Friday, December 30, 2011

The Unused Key

'A key rusteth that is seldom turned in the lock.'



It becomes hard work to stir it, for it becomes rusted into its place. Neglect of prayer makes prayer become hard work, whereas it should be a privilege and a delight. We cannot restrain prayer, and yet enjoy prayer. Frequency in this matter helps fervor, and constancy in it brings out the comfort of it.

Am I becoming slack in devotion? O Lord, forgive me, and save me from this grave neglect before it begins to eat into my soul and corrode my heart!"

--C.H. Spurgeon, Flowers From a Puritan's Garden

Monday, December 26, 2011

Just Another Blessing in Disguise

It's taken me weeks to figure out my thoughts on rejection. But after a few hours of putting some words together in a bad rhyme scheme I got it out! Finally finished writing it, thank God! Now the only this is to keep remembering these words, and remind myself of them over and over. 

Just Another Blessing in Disguise

"Why should I care?
Why should I worry about falling into your range?
Rejection is just an ugly dare.
You will always be telling me to change.

You give me a picture of who you want me to be,
then you hold up the mirror to pick me apart.
Now everything is on the table for me to see.
You'd never guess you were tearing out my heart.

From my looks, to my flaws, you critique me.
And now you leave me holding a mask
Of all you want me to be.
Now there is only one thing left to be ask
'Why am I not ashamed?'

Why does it feel so right to fling your mask down?
There must be a reason why I can stand in the rain.
Why don't I care anymore if you frown?
Because I've come to know that rejection is so much more than pain.

Rejection can only mean two things
You either dared to be yourself or you stood up for your beliefs.
Honor and joy should be what the pain brings
Now breath a sigh of relief
You're on the right track.

Why be ashamed of who God made you to be?
For He loves you how you are
If you have His Love, that's all you need to be free
And that alone should carry you so far.

And what soldier of the Lord will not offend?
For we are called to stand
What radical saint fades into the crowd and tries to blend?
For a saint it is an honor to be banned.

So you see that it's more than just pain
When you stand in the rain.
It's not just a testing,
But rejection is a blessing."

God Bless,
  A.W.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Done!



Finished my first Christian Fantasy this last week; at least I finished enough of it that I could give it to three people to look over and critique for me. Praise God He brought me through it!
Was a hard story to work on; but I finally kept a promise to a dear friend, and I finally got everything out concerning the subject my story was on.
Now I am working on two other story ideas.
One story is a Steampunk zombie book.  ((Which will require a fair amount of research, which will be tough and take a long time, so that might take longer)).
The second is another Christian Fantasy. The theme for this one is depression.  ((Have so many ideas, but now it's just a matter of putting them together. Lord willing, I will be able to do that soon.))

I really want to work on the second; I wish I could think of a strong story for this one, and put it into the right world.
Right now, at this point in my life I have so much I want to say about depression and rejection; it's only a matter of finding the right words.
I keep reminding myself that I need a place to bleed. I need to gather my thoughts; and let them out into something that makes sense.
There are so many reasons I want to write a story with the theme of depression.
I think it would be good for me to do right now; it would be a constant reminder to me in my own life. Perhaps writing it would be good for me.
I need to bleed a bit.

--A.W.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Inspiration



So, the weekend killed my inspiration and motivation for writing. One poor weekend, and just like that I'm spiraling downwards. Weekends do tend to kill me like this, but I was doing alright until this one.

I barely ever write when I am inspired. I always follow that quote by, who was it? Jack London, I believe. "You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club."
I live by that quote. It's very rare that I have any inspiration at all when I sit down to write. I figure if I wait for inspiration to strike, I will be waiting forever 
Motivation is a bit different, I usually am motivated to finish things, to get projects done. But right now I'm losing it.

Don't feel so qualified, don't feel like I can get anything to work. My motivation is leaking.
Sometimes you just have to force yourself to sit down and bleed. Sometimes that's the only way to get past all of this.
Well, should be editing my story now. I didn't wake up at 5:30 this morning to sit around listening to music and only think about writing.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

 C.H. Spurgeon:

"I would go to the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit. It is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary. "

