Tuesday, February 10, 2009
From the world's point of view:
Pick her up at her house having a rose for her, introduce yourself to the parents if this has not been done yet, then walk her to your car and open the door for her. Drive down to her favorite restaurant. Allow her to get whatever she wants, even if she doesn't eat it all. Go see a late feature movie, of her choice, hoping she picks a love movie to put her in the mood. Then afterward drive to a dark parking lot, and talk then, whatever happens happens.....
From a Christians point of view:
Pick her up at her house having a rose for her, introduce yourself to the parents if this has not been done yet, then walk her to your car and open the door for her. Drive down to her favorite restaurant. Allow her to get whatever she wants, even if she doesn't eat it all. Pray for the food. Go see a late feature movie, of her choice, hoping she doesn't pick something rated R or with anything that isn't pleasing to God, and if she does then say something. But more than likely there will be nothing worth watching. So then drive to somewhere with lots of lights and people passing by so your not alone. Talk about how beautiful she is, and how amazing the night looks. How could anyone not believe in God with what all he has made?? Then hopefully if your lucky end up on your knees praying to God, seeking his face and asking him to be in this relationship, and take it as far as he wants it to go. Asking him to be the center of it, and challenging one another to hold the other accountable, and not doing anything that would take away from where the other is spiritually. After a long night of talking, bring her home, then as you open her door for her to get out, and she walks to the door, pray for her, and allow her to realize that you are for real about this..
One day...One day...
Monday, February 9, 2009
He said a phrase that I will always remember "You go your way and I'll go mine". That's what his grandmother told him which was buhdist. He never had the chance to tell her about Christ before she died. So we must realize that we may not have a second chance to tell someone, so we must do it now!! Take that time!! That is ever so true, but not what kicked me in the rear.
Francis used the this analogy. Say I have a daughter, and you think bad things about her, or treat her badly, or a son, and you do likewise to him. Do you think that I would want to be your best friend, and listen to you after that? You are thinking to yourself 'Of course not!!!'. Bad news. Many times we do this. We treat God's children this way. I know I did. I treated a particular young lady this way.
As men and women of God we need to learn how to truly love. We are so heavily influenced by the culture that we would rather be cool in their eyes, and don't want to miss out on the worldly things that all to often we put God in this little box for Sunday morning. We will go out and preach one thing, and then act another way. I wish I could sit down and talk to young guys about how they need to treat girls. Perhaps that is why I am going to be a youth minister. I have mistreated girls my whole life.
I wish I would have never kissed a girl. You may be thinking. Walt that is pretty irrational. But why? Why is it irrational? Can you look at a steak without your mouth watering, and then taste it a little bit without wanting to devour the whole thing? But then what if you were for some odd reason sworn to be a vegan? Wouldn't you stay away from the steak? Then why as a christian, when we claim to be a follower of Christ, we will not drink or smoke, for most of us, but yet we are willing to go parking, and kiss a member of the opposite sex, and allow it to go further, and still pray to God like nothing happened? I know we are not perfect, but shouldn't we try to be?
Is it better to live like a hellian her eon this earth, and not live for Christ, and then burn for the rest of eternity, or would it be better to save ourselves for marriage, and raise up a generation who is willing to save themselves for their spouses no matter what the cost so that they can give them a gift that is so very beautiful, one which money cannot buy?
You see I have screwed up, and may not get to see my promised land, like Moses did not get to. Maybe that is just the price I must pay. Who knows? I surely don't. But I know that my Savior can move the mountains, and with him anything is possible. So I may just get my 'promised land'.
We must be the hands and feet of Christ. So let us not look on what we have done in the past, but what we can do in the future, because unless you know something I don't, Back to the future was just a movie, and there are no time machines. If there were, I would change so many things. I am so sorry. If only I could have one more chance I would prove myself worthy to be the godly man I know God has for me to be.
