Tuesday, December 25, 2012


In my opinion it seems a lot of relationships are doomed to fail because of the unbalanced weight in the scales. The weights are not level, and so the scale is bound to tip...

It seems lately I've been thinking a lot about relationships, 'friendships' especially...and what makes a true friend and a good friendship...Here are some of my thoughts on the topic. 

The Question: What makes a good friend/friendship?

* Good Communication.

I know, we've all heard this one before. But, it's more true that you can imagine. The results of 'bad communication' are 'secrets', 'offenses', 'assumptions', 'accusations', and 'depression'. Seriously, communication is the most important ingredient in making any relationship 'work'. Almost anything is possible to go wrong, if you and your friend can't communicate. For example;
You "think" you overhear your friend in a conversation to someone else and say something rude about you...'Bad communication' 'assumes' the very worst; your friend is wicked, she hates you, etc etc. 'Good communication' goes and asks your friend "Did you say this about me?" The law remains: 'Innocent until proved guilty', if you always believe the worst of your good friends, it just goes to show that you don't truly 'trust' them or 'know' them. Good communication knows how to speak it's mind, humbly but honestly. Without that honesty in a relationship there cannot be 'trust'. Without 'trust' in a relationship there is lot of 'doubt'. If you cannot 'trust' your friend, there isn't a friendship at all...

Without honesty in a relationship, there is confusion. A  friend can't really be your friend if he or she 'doesn't know you for who you are'.

* Selflessness

You would be surprised how much of your actions are truly ruled by 'selfishness' and not love in your relationships. Do you make friends and do you have friends just for what they give to you? Perhaps you have friends so you can just vent to them? Perhaps you just have friends in order to be liked? Or do you have friends because you truly care about them?
 The true measure of love is how much you are willing to give without getting anything in return. Of course there is a balance...Christ is our greatest example of a 'true and loving friend'. He laid down his life for people that did not all treat him right. Even his close friends betrayed him, and made mistakes..."No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13
Jesus said that. Yet, he also says "We are His friends if we obey Him". So as Christians, although we should love even the unlovable, even Christ was not 'close friends' with those who did not 'love him'...

I say this because, there are certain circumstances where you may be the only selfless that case, to not 'expect' true friendship from the other person involved or else your heart will be broken. There are certain relationships where the other person is an abuser because all they care about is 'getting' and 'having a friend' and don't truly 'love' you.

 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born from adversity. ~ Proverbs 17:17

 * Forgivness

People let people down. It's a hard fact to swallow, but it's true. We all make mistakes, and we all fail and falter, because we live in a fallen world...and without constantly living in the example of Christ, we do from time to time show our sinful nature. Knowing this, you should already be antiquated with the act of forgiveness. In order to have a lasting friendship, you are going to have to be willing to forgive. Christ forgave you your sins, you must be willing to forgive others their sins.

For if you forgive me their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ~ Matthew 6: 14-15

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. - Matthew 5:9

Make every effort to live in peace with all men. - Hebrews 12:14

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. - Romans 14:19

Let us be the first to give a a friendly sign, to nod first, smile first, speak first, and - of such a thing is necessary - forgive first. - author unknown

* Friendliness

Yes, it may seem obvious that in order to be a 'friend' you must show yourself 'friendly'...But, this is one area of relationships that many people fail in. They expect people to be friendly to them, and yet they are not friendly themselves. Be the first to smile, the first to say hello, the first to ask how another is doing. You will not only make many friends, but keep your friends. The man who acts friendly one day, and then unenthusiastic the next is in danger of confusing his friends about his/hers feelings for them. You would be shocked at how much this simple truth comes into play. Friendship hinges on 'continuity' and 'consistency'.

People cannot tell if you are genuinely 'interested in them' if you just expect them to 'know' and don't 'show it'. You could wake up one day and wonder why 'so and so' is not so close a friend to you, but it's really because you didn't 'invest in them' or 'give them your attention'.
I'm not saying to be phony, only to try to put your best foot forward. We all have bad days, but you will not make friends or build up your relationships by being 'moody'. You will not attract true friends if all you do is whine and wear a sour expression. Many people have given the wrong impression to others about their interest in forming a friendship because of their lack of 'friendliness'.
 A man that has friends, must show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24

* Manners/Respect

You must respect your friends. A true friend respects your opinions, your feelings, and your beliefs...he does not worship his own opinions, feelings, beliefs, and hold them above his relationships. How can there be a honest and true friendship if a person cannot feel safe? Friends feel safe when they know that their opinions, feelings, and beliefs are respected. There cannot be a 'close friendship' between two people where a friend fears their "friend" will 'bash' his or hers opinions over his head, and 'down' theirs. In a relationship you cannot make the other person 'hide themselves' by always being so ' ungracefully opinionated'. Shut up for a moment and take the time to listen to what your friend likes, and not always talk so forcefully about what you 'do' and 'don't' like to the point that your friend cannot have their own opinions.

* Understanding/Listening

So many people cannot be good friends because they lack 'understanding' or the willingness to 'forsake their own opinions' and truly 'understand'. People want to be 'understood', they don't want to enter into a relationship where the other person 'assumes' everything about them...they want to be 'heard' and they want to be 'known' for who they 'really' are...and that's not going to happen in a friendship where one person plays the 'know it all'.
A true friend 'listens' to their friend. Not because they 'have to', but because they 'want to'. You will make and keep more friends by truly 'listening to them' than anything else. And when there are no words, you can still 'listen' by 'observing actions' and 'hearing the unspoken words of the heart'. Care and know your friends well enough that you recognize when they need a word of encouragement, or just a hug. Be there for your friends, without them ever having to 'ask you'.

 Seek to be 'understanding' of them and what they are going through. Don't hold grudges, or be quick to judge...always be quick to truly 'understand'. In friendship you must put your own opinions behind you; in other words, lean not on your own opinions, but seek to truly 'understand'. Ask your friends questions.

The language of friendship is not in words, but in meanings. - Henry David Threau

*Giving and Receiving

A lot of friendships fade because neither is willing to 'give', or someone is afraid to 'receive'. Friendship, and any good relationships is made up of 'giving' and 'receiving'. Give without expecting anything in return, but be willing to 'receive' what you are given. If you are afraid of love, if you are afraid to's going to show in your friendship, and cause strain. If you are selfish and not willing to give, or afraid to give 'it also' is going to show and cause strain. Generosity is an expression of love. People will see your love from them in your eagerness to give to them...whether that be 'your time', or even in a 'hand made gift'.
A friend can feel it when you are stingy, and the message that come across is, "I'm not willing to give to you, because my 'time', 'money' etc...means more to me than you do". 