"It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Messy

Been meaning to write this post for a while now, but I haven't found the words. Hopefully I've got my thoughts collected now.
Over this past year as I finally have gained the courage to look back at past years without so much shame, I realized something important. Relationships are messy. They really are.
Of course, you hear people saying that all the time, but for me, at least, people can tell me things all day, but a lot has to happen to actually make something real to me.
When I first started realizing how messy my relationships with people were it hurt. It made me want to give up on everyone. But thinking about it more made me realize that even though I have had too many people who I'd grown close to stab me in the back and such, I realized that I grew and learned something through all of those.
Each and every one of them. Looking at my life now, and the people who I know, I see a bit of how God's used them to change me.
Before, I never really viewed friendships like that. I never thought that through every relationship there is something to be learned.
It's nice to have those one of two people in your life who you never fight with or anything. And yet, those people are so few.
They say that the closest of friends fight, but then make up in the end. People say that conflicts bring you closer.
I can see that, I understand that. The hard thing for me is to decide whether or not I should draw the line between who I should try to make friends with again or not. Not saying I just leave things undone, no, no, always be ready to forgive.
What I am saying is that I wonder sometimes if I am a fool to keep reaching out to the same people who continually stab me in the back. Seems like I never learn. But perhaps I do learn...perhaps I just do it because I'm not ready to give up on any of them.
I've learned over this year that making friends is risky, at least in my life it is.
It would be easy to not take the risks. It would be easy to go along with the people I am closest to and not make an effort with people who I've gotten into conflict with. Life would be so simple without others.
But of course, we're all sinful. And we all have our flaws.
Think mine shows more than other peoples' do though.
I definitely have my fights with people. Most are my bad. But my point still rests, at least in my life, that relationships are messy.
And yet, even through all the conflicts and fights, I know God is changing both of us, growing us too. And even through the betrayals, relationships are still worth it.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Different Perspective

On Sunday my pastor preached a great sermon on being thankful.
And in his prayer he presented to us a new perspective of what we should be thankful for. As Thanksgiving comes around, we always say that we are thankful for all the things like a house to live in, food to eat, family to be close to, friends to hang out with, and so on and so forth. Now, not saying that being thankful for those things is wrong.
No, that's not wrong. But in his closing prayer, my pastor began naming off things like, "I am thankful for the alarm going off in the morning, because then I know I am alive. I am thankful for the huge electric bill that comes at the end of the month, because it means that we are comfortable." He named off a list of these things.
And it made me think.
We always are naming off the good things in life, but what about the other things such as trials and things that just plain annoy us?
Thinking about it, I felt like making out a list. And so here's what it would be.

I am thankful for my imperfect body, because with a perfect body I would have little endurance.
I am thankful for every bit of pain I feel that I have caused, because without it, I would not have a constant reminder of what I have done, and even more, what God has done for me.
I am thankful for conflict because without it, I would be more easily hurt and wounded.
I am thankful for the betrayals I have had in the past, because without them I would not have learned to take risks with people.
I am thankful for debates and discussions between Christians, because without them I would not grow as I have.
I am almost thankful for the past I have because without it, I would not be able to connect with people like I do.
And I think, even part of me is thankful that I still struggle because without a struggle and hatred of myself, I would have no want to go Home.

So there you have what I have been thinking about.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Keeping a Promise

Last Summer I made a promise. I made a promise to a friend to write her story out. God had given me the story I needed to write out what I wanted to say to the world.
I lost communication with my friend last December. Never heard back from her.
Over the months, I've developed the story I had, and now it's become the story I've been writing for NaNoWriMo. Part of me is screaming to give up, because no one will understand it, or at least no one will find it interesting.
All last week I was worrying about my WC. But finally I've set my mind on just trying to get my story done.
Part of me wonders why I keep writing. Was thinking about my friend this morning. Read emails that were sent last Summer when I told her my idea. She was thrilled by the idea. But then again, it is pretty much her story.
I hate being that person who can't be counted on. Who will back out because they think no one is watching or caring. I hate being the person who will break a promise.
I don't know my friend anymore. I don't know what happened, for all I know she could have been lying to me all those months, and now is living like the devil. Or God could have brought her Home. Either way, I am sure she has long forgotten me.  I don't know what happened.
All I know is that I pray for her every day. And I made a promise last year, and I will keep it at all costs.

