

what is faith on the edge you make ask? well according to Paul Tokunaga (one of the 6 authors of the book) Its like a race in which your body is screaming to stop but the crowd is cheering you to continue on. You can see this reference even in the bible (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (The Message)

The above passage is different then the one in the book i feel like it paints a clearer picture of what what "faith on the edge" is in comparison to a race. Now that that is taken care of, let move on to the name of this chapter...What is a disciple? The book explains that the New Bible Dictionary describes it as the pupil of a teacher and therefore a Christian disciple is a student of Jesus. In addition, the Gospel describes it as "all who responded to his message." this means not only those who hear Jesus's message but that those who hear AND then obey. Both must be done in order to be a pupil. This is hard, especially in the world we live in, but as the writer of Hebrews so lovingly points out, being a Christian is not a easy job!

"...Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned[f]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated..." (Hebrews 11:35-37 NIV)

But God has a plan for us, ("or I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
) and as long as we trust in him we can do anything ("I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Living your Faith
  1. How did you come into relationship with Jesus? Who and what helped you to come to a living faith? I came to know Jesus, when i was 7. I had started to go to church when a family friend at age 5 and then started to make my mother come with me. Then when i was 7, a speaker came to my church and it was then that my mother and I decided to walk forward and turn our lives over to Christ. Me being 7, i didn't really know what this meant but felt like it was something that i wanted to do. As to a living faith...i am not even sure if my faith could be considered "living". sometimes i feel as if its on life support, i mean i have no doubt that God exist and mentally I know all the stories etc but i dunno sometimes my scientific mind has a hard time believing the facts and connecting it with my heart/emotions. However i believe that the largest contributors to keeping my faith "alive" or at the very least on life support would have to be Intervarsity and all the wonderful friends and mentors i meet through it in addition to the church i am currently attending now. Intervarsity was my lifeline during my freshman year of college in which my life was filled drama beyond belief. If it wasn't for this organization and the amazing people in it i dunno if i would have been able to survive. I have made so many lifelong friends through it and for that i am grateful. Through the attending this new new church, i have finally decided to make more of an effort of to get my faith off of life support and into "perfect" health again (hence this blog).
  2. Are you content with being a "decent little cottage" or would you rather become a "palace" where Jesus intends to come and live in it himself? To be honest, for so long i have been content to be a "decent little cottage" that i am afraid to prepare the way to become a "palace". However this is something that i really want to do now and have to put my faith in God that he will be patient with me as a struggle with the "remodeling".
  3. What stands in the way (relationships, priorities, dreams for your future, sins, for starters) of your becoming that palace? Pride...most definitely my pride stands in the way of me becoming a palace. That and the fear of rejection from others. I take pride in being able to do things myself, in appearing strong and i hate showing weakness (which is why its rare for me to cry and if i do cry it doesn't last for long). and then there is rejection. I know no one likes rejection, and i also know that being a Christian means that the world is going to reject you and you it. but growing up as a kid, i never had that many friends and then when i got to college i suddenly got tons. I dunno what changed to be honest but i do know that sometimes i tend to hide my faith or dilute it a bit so just i don't offend someone or just so they like me better..... These are things that lay down at the cross and pray that God will help to break my heart and change within me

Faith on Edge

So last night after reading Lisa's suggestion on my previous post about obtaining Beth Moore Study to focus on, i decided to search on my bookshelf and see if i had any Christian Study books that i could do. And lo and behold I found that i bought prolly 2 years ago or so. Its a book called Faith on the Edge: Daring to Follow Jesus. When i first got the book I attempted to read through it and got through the first chapter and then stopped so lets see if i can get through it all the way this time :-D

Now since this a book that most people don't have ...although you can buy it if you the title for the amazon link ;)...I am going to prolly update this differently. From skimming the book, it looks like the end of each chapters lists questions that relate the the stories etc that are discussed in the chapter. So what my plan is, is to post the answers to these questions and maybe anything other tidbits i find interesting here. I will post my first offical post with this book soon, but just wanted to give you an update :-P

Monday, January 26, 2009


so now that i have finished Philippians i have no idea what i should read next. any suggestions?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the power of music

One of my all time favorite bands would have to be Superchic[k]. There music is always really powerful and full of meaning and encouragement. I <3 style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">