But it hurts just as much, when a person gives 'their time', 'other gifts' etc...and the person they give to, doesn't 'receive' them with gratitude and understanding. Because when a friend gives, what they are really saying is "I love you. And here is a token of my love."
And when you ignore their counsel, take for granted their gifts, and trample on their offers of time...what you're really doing is trampling on their expressions of their love for you. And as crazy as it may seem, when you do that, you're ripping at the threads in the fabric of the friendship.

Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love. - Wally Lamb

* Acceptance

A true friendship is born from 'acceptance'. This doesn't mean you 'approve' of everything that the other person has done, or does...But it means that you 'accept' them/ love them even as they are. If you always put on an air that makes other people feel uncomfortable, most likely you aren't going to have many friends by your side. If you you are always saying things that are critical, or judging everybody...even if it's not always in words...people can tell by your expressions, and your body language whether or not you accept them or are always 'judging' them... and if you are, you most likely aren't going to have friends who will confide in you.

True friends feel 'safe' around each other, they feel it "shelter" to talk to each other.
 "A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he who finds one finds a treasure." - Sirach 6:14

 Between loving friends there need be no secrets...the trusting heart is always safe with another who truly cares! - Joan Walsh Anglund

Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person- having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. - Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Of course, this also means that a true friend loves his friend enough to help him in 'self betterment'.  A true friend encourages his friend to do better, and cheers him on to climb out of the pits he falls into...all because he wants his friend to succeed, and stand on the mountain top.

 * Counsel 

A true friend offers Godly counsel...What can really hurt a good friend though, is when you take their counsel for-granted and/or ignore it. People vary in 'love languages', but the honest counsel of a good friend proves just how much they care about you, and it should never be taken lightly.
Be sure to listen to those who love you, know you, and most importantly love God. You will find that a good friend only says what they hope will build you up and give you hope for your future.
A wise friend that loves you much, may give you counsel or advice that is hard to hear...but it a true friend who thinks of your better well fair, and is willing to do hard things, just to protect you and encourage you to stay on the right track and pursue holiness.

True friends are honest with eachother.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. - Proverbs 27:9 

* Recognizing the Fruit

You will know people by their fruit. No matter what they tell you, you will know them by not only what they 'do' but what they 'reap'. 

You shall know them by their fruit. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16

You will know a "true friend" by how they treat you.  But not only 'how' they treat you, but what sort of fruit they reap from their actions. You also, will be able to tell if you are a 'true friend' to others by the sort of fruit you reap in your friendships. Is there always misunderstandings? Is there constantly fighting? Why is their so much strain?
Love reaps the most beautiful fruit. Water a person with kindness, and shine encouragement in their life and you will see a friendship bloom.
What kind of fruits are your friendships producing? Depression? Anger? Worldliness? Sin?
If so, you should reconsider what sort of people you are hanging out with, and what sort of person you are. A good friend can truly bring out the best in you, but a bad friend or even an 'enabling' friend can cause you to become worse for it. Sometimes, it's not that the people you "thought" were your 'friends' that are 'bad people', it's possible that they just aren't mature enough to be a 'good friend', or just don't know what it means to be a "true friend". Talk with them about how you feel. Remember a real friendship is one that involves 'trust', ' good communication', 'honestly', 'love', 'forgiveness', 'generosity', 'friendliness', and 'respect' from both sides/people. If you cannot talk to your friend about 'how you feel', most likely you are not as 'close' a friend to them as you imagined. 

A real friend helps us think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, be our finest selves. - author unknown

Hopefully this blog post has given you some insight into the world of 'friendship'. Friendship is a beautiful thing, and a 'faithful friend' is a gift from God! I pray whoever reads this may be blessed with at least one 'good friend' that will shine the love of Christ in their life.
But also I hope that this post will encourage you to be a 'true friend', and a 'sturdy shelter' to those who cross your paths. May you shine the love of Jesus and make a difference in this dark world where many are 'unfaithful'. Put others and their cares before your own and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. What kind of friend would Jesus be? What kind of friend is He?
Let us follow His example, and love with all our hearts. May we wash the feet of our friends, and may they know just how much we care about them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Courage to Change: Pride and Anger

You stand in the center of the crowd, and suddenly the tone changes, and you look up and see what appears to be spite in the eyes overlooking you. The crowd jeers and you search their faces with bewildered anxiety. You stand there for a moment in the sea of emotion and a strange feeling brews deep inside. What is this offense that cannot be disguised?  Words pour out from your mouth and stern eyes. And then what will later seem like a few harmless words, at the moment causes your pride to tick and to conjurer defense. Before you know if you are holding yourself back from the anger you're feeling, and from fighting back...

Ever wonder why some people offend you much easier than others? I tend to believe that the more a person has been "offended", hurt, or abused in a certain area, or by a certain person, they will be more sensitive in that area or to the words/actions of that person.

And yet there a certain situation or occurrence that causes us to question why we are so protective or easily hurt in a certain area that does not tie to any previous abuse or offense...And that is when we realize that deep down inside it is pride that causes us to stand on our toes and turn our backs in anger. Whether it be 'not wanting to be seen as dumb' or 'not wanting to be proved wrong' or 'not willing to take help'...often times the root is our own 'pride'...and often times in these circumstances it is because we are too caught up in 'our own view of ourselves'. Why are we so concerned with being taken wrong, or being seen as less than we are? Is it truly because we want peace with others, or is it or often times our own desire to be seen as 'perfect'...I've been pondering lately the difference in righteous defense, and selfish defense.
I think as Christians we shouldn't be so adamant about defending ourselves. Yes, that might seem hard. And yes, it does take surrender and humility to do...but truly, 'What would Jesus do'?
Was He so consumed with defending himself? No.

Why don't we act like Christ in the 'little areas of life'? I mean, Christ said that when we are hit in the face, to turn the other cheek as well. As Christians we are not to fight against persecution. And, yet why do we fight back, and why are we so quick to defend ourselves when people say things that aren't totally accurate about us? Or better still, when we get defend ourselves or get offended when someone just teases us...

Pride and Anger run 'hand in hand.' Ever notice that a lot of times 'anger' is the direct fruit of 'pride'? I hadn't really thought about that till recently.
Pride taints words and twists meanings... until what had been meant once as harmless, even friendly, is seen as horrid or offensive. Pride is a ugly thing, not just because it's not appealing, but because it is 'destructive'. It's rather strange how a person can suddenly flip, because of pride. Honestly, pride can be one of the most uncomfortable and violent emotions ever felt. Yet, pride is not just a 'feeling' but a 'state of mind'. Pride is the root of many sins, such as jealousy, rebellion, selfishness...and pride can cause us much regret.
Don't let any one fool you, pride is not a silent thing that can be contained. Pride leads to anger, and we all know anger cannot be hidden long, sooner or later it rages, and can even destroy everything in it's path.