I didn't want to write this story because I know that if I screw it up I'll probably give up writing. If I fail in what I want to say to the world, I might as well give up. I didn't want to write this story because I didn't think I was prepared to write it.
I need to cast all of those worries away. Not only will me writing this keep a promise, but it will finally shut the door to my past.
Sometimes I think that God gives each person something to say, or do in the world. Something specific, something that they can only do.
This is one of those things that I need to say to the world. And after I say it, the past to this story will be shut, and I never have to open it again.
I need to keep writing. This isn't about my Word Count any more.
This is about shutting a door. This is about keeping a promise.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Break

It's been nearly a week since I've posted. It's been a crazy week, and I apologize to anyone who actually still reads this blog.
I decided that I might not post much in the month of November, due to the fact that for the first time I am trying out NaNoWriMo, it's wasted me writing wise.
I'll still post things, but an actual post might not come for a bit, maybe in December. Hopefully sooner though. Who knows.
Trying hard to finish my novel, not just to say I won NaNo but to actually say I finally finished something. And if I think it's worth reading, then I'll try and get it edited well, and sent off to the publishers. Hoping it will turn out alright, because a lot depends on the outcome of this.
But off to finish it now. Hope you are all having a good November!

God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Poem I am Memorizing



"Blessed Creator,
Thou hast promised thy beloved sleep;
Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow's toil.
If dreams be mine, let them not be tinged with evil.
Let thy Spirit make my time of repose a blessed temple of his holy presence.
May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death,
the bed I approach remind me of the grave.
the eyes I now close picture to me their final closing.
Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance to thy presence.
Weaken my attachment to earthly things.
May I hold life loosely in my hand,
knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender;
As pain and suffering betoken transitory health,
may I not shrink from a death
that introduces me to the freshness of eternal youth.
I retire this night in full assurance of one day awakening with thee.
All glory for this precious hope,
for the gospel of grace,
for thine unspeakable gift of Jesus,
for the fellowship of the Trinity.
Withhold not thy mercies in the night season;
thy hand never wearies,
thy power needs no repose,
thine eye never sleeps.
Help me when I helpless lie,
when my conscience accuses me of sin,
when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts,
when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.
Show thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power;
thou hast a balm for every wound.
a solace for all anguish,
a remedy for every pain,
a peace for all disquietude.
Permit me to commit myself to thee awake or asleep."


--Sleep, The Valley of Vision.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

God's Work

So this last week I posted almost every poem that I've written in the last two years on Facebook. Took me a long time to do it, but I finally did it. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy because in whole, all of those poems were bits and pieces of me. And at times it is a scary thing to open up and share with others what is/has been going on.
It scared me because so often in the past I have put on a fake smile, or said I was fine when I was really breaking inside. Most of my writings are dark...I don't have the brightest of all minds, so dark things tend to come out. But it doesn't bother me too much, to me, in a dark poem I can express what is going on inside so much better than I can when it's a cheerful, uplifting poem.
Before posting them I hesitated, I didn't want to scare anyone. And part of me was screaming not to post them because there are still people who have known me for the longest time and have no idea what goes on in my personal life. I wasn't sure how they would take it. I was so afraid.
But as I thought about it more, I realized that my fear was wrong.
I realized I shouldn't be afraid to share the work that God's done in my life.
It should have come to me sooner that I should never be afraid to tell people what God is doing in my life.
I mean, in the past when I've opened up or written something personal and shared it with others God seemed to use it to change/encourage others.
I think sometimes we get so caught up in what man thinks about us that we forget that God could use what we've dealt with in the past to change others.

That made me change my mind. And with much prayer, I posted them. And no, God's not shown me just yet if He's used them, but perhaps He never will show me. All I can do is trust that somehow, someway, God will use them for His glory.
And for that reason alone, we should not hold back on proclaiming to the world the work God's done in our lives! He might use it in the craziest ways, you might never even know how God uses your words, whether you are speaking or writing.
Don't be afraid. Don't hold back on sharing God's work in your life with others.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"The Christian, above all men, needs courage. A cowardly spirit unfits us for the lowest duty. It is the valant who takes heaven by a holy violence. The soldiers of Christ must have a heroic spirit and dare to be holy in spite of men and devils. Sinners are bold, and shall saints be timid? The one resolves to be wicked, and shall the other be wavering in his holy course? Hell keeps the field impudently, with displayed banners of open profanities, and shall saints hide themselves for shame? Oh, let this never be the case with the armies of the living God!"  --Isaac Ambrose, The Christian Warrior

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Story



'My Story'

"They say that what you hear and see
Will never go away.
They say that you will never be free.
They say it will always stay.
For a long time I believed it all
I thought I'd die with this chain,
I thought I would keep falling
I thought I would always be in constant pain.
I thought I'd never walk again, but keep crawling.