So if you are reading this, and need some encouragement, or have questions how you can move into the right direction to change the way you are living your life, or so that you don't fall down the slippery slope into temptation and lust, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org . God has put this on my heart, and I know the things I have gone through are not for nothing.
Through my pain and suffering, I hope many lives will be changed. Then again, maybe no one will ever read this......
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday came, and I got on the road off to find a Capital One and a FedEx. I found the Capital One and was on my way to the FedEx. I could not find one anywhere, and thought I left my house with plenty of time to make it to FBC Euless on time. Well guess what, I didn't so I get to the FedEx place, and normally they just take the package, but not this time, I had to stand in line, and wait just for them to take the package, which took all of 2 seconds max. As soon as I left, I had to get food, so I go to Chik-A-Flick as my mom calls it, known to everyone else as Chik-Fil-A. After waiting like 5 minutes, and they call it fast food, I left out of there like a set of rims at a puff daddy concert (Michael S. if you read this, no I did not get this from you). As I am on my way to the church, you would know I hit every single red light!!! I knew this would be an amazing weekend!!
So I get to the church at nearly on time, and get briefed as far as what we were going to be doing. I was helping the PD (Program Director). I know I know, I am a kind of a big deal. I have a library full of leather bound books that smells of rich mahogany. It was going to be awesome. Needless to say I did not get the backstage job, but still, I think this was second best. So I get to meet the AT2AP (All Things 2 All People) guys, and gals. They were pretty cool. I meet Jeffry who performed with them at Beach Camp over the summer and also meet his girlfriend, who happens to be Jack Allen's daughter (Missions Prof. at New Orleans Seminary). I think her BF got a lil jealous cause after the first night she didn't get to talk to me.... Anyways, I got to listen to Kristian and his band which = Awesome, as well as Francis Chan.
Let me just say, Francis as usual ruined my life yet again. He spoke on Revelation 4. Which taught me that my prayer life was not in check like I thought? Here are some key points from him: 'When we get into heaven, our new bodies will not be a perfect human one, they will be so we can see God without our eyes burning out', 'The being in heaven, which is God, is worshiped constantly by the high angels. He is the one who we pray to, not some got which we can babble to'.
This spoke multitudes to me. I never thought about God like that, I always thought of Him as just a giant who loves us. Read Revelation 4, and totally soak it in. I will post a new note about this verse later, but want you to totally soak it in. Think of who he is. How many times have you set up at night with the covers pulled over you, and just started talking, and wake up a little later to say 'Amen', and turn back over? I know I have done that a whole lot. We are praying to something bigger than someone who is just sitting on a little throne. We get the amazing chance to pray to the God who created everything. How awesome is that?, and yet all the time we take that for granted.
I am not saying this to brag or anything like that, but after I heard this, I woke up Saturday morning at 5:30 after getting in at midnight, and having a loser put a spoon that fell on the wet nasty floor at steak-n-shake in my mocha shake, and yes he paid for it, but that is another story in its own. I woke up, hit the shower, and then got on my face before God after reading Revelation. You see I have been cheating him, and not honoring him as I should.
Here lately Satan has been telling me 'You are not worthy of his grace' and I've been semi-believing that. I just did a study on Galatians, and just to show you how powerful God's word is, I looked over this verse, but someone reminded me of it. Let me give it to you. Its Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written (Deuteronomy 27:26): Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the book of the law. Satan has been using this against me, because I am not worthy to even present myself before God each morning. I am such a nasty human being. I sin so much. I am filthy. I break at least one, if not more of the ten commandments each day. I do not deserve heaven. You see if you haven’t listened to Shane & Shane’s song Embracing Accusations you should check it out. It is talking about this verse.
You see Satan is absolutely correct. I do not deserve a spot in heaven. But, don’t you love the but? But in Galatians 3:13 it says: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree (Deuteronomy 21:23). Isn’t that so powerful? We are redeemed by his grace.