Pride can easily creep into a person's life without them even realizing. The fact is we all have 'expectations', but what if those 'expectations' aren't really  much more than our desire for selfish 'adherence from others'? We all want to be respected, we all don't want to be overlooked, or poked fun at, but it's very easy for our self defense to premature, or even unnecessary. That's when we have to check our pride, and ask ourselves, 'why am I doing what I am doing?'

I think it is so easy for a man's desire also, for what he calls 'justice' to become only a desire for 'control' or 'selfish gain'. Or is it a many times already 'that' from the start? The truth of our motives bare fruit along the way, and throughout the "fight".

What does it mean to be more like Jesus? Does it mean perhaps letting go of our pride and passion for 'self justice'? Jesus wasn't 'recognized' for who He truly way by most, nor was he treated with respect by most.
That makes me think about how I react to petty misunderstandings, and when I feel a finger pointed at me unjustly, and blush at how easily I am effected or ticked off. It makes me marvel at how humble and meek Jesus was. He was truly amazing.

In this would we will have tribulation, but be of good cheer...for 'He has overcome the world'...

As Christians we must set our sights on Jesus and eternity. It is the selfish man, or the man who's eyes are set on earthly fulfillment and gratification who sorrows and angers over his 'lack of respect' from others...There is always a complaint, because man is always failing to show him the "respect" and "understanding" that he deserves. If we always have a mindset of 'expecting the best treatment' we only lead our tempers to explosion.

Christ was not interested in 'proving' himself or making people 'bow' to Him while he was on earth. He served others and sacrificed himself, and his ego. If we are too concerned with our treatment and what other people think about us, we will never serve others or love others freely and boundlessly. The way to put others before ourselves is not only in actions, but in 'expecting little', yet 'giving much'. How much greater is it to serve a person who is 'undeserving and does not recognize your sacrifice at first, nor "puffs up your ego?" This does not mean we should think that "abuse" is 'righteous' in the eyes of God...but when it comes down to not receiving the expected "attention", "affection", or "gratitude" that we 'think' we "deserve" we should 'think again'. How much are we willing to sacrifice? How much is 'too much' to let go of for the cause of godliness and becoming more like Christ?... Sometimes all it is that we need to 'sacrifice', is our own 'pride'.

When we truly consider how we complain and fight for 'our rights' and 'our image' we realize just how selfish and close minded we really are...

This brings to mind the story of Peter and Jesus in John 13:

3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist  5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples  feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus cam to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7 Jesus replied, "You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will."
8. "No," Peter protested, "you will never ever wash my feet!"
Jesus replied, "Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me."
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, "Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!"

....12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, "Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you are right, because that's what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.

I like verse 14 a lot in this passage. Because Jesus tells us to do as He has done. Honestly, Jesus truly humbled himself...He who sat on high came and washed the feet of man. Wow. Amazing.

3. Do 'nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in 'humility' count others 'more significant' than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only yo his 'own interest's, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, thought he was in the  form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself ,by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. - Philippians 2:3-7

In order to change, in order to let down our pride, we need to have a different view of 'ourselves', we need to stop thinking 'so seriously' of ourselves, and realize that we are no better than our neighbor. Pride starts from thinking too highly than we ought of ourselves, or having too high of standards for ourselves and how we're treated by others. How does one let go of pride? Perhaps by following the example of Christ, and realizing that humility is more honorable than pride, and reaps better fruit.

God, please help us to let down our pride, and surrender our egos. Help us to think more like Jesus, and to walk in humility and not selfish passion. God, may we only ever act out of love and in meekness, and not react in pride and unnecessary anger. Thank you for the example of Christ, and thank you for your Spirit which convicts us and can empower us to live godly and holy lives.
We hand over ourselves, and ask you to give us the proper view/prospective of ourselves. May we think of others as better than ourselves, and serve even when we are not appreciated.
Thank you for your love. We believe that humility is rewarded, and pride is punished. We want to be 'yours' and 'a part of you', so Lord just like Peter help us realize that the path you'd have us walk is surrender to You, and not selfishness. And God help us not to be easily offended, and when we feel like we are persecuted; help us to keep our mouths shut as did Christ when he was judged, and care more about Your view of us...for you know us completely as 'we are'... pride and all. ;-)

Next:  Blog post: About the Character of Sherlock Homes: The first blog post of many under the title 'Fiction Characters and What We Can Learn From Them'.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trusting in God's Promises

Most all of us have dreams, or goals that we hope to accomplish or obtain in life. But along with those dreams and goals we have anxieties. Anxieties that those same dreams and goals, won't come to pass, or that we won't obtain them. Ever. 

Have you ever felt like though, no matter your fears, that God has promised you something? Perhaps you haven't actually heard His voice wake you out of a deep sleep, or reveal himself and his promise to you in a vision...or maybe you have...yet, perhaps you were made aware of God's promise to you in another fashion; though the words of a friend, in your quiet time with God, in his word, a sign... confirming occurrences, or words that appear over and over again to you... However you were awakened to  the "voice of God", He did "speak to you", and you know it...Sometimes you may 'doubt' the fact that God made a promise to you, but you know that He ‘did’. How do you know? Because even when you may fear that perhaps God didn't promise something to you, still, deep inside you keep 'waiting', you keep 'expecting' what you hope for, to one day happen. You haven't given up on your desire for ‘what’ God has promised...but perhaps you just don't know if God will really keep his word in 'fulfilling it'? 

'Promise' definition: 
Noun: A declaration of assurance that one will do a particular thing, or that guarantees that a particular thing will happen.
Verb: Assure someone that one will definitely do, give, or arrange something; undertake or declare that something will happen.

Ever read the story of Abraham in Genesis? If so, did you notice that almost in every chapter of his story God tells Abraham that he shall have his own son…but Abraham has to be constantly reminded of God’s promise to him, because what God promises seems impossible.

Genesis 12: 1-2 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your Father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a ‘great nation’ and I will ‘bless you’; I will make your name great….

Then in chapter fifteen:

Genesis 15: 2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I ‘remain’ childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir. “ 4 Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir. “ 5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you ‘can’ count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be”. 6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Then in Genesis seventeen:

Genesis 17: 15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, “O that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said “Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shall call his name Issac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him.”

Notice here how Abraham says unto the Lord; “O that Ishmael might live before thee!” There are a few ways one might take this, but when I read it I think of all our failed attempts to ‘bring about’ God’s “will” in our lives. We do this, and we ‘do’ that, and there comes a time when we look up and ask God “O if only my attempts, if only my works could bring about your will!” But that's not the way it goes is it? We cannot 'make' providence happen in our lives, only the Holy Spirit can do that. If it were 'us' that made all the good things in our lives come to pass, and our dreams be fulfilled, then life would be all about 'us'. And it's not. What I think is that, if a man can 'make' happen his dreams all without God's help, then there's good cause to believe that his dreams were never Christ Centered, or focused on anything but the gratification of 'self'. Worthless dreams, that will not live after the individual is gone. I don't know about you, but I want what I do, my dreams to make an impact on the world, and those around me. I don't want something that will only bring happiness to 'myself'.