But one day His promise struck me deep,
He said if I asked in prayer and faith He'd give it
But what I asked for wouldn't come cheap.
I asked me be pulled from this pit
In pleads,
I asked to be freed.

It's been the hardest of all fights,
The kind that leaves you with scars
That keep you up for the longest nights.
My freedom comes with a high cost;
I'm left with a body that's been bruised,
All of my hopeful dreams are now lost,
In full, myself I have abused.
And yet God makes me free at last,
His Truth broke through the lies
That kept me a slave of my past.
He heard my cries
And has set me free."

God Bless,
  A.W.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Not Afraid

I am working on a poem that I got inspired to write this week. I've only gotten half of it down, trying to figure out how to end the other half.
It's about addiction and freedom. In other words, it's my story.
I hesitate in posting it though, because part of me wants to hold back because people will either read it and disagree or read it and be utterly shocked because they would never have expected something like this coming from me.
For the most part, I post my poetry on a forum where I know people will read it and will be effected in some way. I don't generally post my writing other places.

This week I stood up and showed a few words on a card board to a group of people at my church. On one side I said a few things of "What I was" and on the other side I wrote a few things that "Now I am....". I can't remember quite what I wrote--most of what I wrote was thin and couldn't really be seen to well at a distance. But the line I put in bold on the "What I was" side was "A slave of my addictions" and on the other side I put in bold, "I am Free from my addictions, and a slave of Jesus Christ."
If I could redo that board, I would make it all the more clearer and write, "I was a slave of my addictions" and "But now I am freed from addictions and a slave of Jesus Christ!"

Even though it was supposed to be my salvation story, I felt like I was writing it all from the last few years of actually being a Christian. It's hard to think of exactly how I was before I was a Christian.
It wasn't like I was a slave of addiction and then God saved me and BAM--it was gone.
No...It didn't work like that.
It has been a long, painful battle. Not to say that I have been perfected already--and will not sin anymore on earth--but to say that I am free from that one addiction I had struggled so long and hard with.
Perhaps once you read my story, it will be easier to understand.
But I think I will post it, just to say that I am not afraid to declare the work that Christ has done in my life. He has set me free. Why should I be afraid to say what God has done in my life?
I shouldn't be ashamed. Yes, it's humbling to tell people about something like that when they never would have guessed, but why should we hold back?
Our testimony, our story might just help someone else. You never know.
I cannot hold back my story. I will not be ashamed of the work Jesus Christ has done.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Finished

I apologize for procrastinating until Monday to post this. Originally I was going to post on Friday, but time slipped away.
So I finally finished up a series that I have been in the middle of for nearly five years. I worked on things in between and procrastinated a bit, but I finished it. Finally, I am free.
I can't believe I am done. Finished Friday afternoon.
It was rough, because I didn't like the plot or anything. People kept telling me to stop it, give it up and move on. That's what most people do.
I couldn't have felt right doing that though, so I went on. It was hard, but it was worth it. After all of the time and energy I put into it, I finally completed it.
For once, it feels like, I completed something--not exactly that I can be proud of, but something that I can look back at and tell myself as a writer, when I feel like giving up, "Look, you finished that series. Those might be some of the worst story ideas ever written and completed, but you've finished it. You can finish this too."
I can't tell you how good it felt to finally close my document and write out the date when I officially finished my series.
For that feeling alone, it was worth finishing.

But now I've got to decide what to work on next. It's a hard decision, because whichever story I choose, I am going to have to complete it. I have to work on something at least till November ((NaNoWriMo)).
I finally decided after a few conversations with a friend, and lots of prayer, that I would dive into a certain dark story. Won't say what it's about just yet, considering it's not a full idea yet. It has a dark theme, a theme that isn't often dealt with.
This next month I will develop it, but I won't get to actually write it till sometime next year. So now I have two stories with difficult themes coming up.
And I think for these two stories I am going to try my hand at Epic Fantasy.
It's a towering thought, and I might fail a few times at first. But I'll finish these stories, unless I die or God has something physically/mentally happen to me that won't let me write.
But always, I am glad that I can finally look back at my series, and know that I can finish anything if I put my mind to it.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Willingly submit, then, O my soul! It is not thyself, but this flesh that must be dissolved; this troublesome, vile, and corruptible flesh. Study thy duty, work while it is still day, and let God choose they time; and willingly stand to His disposal. When I die, the gospel dies not, the world dies not, but perhaps it will grow better, and those prayers to be answered which seemed to be lost, and perhaps some of the seed I have sown will spring up when I am dead."
     ---Richard Baxter, Dying Thoughts