So with that all being said, after I had my morning prayer, which was amazing, we started all getting ready. Micky and Mitchell were going out to get our donuts, and then Mitchell being the trickster he is, came in and told me and Shelley our vehicles were gone, that is my brand new Ford Focus, and our old 1520’s model van. I was thinking, ‘its way too early for this’. So I went out, and sure enough they were both gone. So what do you do in a situation like that? Call the po-po!! They then told me that the apartment complex towed them away because they were not in one of the 10 ‘designated visitor’ parking spots, which they hired a duo of ants to paint on the parking lot ‘visitor’ just to where they could read it. So we call the tow company, and ask them how much to get the vehicles. They said 250.00. I was thinking, man that’s high for two vehicles, then they said each!!
Two and a half hours, a braided pulled out hair weave, sketchy part of town, having to go get cash cause they don’t take credit or debit cards apparently, signing an avadavat, feeling as if we were in prison, and being accused of working there later we finally got our vehicles back!! If you are thinking what I am thinking, then we are on the same page…..no not the hair weave….ok maybe the hair weave, but really Satan was really trying to mess us up! You see I won’t lie and say I wasn’t frustrated, nor was my good friend Shelley, but she was actually a whole lot calmer than I expected…..Anyways, Satan knew we were to be part of something extravagant that God had for us, and he wanted to do what he could to try and intervene.
We could have allowed him to do that, but we were stronger. We knew the truth, and that he was powerless. We missed Francis’s opening talk, but we did get to see the Facebook skit….no comment to that. But his second speech is one that will possibly change my life forever, perhaps even more than the first one, but that will be in a future post, so look for it. Anyways after the event was over, we ate with Kristian Stanfill, and Landry told her favorite joke to him, which he thought wasn’t too funny. Maybe you will find more humor in it. Here it goes: Knock Knock…who’s there…panther….panther who?...Your panther falling down… Yeah not that funny, but watching her tell it is probably the best part.
So after her running him off, we had to go and tear down the stage, and let me tell you that is no easy job. Many times we forget about the people behind the scenes. We need to remember them, and realize they do a lot!! Heavy speakers, miles of cables…the list goes on. So next time you’re in church be sure to go and thank the tech guys. They will definitely appreciate it!!
Well that’s it for me for now.
Friday, February 6, 2009
1. What known sins have you committed since we last met?
2. What temptations have you met with?
3. How were you delivered?
4. What have you thought, said, or done, of which you doubt whether it be sin or not?
5. Have you been withholding anything in the above 4 questions? If so what?
Now when we ask each other these questions, we must do so in confidence that each of us will not go out and spread to the world what we are doing, or thinking. You see without accountability it is easy to fall down a slippery slope into sin. So you must have someone hold you accountable, or you could end up doing something that you will regret for the rest of your life, and never be able to go back and fix it. We only get one shot at this life, so what are you going to make with the clay you were given.............?????
February 6, 2009 @6:50 AM
Chapter 1 As you begin to read this chapter, you may be thinking how does this relate to me? Well Paul talks about how he saw the presence of God in these people. How they turned from worshiping idols to worshipping the one true living God. He also speaks of how they saw him for who he was, and accepted him. Now to make this relevant for us today. Many times we are busy with everything that is going on in our lives, and we worship our own lowercase gods. You may be thinking to yourself, I would never do this, but if you said that you would be lying. We do this every day. How much time do you spend before God each day? I promise you not enough. Why not? Too busy? Don’t have the time? All good excuses, but why do you not have the time, or your too busy? Little gods. We want to make ourselves believe that we don’t have the time, but if we didn’t watch that tv show, or wake up a little earlier each morning, we would have the time. So maybe your thinking well what does this have to do with this 1st chapter? Paul is showing them how he is grateful that they turned from these ways, and giving thanksgiving for them doing so. So you need to ask yourself, would he do the same for you?