In Genesis eighteen 10- 14 God's messanger tells Abram and Her husband again, that they shall have a son.

And in Genesis 21:1-3 God's promise is fulfilled:  And the Lord visted Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.....5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Issac was born unto him.

Sometimes God's promises take a long time to be fulfilled, but wow, He 'always' keeps his word.
Notice it took 25 years in this case, for what God promised concerning Abraham to come to pass. He was 75 when the promise first came to him that he would have a son, and 100 years old when it was fulfilled. Isn't God amazing? His timing is perfect. He perhaps waited until there was no possible way Abraham could 'do it on his own', and did the "impossible". I tend to believe God likes doing that. He comes/acts when we realize that we can't possibly make our dreams come true on our own. His promises are like tickets. Tickets that never expire, nor are made void by impossibility. The train will 'chug' no matter the weather, no matter what. God's promises are true 'garantees'.

Sometimes though we get tired of waiting for God to 'answer our prayers' or  'keep his word' and in result we go to other things, or go for 'second best' or even doing things the 'world's way' (sinning) to get what we take the place of what 'God has promised'; like Sarah and Abraham did in involving Hagar in their desire for a son.  Genesis 16: 2- 5. Notice though what happenes when we 'jump the gun' and don't trust in God's promises? We bare fruit that doesn't line up to God's perfect will. I feel like we have the tendency to do the same thing, we we go to things, or do things that we know 'isn't what we should be doing' because God has promised more to us. But when God finall does fulfill his promises to us and our lives...we regret our hasty actions that we did when we didn't trust God would act on his promises; just like Sarah and Abraham did in Genesis 21:9-11...

God always keeps his promises, and fulfills what he has promised.

So what sort of promises has God made to you? There are some promises that God has made to all of his children.

He has promsied that he will never leave us or forsake us.
He has promised that he will supply all our needs according to Christ Jesus.
He has promised that we will be taken care of.
He has promised that those who trust in Him, He will direct their paths.
He has promised us eternal life.
He has promsied to give rest to those who come to Him.
He has promised peace and joy to those who's minds are set on Him.
He has promised victory for those who surrender to Him.
He has promised strength to those who seek it from Him.

The list goes on, and on, and on!
Do you trust God to make good his promises to you as his child?
Sometimes peace seems unibtainable. Sometimes shadows hider your sight. Sometimes the night stretches long into the morning. But peace can be yours, and the light can penetrate the darkness that surrounds you.

Trust in God. And for those of you who feel God has given you dreams, goals, visions...made a promise to you of a better life, or a life of influence...Don't settle for less. Joy comes with the sun rise, and one day you will wake up and God's will has had it's way in your life. If God has promised anything to you, you can be asurred that he will fulfill it in your life. Trust in the Lord and lean not unto your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6

Go with God. And keep your eyes on Him. He is God over all impossibilty, He is 'God' and you are not.  Imagine all that you could do to make good possible, make your dreams possible...God can do far more. Have faith.

Philipians 1:6 -  God will complete His good work in You.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Purpose Proposed On A Cross

'Purpose Proposed on a Cross'...those words are some of the first that started this blog. Purpose Proposed on a Cross...What do those words mean to you? They mean to me, that Christ is Purpose...and He proposed to all the world, and to each individual when He died on the cross. What did He propose?
For God 'so loved' the word, that He gave His 'Only Begotten Son', that 'whosoever' believeth in him should not perrish but have 'everlasting life'. ~ John 3:16

Christ is proposing not only 'eternal life' to you, but 'purpose it's self'. All You have to do is believe in what He's done for you...and follow Him. 

Christ is reaching out His hand, will you take it? He calls you Beloved, He calls you by name...There is a world awaiting out there, and there is more to the gospel than just receiving a Savior...God saves our souls, as well as places His purpose within us.
And it's not just a 'feeling', but a true 'cause'. Christ wants to give your life purpose. Will you say 'Yes'? Will you receive it?

'Taste' and 'see', for the Lord is good...Pslam 34:8

A Longing Heart: Prose

When there aren't any words, there is a pause in my heart. When there aren't any words, there is a pause in my soul. I can feel it, like a great distancing, I can fill it like the tide that never came in. But, I can't...I just can't wait for the tide...If I don't have words, I don't have my life. Oh, I know, I know where the creativity comes from, I know, I know where the lyrics start. I know, I know, where my sanity comes's sown and harvested in your heart. And I've tried to understand it, I've tried to keep on going, but without your divine inspiration, I can feel my gears slowing. Why don't I just go for a reload in fuel? Why do I run it out to the very last gallon? It's as if the station was a fragment of my imagination, I know it's there, but I keep on racing.

But I know life is not a 'rat race', yet I try to believe it to be true...If only I didn't feel the constant ignition in my mind to just do, do, do. And it's not the same as being active like an athlete, it's deep down in my stomach, where no one can see it. It's a churning for fulfillment, like a hamster on his wheel; he runs to no goal in sight, and yet he can't stop for what is real. I know what it all comes down to, I know what it is I seek. It's the truth that I need to ignite me, it's love that I need to calm me, and slow me down to breathe. Cause deep down inside I'm like the hamster on his wheel, I need the gospel to cut past my bubble, and take me further than I feel.

Nothing can fill, but Jesus himself. You can travel the world, ride high on a balloon, or even mount an elephant, but nothing can fill the heart that longs for it's true love, no nothing, it just can't. You can run away from your making,you can try to escape, but there will always be a timer ticking in your soul, just waiting for the day...

  I've heard that God is beckoning from His place on high, and that He comes down to every man and can open up his eyes. I've seen the Master's hand, I've read the words so true...yet why is it that every once in awhile I feel the weight of what it's like with only a "gallon" of you? It's ridiculous in a way, cause why don't I just take the time to fill? I get frustrated at our connection when, it's only my own time that I've got to kill. And I've made myself a servant of my own demand of your time, and I repent for my doubts, as if it's all required to fit 'my' own mind. But, perhaps you could have mercy and consider where I am? Sometimes I wish I'd just shut up, and wait patiently on your hand. And if I had the choice, I know I'd pick your majesty, but you know that I'm selfish and could tend to worship the 'produce' instead of the 'Guarantee'.