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bridging Out



Been really discouraged lately as a writer.
Seems like the writing circle that I am apart is becoming one of the most clique groups of all time. You have no idea how sick and tired I am of reading about dwarfs that all act like Gimli, the wise, good dragons, and of course, the majestic elves.
Why in Christian Fantasy must it be so clique? We all read from Lewis and Tolkien and try and base our style off of them. Because that's all we read! We don't bridge out, we don't read tons of other secular books that are actually well written.
Now don't take this the wrong way. I'm not trying to encourage you to go read a bunch of secular crap like Twilight. I'm only trying to encourage you to look at unique books like Terry Pratchett's and Brandon Sanderson's, who don't fill up their space with crap but do have a unique stories, and original voices. Instead of looking at secular books with such a negative eye, look at them as a way to bridge out.
Don't be afraid to bridge out. Don't be afraid to break the rules of POV or character. Sometimes a story requires that. Don't be afraid to try something new, that no one has tried before.
It might work. You'd be surprised.

Often I have wondered why I generally prefer secular books over Christian fiction, and now I finally get it.
It's not unique. Most of the write styles are all the same. The themes are always about faith or leading their MCs to Christ. It's so clique. Perhaps I am the only person who thinks that way, or at least isn't afraid to tell anyone about it.
Look, if you are a Christian who writes fantasy, I just want to say, don't be afraid to go all out. Don't be afraid to try something new in your books.
Maybe you want to write about an extreme subject ((that no one seems to deal with in books)), try it anyways. Don't let what's already out there hinder you in any way.
It feels like so many Christian fantasy authors don't try too hard in writing. A lot of them seem to write the same. But I know they can go harder. They can change their style, make it into something that this Christian fantasy genre has never seen before.
You can be unique. Just stop looking and following after everything that is out there. Work on making your style unique and plot creative.
If we don't start doing this, we'll never get out of this ditch. This is the only way that this genre can make a comeback.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"The Cross in itself proclaims a verdict on fallen man. The Cross says that God requires death for sin, while it proclaims to us the glory of substitution. It rescues the perishing. The perishing are the damned, the doomed, the ruined, the destroyed; they are the lost, under the judgement of God for endless violations of His holy law. And if you and I don't embrace the substitute, then we bear that death ourselves, and that is a death that lasts forever.
The message of the Cross is not about felt needs. It is not about Jesus loving you so much He wants to make you happy. It is about rescuing you from damnation, because that is the sentence that rests upon the head of every human being. And so the Gospel is an offense every way you look at it. There's nothing about the cross that fits in comfortably with how man views himself."  --John MacArthur, Hard to Believe

Monday, September 5, 2011

In Light of God's Work

You know, it's often spoken among Christians that they don't want to share their testimony in front of  people because it will bore them to death. A lot of people I know back away from sharing their testimony because it isn't "interesting enough".
Personally, I never really had that exact excuse. I never wanted to say mine because, though it's incredible to me, I felt that no one would understand it. But yet, I still used the excuse of it not being interesting enough to tell others.

A lot of us say that because we've grown up in the church and haven't lived such an openly sinful life as others have. A lot of times people just want to hear the incredible stories about how someone's sins led them into addiction, and how that addiction nearly led them to destruction, but right before, in their time of desperate need, God miraculously saved them.
Aren't those the stories you want to hear?
We don't generally want to hear the story about a person who said a prayer when they were 5, lived their whole teen aged years a fake, and then somehow God broke him down to see that he wasn't really saved. And soon after, God saved him at a church service.
We don't want to hear stories like that. We want to hear the inspirational stories! We want to hear the stories that will bring tears to our eyes, even if we don't know the person.
Those are the kinds of stories we want to hear!