"Hey Hey"
Why try to be like someone else
When you can only be yourself?
No one can sing the song you do
Be true, be legendary you
So I won't sell out,
even if the whole world thinks I'm crazy

Stand in the rain
She never slows down.
She doesn't know why but she knows that when she's all alone, feels like its all coming down
She won't turn around
The shadows are long and she fears if she cries that first tear, the tears will not stop raining down

Saturday, January 24, 2009


After i wrote my last blog, i decided to go outside and bask in God's wonder and Glory. I found this little park that is right by the river and i love to just go there, sit, think and take pictures...its soo tranquil and pretty there. While i was there i decided i would read the passage for today and finish up Philippians. It was very nice, cold but nice...anyways here are some of the passages that struck me while i was reading (this will be short cause i am supposed to meet some of the girls from my new church soon)

v.11-12" Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little"
-Contentment. Its one of the those things that everyone wants but most of us are never ever able to obtain. It is prolly one of the hardest things to do in the world we live in, in which everything is "I want this.." or "I need that" etc. However, though God we can be content and through that contentment happy.

v. 13"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength"
- This is one of my favorite verses of all time! It is also something that i have to constantly remind myself of: That it is through God's strength and not my own through which things are accomplished.

v. 19 "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."
- nice conculsion to the verses above and which it tells very plainly that we must rely on God for all needs and wants and not on ourselfs for God will provide a way and will provide us with everything we could ever needed. we just have to have faith!

No excuse.....

I could give you a million or so different reasons as to why i didn't post yesterday (such as i wasn't really at my computer the whole day, i was tired, etc) but the truth of the matter is this..... I just didn't feel like doing it :( There is always something funnier, more entertaining, shinier to do. I dunno, hopefully once i start on this media fast in February, it will help me to focus more etc. We shall see... well i think i am going to go outside and enjoy God's creation and Glory....update later today (hopefully)

P.S. Found this pic on deviantArt today and thought i would share...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The power of words....

I am struggling right now i will admit. i just can't seem to get myself out of bed in the morning and by the time i am finally able to sit down at the computer with my bible its already 10 or 11 at night. :( Tomorrow prolly won't be able better cause i have class from 8-3pm with the possibility of going to the lab afterwards...blah ( really starting to regret my choice there but thats another story for another blog)

anyways....when i decided to read the book of Philippians,it wasn't for any real purpose. yes one of my favorite verses is in it ( which i will get to tomorrow) and yes i haven't read it all the way through before (but that could be said for almost any book in the bible). While these statements maybe true, that wasn't the reason why i picked it. I picked it kinda randomly when it popped into my head one day. However i don't think it was really by chance, i think God put that thought into my head because he wanted to tell me something. Each day as i read more and more of this book whole sections jump out to me yelling at me to listen and head the advice that is burrowed within their words.

One such sections is as follows:

"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (v6-7)

this is another thing that i am struggling with. i am constantly struggling with letting go of things in my life and handing it all over to God to do. Even when i pray to him, part of me is holding on to them thinking....oh i got this, i can handle it God, thanks for the offer though. But that is just pride talking. pride is one of my biggest vices i will admit (among others). There are so many things that i am prideful of but really shouldn't be for without the life and the talents etc that God has given me, i wouldn't be able to do or have any of the things that make me so prideful. food for thought i guess....

another thing that i am beginning to like about this book (although it is almost over) is how Paul tends to "plug-in" random people and share bits and pieces of their story, just enough to leave the modern-day reader wonder...who are these people? what are the other details of their story? what happened to them after the letter was sent? etc. and Today's passage is a prime example. In two short verses, Paul presents and ends the story of two women ,Euodia and Syntyche. Upon reading these verses i immediately went to google ( how i <3 href=""> link

"v8. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pressing on...

"I think we're going somewhere.
We're on to something good here.
Out of mind, out of state.
Trying to keep my head on straight."

I think its very fitting that when i opened my bible today to read my passage for today that the title was "pressing toward the goal"....