So here I am again, my only truly devoted friend. Your lovely, and your awesome, and yet I stand here with empty hands. And in times of darkness I have doubted that you want to fill my heart, but when I look back on those moments, I think it was truly my 'self' that reflected on what I thought was 'your' part.  Please open up your word, open up these eyes, and run away the complacency, run away the lies. I'm a sick soul, without the grace to fill, I'm a blank canvas, with a gaudy frame. Because no matter how much I run, no matter how  much I scrape, all my ambitions will only work to make the 'filler' and not the 'cake'.

And I don't want to live a life that's 'meatless', a life without the 'weight', I don't want to build up my own world, and not your body...for your name's sake. And I sometimes I wish it was instantaneous, like you could just breathe it into me, and then I see the endurance, the patience it takes to get down and stay on my knees. And I want a balanced faith, I don't want it all to be too easily attained, but God please have mercy and don't stay away too long, cause It's hard to trust that I'll wake up out of the 'distancing' game.

A heart of longing deep inside...a heart wanting to lay down the pride...a heart that needs you to I am...make it rehabilitation...let me remember the joy of my salvation...God I ask for a heavenly visitation...just You...take it from's my doubts, here's my away the lies, and open these new skies...the horizon awaits, and I know it's there...a purpose, and fulfillment in you...that doesn't die 'anywhere'. And take this longing heart, and make it into a piece or art. Be the produce of my life, and paint it with your colors. That everywhere I may leave a trail or reflections of Your light...that the colors may be bright...and point to you.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Inner Storm of Loneliness

    There comes a time in our lives when we realize that there is none faithful, and there is none truly 'all loving' but Jesus Christ himself. Even those who we are the closest with. And it's not always because a friend has forsaken us, or something terrible has happened to bring us to this realization, it's just life it's self, and this longing for fellowship and close friendship that you know that your friends, family, loved ones, just can't fill. The truth is when we spend time away from prayer, study and our secret place with God, we start to feel all alone, and we start to panic inside. Something is missing, something is wrong, and yet why is it so hard to go back to the corner and get on one's knees and confide in God? Why is it when we really need God, we go to other people instead?
The truth is life can be like a storm; waves of confusion and dark clouds of distress, nothing is certain, no one can be counted on to be there when you 'really' need them. Actually, it seems like when we really need a friend, that is when they are not around. When suddenly, we are at our worst and need to sit down and receive a reply from a pal, there is none. I think the reality is we just need Christ, and we are so darn blind to the fact that when we are the neediest, God holds the greatest fulfillment. And honestly, it is when we are at our neediest that we seem the most repulsive. People begin to think that you are trying to cling to them, or expect what they cannot or shouldn't have to give. And as we all know there are different sorts and types of friendships in this life.
 Overall, I don't blame God for leaving us in these sort of situations though, when we feel alone...because when we are at our neediest point, God knows that what we really 'need' is Him. He is the greatest 'filler'. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want...Lord, teach us to find our 'fulfillment' in You, to find our peace in You. I ask that You would have mercy on me, and bless all those that I know. I pray that loneliness would be surrendered for peace. Calm the storm of hurt, confusion, fear, loss, and doubt in my mind tonight. You know what I've been through before this moment, you know my anxieties, you know how this heart full of care, beats for all I cross paths with in this life. I will never let go...You see the emptiness in loneliness...Lord, here I come. Down on my knees, heart bore out. Here my cries, have compassion on my inner storm. Calm it with your hands, Let me lie down beside still waters...where you restore my soul, and my peace. You are the friend of my heart, you are the love of my life, here I am, arms held high, touch this mind. You know me, in and out, there is never a misunderstanding between us. Therefore you see my need just as it is, and you usher me into your presence. Let's talk God...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Courage to Change: The Sin of 'Self Awareness'

Do you ever ask the questions: 'Am I loved? 'Do I have purpose in this life?' 'What is my worth?'
Or maybe you do not ask the questions, maybe you just believe that you are unloved, that you do not have a purpose in this life, nor that your life has any real worth. Perhaps you do not only 'believe' it, but it's starting to show in ways that are apparent to others.

Maybe you've tried to believe the right thing, that 'you are loved by God', that 'your life has a meaning' and that 'you are of worth', but to no avail...every time you think that you can make it, something happens, you step back, you look for your approval or acceptance in another person, in a romantic relationship, in being the best at some particular just cannot feel confident in your own shoes...just when you thought you were strong enough, you see yourself reaching out to find your purpose and worth in the things of the people, places, or things that never filled before...You know you shouldn't be doing this, and you aren't even doing it on purpose, but you can't help it... because the truth is you must feel loved, your life must have a purpose, you must be of worth...and unconsciously your trying to find all of the above in something or someone other than yourself. Why?
Because you, yourself, are not confident enough on your own. You've tried to trust God, but life is just so hard, and without that feeling of self worth you just cannot go on.

It is very important to have a right self is destructive to have the wrong image of yourself. Which is why Christ Himself has died on the cross to show God's great love for you, and why Christ is our great purpose, and the Bible says that you are of great worth to God and created in His image.
But what if you do not believe that Christ is all that He says He is? What if there is more to the story than just a desire to feel love? What if 'false guilt' is hindering you from receiving God's love, purpose, and His say on your worth?

I've known quite a few people who continue to live lives in constant struggle with believing in the Love and forgiveness of God, and the people who surround them. Yes, one of the reasons for this is because they grew up, or experienced offenses from those, usually those close to them, who may have 'acted' or 'said' that they loved them, but really 'did not'. But, another equally popular reason is that the individual had done something wrong, or had sinned against God or others, and 'did not' or 'could not' get themselves to believe that they could be 'forgiven' and 'loved' because, they had done so much wrong. More than, just being in shock about it, they 'disbelieved' that they could or 'should' be loved or forgiven...because inwardly, 'they did not forgive 'themselves' therefore they did not believe they should or could be loved and forgiven by others...
As much as this may seem like a form of humility to the person who has done wrong, or 'feels' like they have done wrong, it is NOT humility at all. Many times a person who cannot or will not forgive themselves, and will not allow themselves to be, or believe in the love and forgiveness of God/ others, (believe they should do so in order to 'punish' themselves, because they do not think they 'deserve' better.) But, the reality is 'rejecting God's love' or 'forgivness' aka (what Christ did/accomplished on the cross) is NOT humility or penitence at all, but 'rather' rebellion stirred by pride.

3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
 8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
 Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
~ John 13: 3-9

A big problem that a lot of us a problem with an 'over awareness of self'.
We think that we are being 'just' by pushing God's hands away, or protecting others from knowing who we truly are, but in reality we are just too concerned with 'self' and the 'way it makes our pride feel', and that 'hinders' us from freely surrendering to love.