Chapter 2 In Philippi, Paul was treated harshly. This could have stopped him from originally going to Thessalonica, however he did not let this get in the way. Would you have? Why did he not let this get in the way? He says it in verse 6. He did not do it for the glory of people, yet for the Glory of God. Also in previous verses he talks about how he did not use eloquent speeches or flattery, or anything such as that. He gave it to them how it was. Not the Joel Osteen way “I’ll make you feel good.” He was not there to make them feel good, merely to save them from having to go to Hell. He could have deceived them as a previous man I mentioned has done to many people most likely worldwide. But he was not in it for the money or the fame. He had one sole purpose. That was for God.
He also speaks about what I love. Showing Christ as well as Sharing with words. Many times we can make the biggest impacts by our actions. People see what we go through and that through it all we still do not give up. When we don’t give up or curse God, they start to question. Many times we allow Satan to win in our times of grief and sorrow and pain. Instead we need to allow ourselves to be strengthened in that time, knowing that good will come out of it.
In verse 13 he speaks to them how they took the message in not as a human message, but as the message from God. Are we preaching that message. When people here us preach, teach or however we witness to them, or they hearing it from us or from God. Also when you hear someone preach do you judge how the message is based on the presenter? It is easy for us to say that was a good sermon from Louie Giglio, but many times we are not so apt to say the same as coming from someone of not that high influence. Why is this? Why do we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the politics? That is simply what it is. We are so worried about who is delivering the message many times that we are not saying, I wonder what God is going to say through so and so. Most of the time it is I wonder what so and so is going to say today in their message.
Finally in vs.17, Paul tells them how he is praying for them. He tells them how he wanted to see them, but was not able. Many times we must be there for people in prayer because we cannot always be there in flesh. But just because we cannot be there for them face to face, we must still be praying for them. If you are not praying for them, then who is? Remember that in the book of Galatians, we are commanded to help one another carry their burdens.
Chapter 1 speaks of how Paul was called to be God’s disciple not by man, but by Jesus Christ himself. He also talks about how he was given all he teaches on by the Holy Spirit and not man. He taught for 3 years before going to those who had walked with Christ. He also talks about how he formerly tried to destroy Christians, but now through his glorious change through Christ he is bringing people to the Lord because they see who he was and who he now has become. He notes that it is not him but God. Paul also says in 1:10 that he is not trying to win people over for himself, but for God. In a way he makes us check our motives. Are we acting the way we act so we can be called the most righteous, or so that we can be righteous not in the eyes of others, but yet the eyes of God?
Chapter 2 speaks about how Paul went again to Jerusalem with two others to speak to the Gentiles. The Jews believed in order to be a Christian you must be circumcised, however Paul refuted this. This could in a sense be looked on as someone whom which Christ brought out of alcoholism or drug abuse, porn addiction, or any sins of the flesh, is able to reach those who are under the curse. In a sense when Paul refutes Cephas, he does so rightly. Cephas was trying to say to my knowledge that in order to reach those who had the addiction one must go through it as well. Paul is telling him this is not true. God has brought each of us through certain circumstances no matter what they are so that we can help others through the same things later down the road. Nothing that happens to us happens in vain.
January 30, 2009 @ 7:13 AM
Chapter 3 Paul is speaking to the Galatians about their faith. They are trying to judge it on works, rather than on how they gained it. Many times I wonder if I try and mark off the checklist so that I am doing all that I need to so that I can enter heaven. Is not that already granted to me in faith? He also speaks how Christ has redeemed us from the law. We do not have to live by it, but merely accept Him. We no longer have to make sacrifices for our sins. The greatest sacrifice has already been made. He also speaks of Abraham’s seed. Notice the singular form. He says this because it confirms the prophecy of the Old Testament that the one who saves will come from Abraham’s seed, not seeds. This is why it is important that we are able to trace Jesus’ lineage. It justifies Paul, not that he needs this, but to some degree he does because of the way humans can be. He also speaks of how once we receive Christ we lose our identity. Let me explain more. He says we are no longer Jew nor Gentile, man nor woman….etc. We lose our identity in that manner because once we believe through faith, we are transformed to Abraham’s seed through the promise of Christ.