I think this is fitting for multiple reasons. This morning i was soo tired that i didn't want to get up and read so i convinced myself it was ok to sleep in the extra 30 mins and that i would have time to do it in between my classes (i have a 3hr break). well when i got home for my break i goofed off for a bit, made lunch and then decided to watch a movie...the whole time telling myself that oh i can do it real fast before i go to class...however once the movie ended it was almost time for class so i had to leave convincing myself i would do it when i got home. Well i ended up staying late studying some things and then going out to dinner and when i got back there was this tv show that i really wanted to see and blah blah blah. They whole time there was this little voice yelling at me to go read my bible and that i should update. Finally when i realized that the day was almost over and knew that i would feel guilty if i didn't read and post...i opened my bible and the first thing i saw was the title and busted out laughing. I believe God is def trying to tell me something. for today is not the only day that i have been struggling to read my bible, it was like ever since the weekend i have been able to come up with more and more excuses to put it off and i know thats not what i need to here i am pressing onward towards my goal of being closer to God!

so today i think i am going to do something different...instead of "preaching" about the verses that jumped out to me i am just going to list the verses that mean the most to me in this passage with minimal description. I dunno how this will work but goes nothing...

v13 -14".... but i focus on this one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us."
-something that would beneficial for all of us to keep in mind, the past is in the past and Jesus is the ultimate goal and should be our only focus.

v17" Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example"
-as i have said before, when we live like Jesus and love like him then the world will truly know God and will be able to learn from us and us from them. Its like the old saying goes...Actions speak louder than words

v 19-21 "They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control."
-i dunno about anyone else but when i read this passage all i can think of is are those old fire and brimstone speeches that you picture old southern baptist pastors giving ( i have nothing against baptist...i am one)...finger pointing an all. but on a more serious note, take that all away i believe it is a very good warning that we should all ponder and keep in mind as well as an encouragement to overcome our struggles and to press on when the world is pulling us down.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Knowing God....priceless

Now, for the loss I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss
My former pride I call my shame
And nail my glory to His cross

you know all those MasterCard commercials, where they list all these different things like hot...$2, soda...$4, giant foam finger...$5, watching your favorite team win the Superbowl...priceless! Well as i was reading Philippians 3:1-11 today it made me think of those commercials and i could totally see someone making one that said " bible...$30, worship cd...$15, knowing God.....priceless" or something like that. I dunno...maybe its just me but yeah anyways.....

So often in our Christian walk we get caught up in trying to lead the perfect life and to follow the rules etc. however when we do this we act more like the Pharisees did then the way Jesus and the early Christians did. I actually attended a service in which the speaker talked about this very topic ( i feel like it was at Crossroads but not 100% sure). But at that service i remember him talking about how if anyone were to boast about their good works and following the law "perfectly" it would be Paul for as he states in v 4 "....Indeed if others have reason for confidence in their efforts, I have even more". Paul was circumcised when he was 8days old, was a member of the tribe of Benjamin, he was a Pharisee who was so strict and zealous in his teachings that he persecuted the Church relentless. According to him, he followed the law without fault...could you say the same? I know that i couldn't. Thankfully with the love and sacrifice of Christ we are no longer bound to the standards that Paul once was. Going back to my original point, despite being perfect in the law, once Paul became a believer he realized it was all for nothing and counted it all as garbage ...."Yes, everything else is worthless when compared to the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garabge so that i could gain Christ and becomes one with him through obeying the law..." v8-9 Therefore as i have said before, it is not through own works that we are made righteous but through the works and Glory of God. But first we must take that leap of faith and let go of our wordly pride etc before we can fall in the wonderful arms of Christ with his warmth and glory. In conclusion for today i leave the last two verses of this section as my prayer....

"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!" (v10-11)

Monday, January 19, 2009

media fast

So on Sunday, the leader for the young adults group at the church that i have been going to, presented us with a challenge for the month of February (starting the 2nd). The challenge was to go on a media fast....that means no internet, no music, no tv, no movies and no books. This is supposed to help break us of our addictions to the media and to allow us to grow stronger in fellowship and in God. to be honest i am scared out of my mind but i feel like this is really something that God is calling me to do. I mean first my friend posts about the need to be silent with God and to just turn off all the media and to be still with God, then Eric (the group leader) presents us this challenge and then as if that wasn't enough, when i get home from church etc yesterday i go to check my comics and see this....