Here are some other issues that usually actually stirred from Selfishness, (being too self centered)
1. Pity (the most obvious)
2. Depression
3. Doubt
4. 'False' Guilt
5. 'False' Humility/Justice
6. 'False' Love

I'll explain a few of these points further...Pity (False Guilt) can sometimes disguise it's self as Humility but it is NOT. Do not get confuse self pity, or self inflicted guilt with the work of the Holy Spirit or Biblical sorrow or repentance. It is all possible for a person to feel 'guilt' and it 'wear at their self image' but STILL not be 'repentant' of their sin...sometimes we may feel guilty for things that we need not even feel guilty for! and that is a sign of being too 'self focused' the point that you are despising yourself for not being as 'perfect' as 'you' think you 'should' be. Now, it's a good thing to want to better yourself when it is scriptural, but even then 'guilting over something' is not the same as 'repenting' and 'changing'!

Depression is proven in many cases to be the result of self pity, and too much focus on the 'bad' in a particular Individuals life...God says to think on 'good' things, and not too get caught up in focusing on all that 'isn't going right for you' but rather to worship Him in all circumstances and seek to focus on the blessings in your life.

Religiosity. Sometimes what we confuse with 'humility' and 'being pleasing to God' - is really our own sense of 'religiousity'. We stress over what clothes we are wearing, what music we are listening to, the way we are acting to an extreme extent; to where what may seem like 'wanting to be pleasing to God' and 'being modest' or worrying about 'not flirting' or 'not seeming prideful' or 'worrying on not listening to certain tones in music' or 'worrying about what we are eating' -when in reality we are actually doing nothing more than keeping up our sense of 'religiousity' and obeying our own standards. And 'then' when we do not 'live up to our own standards' we inflict ourselves with guilt...So that in actuality, we begin without God and end without God. We do not live up to our own sense of 'perfection' and therefore we punish having a pity party, and yet we 'still' do not repent...because why repent? Because it is not God in the first place that we were keeping holy, pure, etc...for...It was 'ourselves'. Therefore God is not even involved.
It is not enough to just 'please ourselves'.

For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:20

The Pharisees were not only Hypocrites but they made up their own laws to be "holy". They would condemn others who did not obey the laws that 'they' had created, and they thought that just by heeding to their own 'religiousity' and 'self perfection theroy' they would be the greatest in God's eyes. Christ spoke against the Pharisees and their methods of holiness.

3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. - Titus 3:3-7

Saved by Grace through faith, and not by works least any man should boast!

It is important to know why you do what you do. Ask yourself if you are, and if so, why you are rejecting God's love or the love of others in your life? Ask yourself if your guilt is truly even genuine? Ask yourself if you are really willing to give up your sin, and receive blessing in it's stead? If so you will be 'repentant', and the thing about repentance is that it is not only 'being humble enough to admit you were wrong, and seeing that you have hurt God, and put yourself in harms way', but also the second part of repentance is being humble enough to receive God's love and brave enough to take the new chance and dropping the chains of the past sins.
Repentance is asking for forgivness, turning from your sin, and receiving God's love and pardon!
The beautiful thing, that just being 'guility' and 'condeming yourself' cannot do - is give you a new start and another chance. Just knowing you've done wrong, and condeming yourself for it, is not what God wants you to do. It is NOT what God wants you to do...It can be very self centered, and cause you to 'instead' of 'change' - 'get stuck focusing on 'your' 'sin' and what 'you've' done wrong, until it's just a pity party and has nothing of Godliness left in it. The only thing that will or can change you, is repentance and receiving God's forgivness and being changed by His love.
It's all an act of God. God is who saves you, God is who convicts you, and God is who forgives you.

When you insist on refusing God's love and forgivness you are disbelieving in what Christ has done for you on the cross. When you choose to 'guilt yourself' over your sin instead of 'go to Christ with it' you are choosing to let Satan destory you with your mistakes, and stand between the past and the future.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. - Ephesians 2:14-18

Repentance brings peace of mind. It is a lie that we have believed that we must 'guilt' ourselves to such a degree...we form self centeredness instead of godliness when we do that...God's will is that when we have done wrong, we realize what we've done wrong, ask for forgivness, and receive His power to 'sin no more!'

3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11She said, No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.  - John 8: 3-11

God's forgivness is so deep and so wide. The enemy would like us to stay in our sin and never live lives free, blessed, and useful; but God wants us to live lives where we are filled more with the 'awareness' of Him and His freedom, blessings, and love than the 'awarness' of ourselves...

We need to lay down our own pride, fear and standards on the altar before God and receive His humbling love, peace and holiness. We receive the holiness of Christ, by salvation and oneness with 'him'.

For what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Romans 6:1-23

Why do you seek to obey? Is it because you want to be 'perfect' in your own eyes? Is it because of your own desire for a a sense of 'acceptablness'? OR it because you do not want to offend the Lord; Is it because you love Him?

This should be the reason you obey...because you love God, and trust that He knows what is best for your life. You trust him because, you 'know and believe' that He has your best in mind...not just because people tell you he does, or that you've heard that 'God's ways are better than our ways, or the world's ways'...but the beautiful thing that you will discover, is that God only wants you to live a blessed life. And if you obey Him you will not inflict death upon yourself, whether that be death spiritually, emotionally, mentally, or the death of your future happiness and Christian effectiveness...
Sin reaps death. But you have the ability to choose life, which has been made possible for you by the forgivness and unity made by Jesus Christ.

So do you ever ask the questions: 'Am I loved? 'Do I have purpose in this life?' 'What is my worth?'
The answers to these questions is 'Yes'. You are loved. You do have a purpose in life. And you 'are' of worth! If you get down on yourself too hard and too long after you have made a mistake, or 'Think' you have made a mistakes, it's time to consider whether or not you are doing what you do, or trying to be holy to win your own salvation...or for your own feeling of self worth.
Find your self worth in Christ. Believe in His love. Receive Forgivness. It's a gift. It's undeserved.
See Christ bleeding on the tree? It was for you, it was for me.

Fact is, if you are trying to find love from others, or a particualr person in order to keep breathing, or fill the hole inside... mostlikely you have not let Christ's love fill you to the place where you can rely on Him. Once you rely on Him, 'He' will send others into your life to bless you and fill the other areas of your life such as romantic love and friendship. But Christ must be first. Will He be your first love? Will HE be the purpose of your life? Will you believe what He says about your worth to Him?

John 3 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Rom 5: 6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Fight the fight against sin! Fight the fight against self awareness/self centerdness!
You have the power in Christ Jesus to make the Change. Stop the pity party and realize that 'courage to change' comes from the Lord. When you are so down upon yourself, and tell yourself that you cannot change, what you are really doing is being 'selfish' and 'pittiful'.Christ gives you the chance to change, and Your strength comes from Him alone. Believe in Him.
2 Thess 2:16-17
16And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you!- in every good deed and word. - Make War! John Piper: Great video!