January 31, 2009 @ 9:23 AM
Chapter 4 In the 1st verse Paul uses the analogy that the blood heir is no different from a slave. It is true that the blood heir owns everything, however through Christ, and in His eyes they are the same. He also talks how we at first were merely slaves who were under someone else, until the time came when we were set free by Christ. In this sense, we are adopted into the kingdom of God, and have claim to the same as the heirs through God. In the 8th verse, Paul speaks to them about how before they knew God they were enslave, yet did not really have a god. Now however that they Have a God, they seem to be turning to other things that pull them away from God. This makes Paul question if all that he is doing is in vein….? In the 12th verse Paul is explaining to them that he once was like them. Yet through Christ he was brought up out of that, and even in his weakness was able to be used by God. He then goes on to talk about how thy trusted and had loyalty to him through Christ when he first went to them, now however they have allowed others to make them believe that he is the enemy. In the end, Paul tells them he is in great pain for them. He uses the analogy of childbirth to make them see how much pain. He seems frustrated with them, which is understandable. When we are working on someone, trying to bring them to Christ, we sometimes tend to get frustrated as well. This is ok, but we must not allow that to turn into us allowing them to change us. Many times this can happen. We pour ourselves into them so much that we often lose focus on what we were there for, and before we know it, we end up in the same pit as them. We must always be aware.
In the 21st chapter Paul talks about Sarah ad Hagar and the two covenants made unto them. This could be very unclear because it talks about how we are sons of the free woman, and not of the slave. I think what Paul is trying to get us to see here is that the only for us to be in fellowship with Christ is to become free from the bondage of all that is around us. If we allow ourselves to be held down by the law, that is what we become a slave under. I think that this could be translated in modern times as one who has all these little gods. For example, the man who does his quite time so that he can mark that off his list for the day. Instead of doing it for God, he is enslaved to doing good works in order to go to heaven, yet in the end it will be him that will not make it for there is only one way to make it to Heaven, and it is by faith alone. So we must not allow ourselves to become slaves of anything, and remember this.
February 1, 2009 @ 7:42 AM
Chapter 5 Ah perhaps one of my favorites. Here Paul is speaking about how since Christ has freed us from sin, it would be purely stupid for us to fall back into it. It would be as a slave who was set free who keeps coming back to the master so he can keep being a slave. Doesn’t make since does it? He also speaks how no matter what you do, it isn’t deeds that allow us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is through Faith, and Faith alone!!! There is no other way. If we go to church every day, and commit 40 hours of service each week that will not get us into the kingdom. I believe that all that is good if motives are right, but to merely believe that because you do those things you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven would be idiotic. We must remember this and make sure we are doing things for the right reasons.
He begins in verse 7 to talk about what sometimes leads us astray. Many times we are doing so well in Christ, then something leads us astray. What is it? Many times gods, yes gods. Whether it be the god of convenience…etc. the list goes on. We just “don’t have the time” to keep our spiritual life in check. (I am preaching to myself as well) We allow other things to get in the way and make our spiritual life fall. Many times we allow the busyness of life to do this. We would rather sleep that extra 15-20 minutes, but in the end what will that benefit us? He speaks that those things and people will pay in the end.
February 2, 2009 @ 8:15 AM
Chapter 5:16 I sense that Paul is telling us that we are bi-polar in a sense. Yes each and everyone of us. We are ruled by the flesh until we accept Christ, then we have the opportunity to be ruled by the Spirit, but as the scripture says, “A servant cannot serve two masters” we cannot allow the flesh and the Spirit to rule us because they are in a sense like the devil and angel on our shoulders from the old cartoons. The flesh is telling us one thing while the Spirit is saying another. We must not give into the flesh for it will always lead us astray. Just watch those cartoons. The little devil always causes trouble. That is so true for us. We try to do it on our own and fail miserably. If we did not need the Spirit do you honestly think Christ would have sent Him for us? We must and have to allow Him to control our lives.