At least that's how I used to think. It took me a while to realize that I had gotten it wrong.
I never realized that everyone's salvation is an incredible thing. Whether the person has grown up in a church or not. Whether they got saved as a teen or an adult.
I never saw that in light of God's work, every testimony is as amazing as the next.
I mean, God chose to save you, He chose to save wretched sinners like you and me. He didn't have to. We deserve hell and destruction. We do not deserve His mercy and grace that He has given us. We deserve nothing but pain and suffering.
And yet, He chose us.
So you see, I realized that it isn't so much the story of the events leading up to your salvation took place, it's the fact that God actually chose to save us. It's not so much the events that happened that make it awesome, it's the work of God that makes every story incredible.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Worth Fighting For

Lately it seems like there has been a lot of temptations in my life to start foolish arguments with people. Or get wrapped up in a debate that isn't even important.
The reality is is that there are going to be a lot of people in your life who just want to argue about everything. They want to argue about your opinion, they want to argue about your liberties, they want to argue about every little thing they disagree with you on.
I get that that can be frustrating, and I get that you can be tempted just to fight back.
But as Christians, that's not how we are supposed to be.
We aren't supposed to argue with everyone about things we don't agree on, whether it's about your choice in music or in books, or your preferences. It doesn't really matter in the big picture.
We were not made to fight about the little things, we were made to fight over the things worth fighting for.
There are a million things that you can fight over in your life, a million. And a lot of people just stick with the little things, arguing about things that won't even matter in eternity. Foolish things.


Then you might ask, what is worth fighting for then?
Truth.
Don't let anyone ever pull you into a little one-on-one brawl about foolish things like opinions. Just shows how foolish that person is for even starting it, and shows how foolish you are for giving in.
We were meant to fight for the truth. We are called to defend the truth with everything we've got.
Your opinions aren't worth arguing over, just let it be. Sometimes that's the best thing.
If you are going to fight over something, let it be truth. Don't be swayed by the words of others. Don't prove the world you are a fool by arguing over your opinions. Sometimes it is best to let things be.
If you are going to fight, find something worth fighting for.
Make every word count. Let every word you put out there bring Glory to your Maker.
Arguing proves nothing other than how foolish you are.
Find something worth fighting for. And push it with all you're worth.


God Bless,
  A.W.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"We see, therefore, that God created two groups of intelligent, moral creatures. Among the angels, many sinned, but God decided to redeem none of them. This was perfectly just for God to do, and no angel can ever complain that he has been treated unfairly by God.
Now among the other group of moral creatures, human beings, we also find that a large number (indeed all) have sinned and turned away from God. As with the angels that sinned: God could have let all of us go on our self-chosen path towards eternal condemnation. Had God decided to save no one out of the entire sinful human race, he would be perfectly just to do so, and no one could complain of unfairness on his part." --Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Diary Of a Bible



"*January 15. Been resting for a week. A few nights after the first of the year, my owner opened me, but no more. Another New Year's resolution gone wrong.


*February 3. Owner picked me up and rushed off to Sunday school.


*February 23. Cleaning day. Dusted and put back in my place.


*April 2. Busy day. Owner had to present the lesson at a church society meeting. Quickly looked up a lot of references.


*May 5. Grandma's back in town. Back in her lap. A very comfortable place.


*May 9. She let a tear fall on John 14.


*May 10. Grandma's gone. Back in my old place again.


*May 20. Baby born. They wrote his name on one of my pages.


*July 1. Packed in a suitcase. Off for vacation.


*July 20. Still in the suitcase. Almost everything else taken out.


*July 25. Home again. Quite a journey, though I don't see why I went.


*August 16. Dusted again and put in a prominent place. The minister is to be here for dinner.


*August 20. Owner wrote Grandma's death in the Family Record. He left his extra pair of glasses between my pages.


*December 31. Owner just found his glasses. Wonder if he will make any resolutions about me for the new year?


What story would your Bible tell? Are you reading your Bible daily? Are you memorizing portions, hiding them in your heart? Are you obeying the Bible? Are you letting it guide your life? Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.""

--God Wrote a Book, James MacDonald

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Open Or Private?

The worst thing that has happened this week was going to my favorite blog, and finding an open letter to one of my favorite preachers. It's a sad thing when you find the people in your own camp shooting not at the wolves who are leading people astray, but firing at their own fellow men.
That breaks me.
Perhaps it is because I already know so many people who either are led astray by false teachers, or many of the other people I know who have alright theology just go along and support the heretics and false teachers blindly.
After reading comments and talking to people, I realized I don't know quite how to say how I feel about it all. I am disappointed, and maybe that is just because I am so sick of the Reformed camp arguing about the little things when they could be shooting the real wolves.
There are some things that I won't argue with people about because I don't think the Bible is all that clear about. Some of which are the end times and spiritual gifts.