so based on all of this i think that is something that i need to do and that God is yelling at me to do. Like i said i am scared out of my mind about this, but that just goes to show how strongly attached to the media i am and how much i need to let go in order to truely focus on God and his will. However, since the purpose of this blog is still help keep me accountable for reading the bible etc i will continue to blog here but be forwarned the begining of feburary might contain some writtings that have me complaining about the fast. so please pray for me and that i will be able to rely on the strength of God and not mine own to see me through it.

being commendable

Sorry for not posting an actual post yesterday i didn't get home till 5 and then just didn't feel like being on the computer...i know its not a valid excuse but yeah. To be honest, as i said before i think weekends are going to be hardest days to update this because i have a lot more free time my procrastinating nature is like you can always do it later you don't have to do it right now. but things is that i think i really should do it first thing in the morning everyday and not just during the weekdays because then it allows me to feel more awake and at peace with the world. live and learn i guess....

and now back to Philippians.... (warning this maybe a bit scattered cause i just can't seem to focus today)

Philippians 19-30

In this piece of scripture Paul praises and commends two very important people to him, Timothy and Epaphroditus. Now Timothy is someone who is known to have been connected to Paul and Paul even wrote 2 different letters to him. However, (and this maybe because of my limited biblical knowledge)
Epaphroditus is someone that i had never heard of before reading this passage. Both men are regarding highly in Pauls eyes with Timothy being described as "I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ....Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News" (v 20-22) Now the part that gets to the most is the part when he says that Timothy genuinely cares for others in comparison to others (like myself i will admit) who care only for themself. I know i have already harped on this before and therefore will not go into too much detail here, but once more i feel like Paul is reminded us (myself included) that we need not focus on ourselves and our own agendas but to focus instead on the will and plan of Jesus Christ. this point is reitterated when Paul goes on to describe Epaphroditus. "For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn't do from far away" (v30) To me i believe this is the ultimate sign of commitment to God and his will. when you are so willing to do his will that you will lay down your life for it. And to be honest i am not sure if i would be able to do it. Ever since columbine, in which one of the students asked a group of students if there were any Christains in the room, and one girl stood up, knowing that her life was in balance, and yet still stated that she was a Christain only to later die for her proclamination i have been wondering if i would do the same. And i am ashamed to say but i don't think i would. and that makes me sad. for i would love to have a faith so strong that i would give up everything for it, but i am still holding on to this world to strongly for that to occur just yet. Maybe one day i will be strong enough and confidant enough to state otherwise but until then, all i can do is pray and continue my walk with Christ.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

musical interlude...

Since i overslept this morning and have to go to Church soon, i don't have time to post an actual update right now. I will try to do one later today but we shall see. however, i won't leave you completely empty-handed....i leave you with two music videos. The first one is of a song that is basically a prayer to me, one that i need to pray each an every day and the second is one that i have loved ever since i was young life in high school. hope you enjoy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


So i have a feeling that weekends are going to be kind difficult for me to read my bible. I mean i have prolly spent the lasts 30-45mins trying to focus and get ready to read and i am constantly getting distracted....*sigh*....So i apologize if this don't flow very well and also if i repeat stuff that i have said in previous posts ( i kinda feel like a broken record at times) but if i guess if its something that i see over and over again in the scripture then its bound to be important ;) anyways...on to the Word...

Phillippians 2:12-18

v.13. "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. "
-Sometimes it seems as if i can't feel God working within me, i know he is there, and this verse proves that, but sometimes i get so caught up in myself and the world around me that i forget to listen to God and to seek out his presence. I think it also has to do with the fact that i severed ties between my heart and my mind. There are so many things that i know with my mind but can't feel with my heart and it truely saddens me. Intially i did this as a defense mechanism against the harsh relaities of the world, but now i feel like its more of a curse than anything else. It is all part of my brokenness, and it makes it that much harder for me to heal for if i can't feel it, then how do i know its real? I dunno...i am rambling now..sorry. Please pray that as i grow closer to God, the connection between my soul and mind will be reunited once more...thanks!