The works of the Flesh will always get us in trouble. If you read 5:19 it gives you a list of what those things are. They will constantly bring us pain, and most of the time, have the potential to break the law. But if you read 5:22 it lists the fruit of the Spirit. There is no way that I could think of that these could even begin to cause a misdemeanor. They are only good, and bring goodness that will honor God. If we live by them, the outflow will be good. “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks”. This is so true. What you put in is what you get out. We can try to hide from man what is in our hearts, but we will always fail in times of great stress. We can never hide these from God. We must concentrate on how to allow the Spirit to take control of our lives. Allow Christ to have our heart, and through the Spirit allow the cleansing to come.
Chapter 6 My bible titles this Carry One Another’s Burdens. Many times as Christians we fail. We fall. We all will. It is in that time that many times our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ do not do much to keep us from going by the wayside. Scripture commands us to not allow this to happen. It says it right here. We must pick up the fallen, and help them out. We must carry their burdens. In order for us to love God we must first love one another, for if you hate others, you hate God. So I believe in order for us to be in fellowship with God we must release those who may have done us wrong. In this same way we must help our brothers out with “a gentle spirit.” We don’t need to call them out harshly, yet with love. If we go pointing fingers, the other will get very offended, and their flesh will break out, and become angry. Instead we must do as Paul told us, and be gentle with them and help them through the time by carrying their burdens as well.
He also says that if a man tries to consider himself something he is not he is deceiving himself. I think this is where Humility comes in. For if we try to say we are the man, and we have it all figured out, and try to do it all on our own, we shall carry our burdens by our self. That is not what Christ had planned for us, or that one person would be the only one on this earth by themselves.
6:9 “ So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Perhaps one of my favorite verses. This is so very true How many times have you wanted to give up, because you knew it would be easier? I have been there many times. Before I was a Christian, I would rely on alcohol and drugs to ease my pains and sorrows. But they would come back after those things wore off. In the previous verses, Paul tells us that what we reap we will sow. This is so true. We must not give up on anything or anyone, and turn to what is easier, because most of the time that thing is a work of the flesh. Instead we must pursue what we know to be true, and what God has called us to do, because when you plant a seed you do not at that very minute reap a fruit. It takes time. If you water that seed, and take care of it and are patient with it you will reap a bountiful harvest. But there are certain circumstances that which we do not receive a harvest from the seed. So what do we do then? Give up? No! We must not give up for the conditions might not have been exactly right. You can chop down weeds and keep doing so forever, but until you get to the roots, they will remain there. This is true with the seeds we plant. Until the root is uprooted, we must not give up.
In the conclusion of this chapter and this book, Paul tells the Galatians that they must not listen to those who try to lead them astray for they are merely trying to destroy them, and they don’t even do the things to the fullest extent that they are trying to get you to do. Many times the people who try and get you to do bad things will always bail on you when the going gets tough, yet Christ will be there through it all, the good and the bad. This is true of our Christian brothers and sisters. We must all keep this in mind, and not give up. We must not allow anyone to go through a rough time by themselves. We must stick together.
Do not boast of the things you do for Christ. People will see them, and if they don’t it should not bother us, for if it does what is the real reason we were doing them? Was it to get recognition of doing them, or was it for Christ. That is the question we must ask ourselves. Is what I am doing glorifying God, or am I doing it to make myself better. Either way God will use it to the benefits of others, yet it will be ourselves that we betray, and cheat. We must always keep this in mind, for Satan will try and trick us into thinking we need recognition. I have been there, and am not proud of it. The only thing we can do is pray that we decrease so He can increase.