Monday, April 2, 2012


Memories...they come and remind us of the past...sometimes they hearken the laughter of conversations back in time, the remembrance of streets once walked, or the reality of things, or relationships once vivid and living...but the odd thing about memories, the almost uncontrollable and sometimes punishing thing they can do is bring back the feelings of something in the past... Memory doesn't doesn't just hold on to words, images, and sounds, but also 'feelings' and emotions. When a something, someone, or a relationship has passed on, or a situation has changed, memory often and unexpectedly brings back a feeling unneeded or uncalled for; almost like the sensation of pain or touch in a limb that no longer exists...Memory can almost be like a special effect box, or an illusionist.

How do we make ourselves realize and awaken to the fact that some memories cannot or should not draw us to the past; but are instead hurdles to jump over (in way of the future)? It's almost as if we must forget the missing limb, and what we used to do with it, in order to move on...Ah, the power of memory...sometimes we must learn to let go and move forward; not that we make the past void in terms of lessons learned and feeling felt etc. Nothing can really change the past, it is over, and yet somehow memory can make us believe that memories are still alive in as much as we live in them or believe they are the present. The past does make the journey to where we are in this moment, but what makes tomorrow is what we do in 'this' moment....and how the 'present' is, is not always how the 'past' was. We cannot make the mistake of thinking the present is always the past, or that the past is always the present. Yet, there are things that transcend time, there are memories that relay the continued reality of today - but they are based on unchangeable, and sacred things.

Even so, feelings may always remain caught up in a moment passed, sealed away by memory...but it is the lasting things, love, diligence, faithfulness, and endurance, that makes the present and will determine the future. We have the choice in life to let the past own us, or let the will of God and the truth of thing (how they were, are, and should be) direct us and motivate us into the future. Thank God for His allowance for new beginnings and His encouragement for change; or else we would be slaves to the our memories, our mistakes, and our past way of viewing thing, when in reality; people change, truth shows it's head, and not all stays the same...We choose whether to escape the memories that would like to keep us rehashing, and or sliding. Another important thing is to realize what memories are of 'false realities' such as stirred from our own 'fantasizing'. Doesn't mean the feelings weren't real, but sometimes the relationship, situation etc...wasn't as 'alive' or real' as we imagined at the time.

Thank God we are not obligated or slaves to our feelings of the past. There are things deeper than feelings' such as mentioned in the Bible. We are responsible to God first, our actions second (in relation to others and ourselves) and so...may we trust the Lord, give Him our memories, give Him our feelings, and focus on the truth whether reflected also in our memories, or just reveled to us in the present...Thank God for His Guidance, His liberty, and setting us free by His truth! God free us from any attachments whether to the world, things, people, feelings, memories, that would keep us from you, or Your will! It's always the choice - between the 'good' and the 'bad', and the 'good' and the 'best'. We are yours! let's make the moment count, as we place the future in Your hands.

You belong to Jesus. He comes before everything. You can be free from whatever is hindering you from living to your fullest, whether it's memories: of past mistakes, relationships, or actions, - You don't have to live in the past, You can live in today. Make your future by living today in Christ's Liberty.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Vain Imaginations: Hope Deferred

So I stand and watch you walk by,
the thoughts in my mind I try to hide,
I know the past can never be redone,
so I'll have to let go of what I've made
in my mind,
 I'll bury it all in a grave, marked to say
"The things that I once thought". #goodbyetovainimaginations

Vain Imaginations...We are warned to fend them off, we are warned to keep ourselves from getting caught up in vain imaginations. But how often we do?! I think the 'World' encourages 'Vain imaginations'; It encourages thinking things that aren't based on reality, but instead, the way we 'feel'.
Feelings can't always be trusted, but it all depends on what they are based upon. If feelings are based on obedience and surrender to God, then God can use them to guard us, but if they are based on our own 'vain imaginations' or 'flesh' then they can get us into trouble.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the the pulling down of strongholds) 5 Casting down imaginations, reasoning, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7. Do you look on things after the outward appearance? 2 Cor 10: 3-7

Do you ever imagine something so well that you think it is real? We human beings have a tendency to get ourselves in a lot of trouble because we believe that aren't true. Sometimes we hope for things that will never be, or should never be, but there's something inside that makes us desire what 'we can't have' or the impossible. Sometimes this is just stirred by rebellion, other times I wonder what it is caused by...The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12 that 'Hope' deferred make the heart sick...It's true. You see I don't know what goes on in every person's head, but I know for a fact that some of us have a tendency,  to imagine things, believe in their significance (believe things, people, offers are as we imagine them) ... we hope and hope, that things will turn out, or we will happen as we imagine, but it's nothing more than getting caught up in vain imaginations...and having our hope deferred.

We are warned in the bible to guard our minds and hearts...When we imagine things,  get caught up in our dreaming, and base the future on 'things we imagined' but not 'the will of God' we set ourselves up for a emotional let down. We weren't designed to believe or hope for things that won't come to pass. It's because we let our fleshes lead the way, it's because we let ourselves become attached to our own ideas for our lives, relationships, etc...that we come to ruin.

A lot of times we let our own desire/ 'vanity' lead the way. Not that everything that we hope for that doesn't turn out, is based on unnatural desires, or 'bad' things, but the fact is... anything that isn't surrendered to God, is vanity. Your thoughts, your hopes, your dreams, your goals, your relationships...if they aren't surrendered to God, they are vanity...And so, as Solomon realized in His book of Ecclesiastes:

I said in mine heart, Go to now, "I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure; and behold this also is vanity....

In Ecclesiaties2: 4-9 Solomon expresses how he was successful, and did many 'great' things for himself. Kind of like some of us; we go to college, buy a house, land a good job, find a mate...But Solomon realized that in the end, that it all was 'vain' to base his life on.
And in chapter 10 verse 14 he says "A fool...also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?"

If we cannot tell what shall be, why is it we put our hope so much in things that are uncertain? And usually, we put our hope in things that is our vanity. Not that we cannot have desires, not that we shouldn't want good things...but they are vain if we 'live' for them, before putting Christ first. I think anyone who isn't willing to place his life in the hands of Christ, not only clings to vanity, but puts his hope in vanity. This is where man puts his trust in 'Vain' Imaginations, before putting it in God himself.

Even those of us who say 'we give our lives to the Lord to do with them as he sees fit', even those of us who say 'we surrender our past, present, and future to Him'...we tend to get do exactly the opposite and put our faith in vain imaginations, or our own reasoning, or our own desire for vanity. Nothing, my friends is a holy desire, if it comes before God Himself, or 'His' will.