Am I against open letters to people? No, not at all. What I am against is bringing up the little things and making them a huge ordeal. Seems like once a well respected person attacks someone for something that isn't heretical, like having a vision from God, everyone else follows.
I think in this case, the person who wrote the letter should have gone to the other person in private. Now there is this huge ordeal developing again, and is giving people more of a reason to hate.
I don't like that. That really bothers me.
Maybe that is just because I am so used to people dealing with heretics and false teachers the wrong way.
I think it would be wise to draw the line between going to your brother in private and calling him out openly.
I think that if the person is preaching every week continually to his whole congregation about something like that, there is a problem. And perhaps that person does need to be called out openly. But I do believe that there is a point in which the best thing to do is to go in private to someone and to tell them where they disagree with them.
It's sad to see the people in my own camp argue with and fire at their own men. And at times, instead of writing open letters and calling out someone in public for the small things, they need to aim their guns at the wolves who are sneaking their way into the flock. Though they are important things to discuss with one another, I think that we have to draw the line between making your disagreement with someone open and going to them in private.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven." --C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Parrots

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with someone I've known for over a year now. He isn't a Christian, but he never ceases to think out loud about the concept of being created by some sort of God.
He tried challenging me on whether there was a God or not last time we spoke.
At the beginning of our conversation, he asked the simple questions, and I could answer them just fine, but when he began asking "why" I was without answer.
"Why can't we understand God, if there is one?"
"Why can't we know everything?"
"Why does God keep things from us? It seems unfair."

When those questions came rolling out of his mouth, I could only answer, "I don't know. God doesn't have to let us know all of the answers. And obviously, He doesn't think we need to know them right now."
I could tell that after every time I failed to give him a firm, thorough answer, he would give me a certain look.  I didn't realize what look he was giving me until near the end of our conversation. Then I realized that he thought I was just a blasted parrot.
He thought I was just parroting what other Christians around me had said before. And now that I couldn't give him a thorough answer, he had knocked me off guard.
And yet, that was not the case.

This conversation wasn't the first where I couldn't give a full answer.
And I am sure that as you are reading this, you've already had at least one experience quite similar. It's a bit discouraging when you know someone thinks you are a parrot, isn't it?
Especially when you've done tons of study all over the Bible to make sure you really believe what you believe, and that you are firm in your faith.
After all of that, I think in the end it was foolish for me to be discouraged about that. The truth is that we will never understand the mind of God. We will never be able to answer all of the questions that are shot at us.
And just because you might fail in the world's eyes to answer, doesn't mean that you've failed to defend your faith.
I know that there are a lot of people out there who will let themselves be ashamed of their work in evangelism because of things like this.
If something like this has happened to you, then maybe God is trying to show you that you've been reading your Bible through rose-colored glasses. Or maybe He used it to humble you by realizing that you aren't invincible, that you don't have all of the answers.
Or maybe He was even showing you your need to learn discernment in what you hear.
Who knows what God meant to teach you in that situation. Maybe it was that you were being a parrot.
And then again, perhaps it wasn't.
Whether you are wearing rose-colored glasses and parroting what you've heard or if you have had much studying and are firm in your faith it is always good to go back and test yourself to see whether you are firm or not.
It's good to test yourself. To examine your faith.
But don't let what the world thinks is a "challenge" shake you up.
Just because God doesn't let us know all of the answers doesn't make us unsteady in our faith.
Answer the questions as best you can, even when you don't have a clear answer.
So overall, those conversations are good. God is always teaching us something. The goal is to see what He means to teach us after every conversation.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Some Random Quotes To Think About

"It is impossible for any rational creature to be happy without acting all for God. God Himself could not make him happy any other way... There is nothing in the world worth living for but doing good and finishing God's work, doing the work that Christ did. I see nothing else in the world that can yield any satisfaction besides living to God, pleasing Him, and doing his whole will."

 “Oh, how precious is time, and how it pains me to see it slide away, while I do so little to any good purpose”

"When you cease from labour, fill up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer: and while your hands are labouring, let your heart be employed, as much as possible, in divine thoughts."

--David Brainerd 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Does The Battle Stop on Break Time?

Does the battle stop in summer?
I've noticed that in churches a lot of times everything stops when summer hits. The book studies stop, the small groups stop, the youth group stops, pretty much everything besides the main church service seems to stop.
Do you ever notice that church activities tend to come to a halt in summer?
Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking. Does the spiritual battle come to a pause in the summer?
No. The spiritual battle never ends in your life.
Just because some people have time off of work or school, doesn't mean that they need to have a break off of church activities too.
The need for Christian fellowship in places such as small groups is just as great through the rest of the year as it is in summer.