v.14-15 "Do everything without complaining and aruging, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean,innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people."
-As i said in my last post, Living as a Christian is not a easy thing. It is a constant battle between living by God's standards and living by the world's. The world is constantly telling us through various forms of media, that it is ok to be selfish, to complain, to fight, to tear one another apart. However that is not what we are called to do. We are called to be unified under one spirit, one God. we are to be kind to one another, to help and support thoose around us with out complaint or arugment. for the love and compassion that pours out our life is reflection of the love and kindness that is poured into us by the Holy Spirit. As i told one of my friends this past summer, (she is not a christian), one of the reasons why the world hates christians today, is because they have the repuation of not loving those who are not like them, who don't fit into the mold that they represent. and this turns away many non-believers from even think about christianity. this is truly a sad thing for christians and non christians. For far to long we have let hate seek into our actions and not the Love of cast. Jesus when he was on earth didn't fellowship with people who were like him...he fellowship with the people that the world loved to hate. His best friends were fishermen, tax collectors, prositutes and basically teh scum of society. And yet he loved them and and it was through his love and compassion that these "scum" where able to see the Glory and honor of God. Therefore we must act as Christ did and reach out to the outcast and love them unconditionally so that they too may expericen the joy and happiness that occurs when we are filled with the Holy Spirit!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Its all about attitude

Today is going to be a shortish one....i didn't have time this morning to read my bible before classes (i almost forgot i had a 8am class today and got up just in time to get ready and get to class) and also i am once more tired so yeah..sorry

Philippians 2:1-11

v.1 "Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? are your hearts tender and compassionate?"
Now you may be wondering why i decided to pick this verse out and talk about it...well i will tell you. I picked it cause as soon as i read it, it made me think of non-believers and the many questions that they may have when they are thinking about becoming a believer. And as believers we must unite together and shout a resounding YES! our encouragement, comfort and fellowship should all flow from the love and unity with God. Now don't get me wrong, being a Christian is not always a easy thing and i am no where near perfect at being it or even fully relying on God for everything but that is something i am working on. which leads me to the next verse...

v3-4. "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your interests, but take an interest in others too."
-This I believe is one of the hardest things to do as a Christian, especially one in the "western world". So often we are told to look after ourselves, numero uno first and then maybe think about those around us. However that is not what God calls us to do. He tells us that we are supposed to think about others FIRST and then ourselves. I know this is something that i sturggle with, i let my pride and my own wants get in my way alot of times and then i have to sit back and remind myself that what i am doing is wrong and that there are other people who i should consider as well. I am not the only person on the planet! and i think that is something everyone (including myself) needs reminding of.

As paul states in v5, we must all have the same attiutude of Christ. we must humble oursleves and put God and others before ourselves. Like i said, i believe this is one of the hardest things to do as a Christian, but when we do it allows us to fully elevate Jesus to his rightful place and to fully worship him. For the very name of Jesus should cause us to fall to our knees in prayers and worship and every word that flows from our mouth should bring him glory. Easier said then doen right? but with the strength and mercy of God...all things are possible :-D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Live for Christ part 2

Lab was exhausting so i am not sure how much this is going to make sense but i am going to try my best....

v29: "For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him"
-In the world we live in today, it is so hard to think of suffering as a privilege that is bestowed onto us instead of something we must endure. I know i personally try to avoid suffering (despite my habit of focusing on the negative), but Paul tells us that when we suffer for Christ then we should view this as a honor. This is something that is hard for me to accept and do and yet it is something i need to do. I have the student life applications study bible and in it they have a little blurb about this verse and verse30 that i think is pretty cool and therefore will share with all of you as part of my closing remarks...

"Suffering has these additional benefits: (1) It takes us out of our comfort zone; (2) it weeds out those who are only half-serious about God; (3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure; (4) it serves as an example to others who may follow us. suffering for our faith doesn't mean we've done something wrong. In fact, the opposite is often true--it may verify that we have been faithful."

Live for Christ

Today i read Philippians 1:20-30. And just reading these ten verses maybe me realized how much long this journey is that i am partaking. But I know that with the grace and mercy of God i will succeed. Anyways here are some of the verses that really touched me during my reading...