A lot of times we put our hope in things that aren't even feasible, or beneficial. Thank goodness, we have a God who watches over us, and is 'gracious' towards us. He is merciful, and faithful, even at times when we get distracted by the world and it's offers. What is important that we come to realize 'what it is we are putting our hope in'. If we are putting our hope in things that for our own glory...or putting our hope in things, or 'going hard' after things, people, jobs etc...and then ask God to 'bless' it, after we have 'already' set our heart on's kind of like an oxymoron.

People have the wrong view on God's Commands... God's will... and 'Surrender'.
They would rather not hear about finding their purpose in Christ, because frankly it just seems too 'ariy'. It's not what they want to hear...and they don't understand it.

I mentioned that some folks have the wrong view on God's commands. For example; a lot of teens have the wrong view on 'their own parents' commands. Now, not everyone has 'perfect' parents, but we must realize that 'God' 'is' the 'perfect', 'most awesome' 'parent'. He's not fallible, not ever changing in His love and desire for You, and He wants to you be full of 'Joy', 'Peace', and the overwhelming sense of 'belonging' to Him. He doesn't want you to feel like an orphan, and he doesn't want you to act like He isn't the 'inventor' of 'cool', because He is! The Lord has 'plans' for You. His plans aren't always what we imagine, because His plans are based on 'His' 'will'. It's God's 'will' and 'purpose' for You, to be a light in the darkness. It's God will and purpose for you, to not only draw closer to Him, but to become completely dependant, and fall in love with Him.

Many of us would rather live for our own vanity. What we don't realize is that vanity means (vapor)....Our vanities are passing away, here one day, and gone the other. Everything in life fades away, except the love of God.  We are living for things, and pushing God away from consuming us, because we want to live for our 'vain imaginations', before all else. We have made gods, idols, out of our own plans for our lives, and our own hopes.

What we don't understand is that the only way to truly 'live' and 'be inwardly satisfied' is to be consumed by God's love. This is a great purpose of our lives. We do not live until we experience Love. God is love, and love comes from God. And until we realize that we only truly 'live' by surrendering to His love, will continue to live vane lives that revolve around ourselves...Vapor lives, that will not survive us after we are dead and gone. 

It is all too common for us to plan things, imagine things, hope for things, that aren't reality, or God's perfect will..and then blame Him for not making our plans succeed. We set our selves up to fall down. How? We do not let Him lead us each step of the way. We place our hope in our dreams, before we place our hope in the Lord. We believe in our own ability, more than we believe/Trust God. We don't trust Him with our lives, because we think we are being faithful to our goals or dreams, when in reality we are failing to live our Creator's will for our lives. A lot of times our own imagined fantasies, are more real and legit to us that the truth. Which is why we fight for them, at times against God. When in reality, God is trying to hand us something better, but we want what we have put our hope in, that which we don't realize will only defer our hope, and scar us with disappointment.

There is so much Joy, inner peace, and contentment to be found in a live totally dependant on God...if we put our hope in God, and place our faith in Him first; we will not let our hope be abused.
Also I know I mentioned that some folks don't have the proper view on God's commands, and Surrender. These are big enough topics to make separate blog posts about, but I will just start up on what I meant...

I know people, and meet people that wasted their lives away on 'vain imaginations'. They believed the world or the world's way could offer them the fulfillment that they desired, and trust me, none of them, who knew the truth didn't land up scared in some way. I feel bad for so many of the people out there, especially youth, who grew up without knowing or believing the truth, and so they set their hearts up to be broken, they bodies to be soiled, their hopes to be rotted. God tells us the right way to go in all things in His word, but there are some things that it does not say 'right out' this does not mean, that God has not showed us the good way to go about doing things, and living, so that we will not set our hearts on vain imaginations, or things that will only make our hope defer.

A lot of times we place our hope in vain imaginations, when we do not trust, or live according to the will of God, or by the wisdom He has given those around you to council you. God tells us the right way to go, and gave us commands in scripture....SO that we will be blessed, healthy, fruitful,  prosperous!! In life it's always a choice between...the 'bad' and the 'good', the 'good' and the 'best'. Sometimes we think that that we are wise because we aren't living a life of sin, but this doesn't mean that we are always choosing to live in the fullness of what God would have for us...because lot of times we let our own impatience, and desire lead us in settling for mediocre, when we could have 'the best'. But we can only have 'the best' through Christ.

If we put our hope in our own ability, we will realize that we let ourselves down. If we put our hope, faith in other people, we will come to realize that people can also let us down. If we put our hope in dreams, or earthly desires, we will realize that some things are less certain than we imagine, and that nothing can fill the place of Christ. We may think we know what we want, and that that will fulfill us, but the truth is we resort to vain imaginations many a times, we go back to searching for things we shouldn't, because we have an emptiness inside that only God can fill up. We tell ourselves that's not it, it's because we were made to have what we desire, but truly it's because our hearts want something to pursue, to pursue something that will fill us, something that is worth placing our hope in, something that can take us to places greater than we see around us, something or someone that will make us feel more than a merit less soul. We want purpose, we want to fight for something, we want to imagine something that is greater than what we already have, we want a fulfilling relationship...and none of this is wrong, because honestly, what we want is something we overlook, something that we've been offered, but yet many of us look to replace...


He is.
What you want.
What you need.

Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick...but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Let's stop setting ourselves up for deferred hope. Let's instead put our faith, hope in God himself. Because He is what we really need most.

See how Solomon sums his book up: 
in chapter 12: verse 8, he says "Vanity of Vanities...all is Vanity"....

But He concludes thus:

12:13 'The End of the matter; all has been heard, Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of Man'....

We must be willing to 'surrender' our thoughts to God...We must not only, 'say' that we give our lives to Him, but we must not let ourselves get caught up in a worship (continual pondering) for what we want, when God tells us not to. The fact is we do this with things that is not God's will. We try to run our own lives, and we place our faith in things that have not be established or approved by God for our lives. We not only place our faith in things that are not reality, or beneficial possibility, but we let our own impatience, or flesh lead the way, and our imaginations soar without holy restraint. We must be willing to give our imaginations, our dreams, and  our desires up to God.

God wants us to place our faith and hope in Him. He won't let us down. 'Seek Him'. Also, seek He will give you the desires of your heart; because the heart that seeks after God, puts Him first, and God will give Him the other things, because He knows they aren't what He 'serves'. Consider, that some of the things you may desire, that you feel God hasn't helped you attain, or given you, may be because the only reason you are seeking God, is to receive them. God wants to be 'God', in your life. Above your hopes, above your dreams, above your relationships, above yourself.

Don't let your hope be deferred!

The Lord knows those who put their Trust In 'Him'.
If He's first, you aren't ever missing out. Trust Your life to Him,
He knows what will be the very 'best' for you!
He loves you.
And that my friend,
is not a 'vain imagination'.