v20a: "For I fully expect and hope that i will never be ashamed, but that i will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past."
-unlike Paul, I am ashamed of my faith. In this world that we live in today, where everything has to PC and religion is looked down on, its easy to be ashamed of your faith. But isn't that Paul's point? that we aren't supposed to take the easy way out but instead to endure and grow stronger in our faith so that we may grow stronger in God. As i was telling my friend yesterday, its weird to me to write about God and Jesus so much cause its not something that i normally do. I mean yes i go to church, yes i have fellowship with Christians, but i don't really spend time alone with God, i don't spend time talking or writing about him. And when i do, it feels weird cause i feel like i will offend someone. Which i guess is what the devil wants. Even now as i am writing this blog, i feel the pressure of this world on me, telling me that what i am writing is too religious, not PC enough. So i guess there is something right about this then....hmmmm

v20b-21:" And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for christ, and dying is even better."
- This where i hope to be someday, i hope to be able to say that i am living for Christ and that no matter what else is in my life that is the most important thing to me. I want to bring honor to Christ and to not be ashamed of him nor him to be ashamed of me.

v27: "Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News."
- I feel like with all the demonatations etc of Christianity that we are no longer on spirit and one purpose fighting together for the faith as Paul ditacts here. We have become segmented and broken. We have let the world tear us apart and now they laugh at us and our contradictions. However for me, and for many of our friends, believe that although the world many see the many fractions of Christainity, they do not see the truth of it. For the truth, in my mind at least, is that Christianity is not about the institution or teh church that you fellowship in, but it is rather centered about relationships. Relationships with believers and non-believers, relationships with family and relationships with God. That is the core of Christianity and sometime i feel as people forget this simple fact.

to be contined once i get back from lab

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


For the next couple of bible studies i have decided to focus on the book of Philippians. To be honest i am not show exactly why i decided to pick this was more of a random idea that popped in my head and i therefore decided to listen to. I have never really done this before and have never even lead a small group etc so i dunno how well this will turn out or if it will make any sense to anyone else besides me but goes....

Philippians 1:1-19 (click title for the passage)

V3-4: "Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4. Whenever I pray, I make requests for all of you with joy..."
-Reading these verses makes me realize how little I actually pray. And when I do it usually involves me ask God for something or to keep me safe etc. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, isn't not a good thing. That is no way to communicate and build a relationship. I need to talk to God more through the good AND the bad. I also have a bad habit of forgetting to pray for people after they ask me too. Usually i will pray right then when they ask me but then later on i forget to pray for then again. This is something that i need to do and am remind of such with these short yet simple verses.

V9-11:"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10.For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ[b]—for this will bring much glory and praise to God."
-This is my prayer, my hope and goal. I hope that as a result of reading my bible and blogging my thoughts, my love will begin to overflow and that i will be able to understand what truly matters and not just what i think matters. Its hard to express the depth at which these verses hit me and how much i pray that will be true for me too.

-I can't help but wonder at all the love and joy that pours out from Paul as he is sitting in prison witting this letter. I mean, there he was jailed and sentenced to death and yet he was rejoicing about the spreading of God's word and thinking of others outside of the prison instead of dwelling on his own predicament. And yet, here I am, in the United States, "land of the free", doing the exact opposite. instead of focusing on others and rejoicing in God's glory, i dwell on the negatives in my life and self-impose myself into a prison of sadness and loneliness. No more! I have decided that i will no longer focus on the negative aspects of my life but rather focus on God and the positive aspects of my life. It is my hope that in doing this i will not only become happier but also stronger in my faith and my walk.

why another blog?

For those who know know that i have lots and lots of on-line why create a new one you ask?

well the answer is simple really

I wanted to create this blog in order to keep me accountable in my walk and struggle with God. I have come to realize that my walk really isn't a walk but rather more me standing still and waving to God. That is no life. That is not what i need. So this is my attempt to take that first step and to create a better relationship with my creator. I am hoping that with this blog it will force me to read my bible on a daily basis and to share my insights, questions, and understandings that i gather from my readings. In addition, as is typical with all my other journals, my entries will also be sprinkled with videos, lyrics and poems that i feel are inspirational or relevant to this blog.

The main inspiration for this blog was that i have so many friends who have started exercise blogs in which the list details about the exercises they did that in order to get in better shape. This is kinda what i plan to do but instead of physical exercise i will be doing spiritual exercises so to speak. I am going to try to post first thing in the morning before my classes but if i oversleep etc then i will post later in the day. However i do ask that if you start to see that my posts become infrequent...please yell at me and tell me to get back on track :-P

so sit back, relax, and join me on my journey to a better spiritual life...first actual post will be once i get back from my class this afternoon