In fact, summer is one of the best times for church activites.
For one, people tend to have more time.
It seems that in summer, most people have too much time on their hands. And tend to let down their walls spiritually. And in result of letting down one's walls, sin dominates.
Letting down your walls leads to a wasted life. The moment you as a Christian feels relaxed is when the devil will capture you.
You'll start compromising your morals in order to have a "good time" with your friends, you'll start watching TV and playing games that will take up your whole day; you'll waste your life when your shields drop.
It's easy to waste your life when no one is keeping you accountable. So you see, it's important to not let your fellowship with Christians stop when summer hits.

At least to my thinking, it's important that church activities don't stop. We need to have fellowship with the body, even though it's so much harder when everything seems to stop at church.
The plain and simple fact is is that the spiritual batte will never stop in this life, not until Christ comes, of He takes you home.
But until then, never think it is alright to let your walls down, no matter what kind of time you have and no matter if it is summer or spring, or winter or fall.
The Christian life is not over during the summer.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"The trouble with all false evangelism is that it does not start with doctrine, it does not start by realizing man's condition...If you and I realized that every man who is yet a sinner is absolutely dominated by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, if we only understood that he is really a child of wrath and dead in trespasses and sins, we would realize that only one power can deal with such an individual, and that is the power of God, the power of the Holy Ghost. And so we would put our confidence, not in man-made organisms, but in the power of God, in the prayer that holds on to God and asks for revival and a descent of the Spirit. We would realize that nothing else can do it. We can change men superficially, we can win men to our side and to our party, we can persuade them to join a church, but we can never raise the spiritually dead; God alone can do that." 
--D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Where Is Your Joy?



Where is you joy?
Of course, when this question is asked, the first thing that comes to our minds as Christians is, "In Jesus Christ!"  I know at least that would always be my answer.
I say that in the moment, but in my life, I rarely seem to mean it.
So much of my joy is in things.
I never really thought much about that until a few days ago when one of my co-workers lost his iphone at break. We had two hours left, and that alone was devastating. He said to me at one point that he felt so empty and as if part of him was gone, in a joking manner of course. But it made me think.
I thought it was funny, and a bit pathetic of him to be so attached to his phone, but he told me, "You would be acting the same way if you lost your phone!"
And I realized he was right. I lose things quite a lot it seems. And not unimportant things...no, I hardly ever lose those. I always seem to lose the important things.
Quite often I loose my ipod, which is important to me.
Doesn't seem important, but when it helps you write better and helps you work harder, it definitely is important.
But when I lose my ipod part of me does feel empty--my joy is ripped away so easily. Just like that.
It's pathetic really. My joy is all put into a little ipod that can be broken in a moment if someone wanted to crush it. How empty is that?
My joy will never last if it is all in my stuff. Whether it is in my computer, my ipod, my phone, my job, etc. Everything can be taken away so easily.
It's sad for me to look at my own life, and to really challenge myself to see where my joy is.
Joy in Christ is the only thing that will ever last. And yet, I find it hard to put all of my joy in Him.
In Christ, our joy can never be taken away. No one can take that away. True joy in our Savior.
God really challenged me this week, to see whether my joy is in only the things that I have or if it is only in Him.
Look at your own life, see what your ultimate joy is in.
Is it in what you drive, where you work, the people you hang out with, your family, your pets, your phone, your ipod, your computer?
Where is your joy?
And wherever your joy is, does that last? Or can it be taken so easily from you?
Where do you lay all of your joy?

God Bless.
  A.W.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"There Augustine first teaches: the human will does not obtain grace by freedom, but obtains freedom by grace; when the feeling of delight has been imparted through the same grace, the human will is formed to endure; it is strengthened with unconquerable fortitude; controlled by grace; it never will perish, but, if grace forsake it, it will straight way fall; by the Lord's free mercy it is converted to good, and once converted it perseveres in good; the direction of the human will toward good, and after direction its continuation in good, depending solely upon God's will, not upon any merit of man.
Thus there is left to man such free will, if we please so to call it, as he elsewhere describes: that except through grace the will can neither be converted to God nor abide in God; and whether it can do it is able to do only through grace."

--John Calvin

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Work

It's a terrifying thing when you fail to realize that this could be someone's last day on earth. It is a terrifying thing for me to talk to my co-workers and realize that today could be their last day. It's hard to think that when my co-workers die, most of them will spend eternity suffering in hell.
Not all of my co-workers go get drunk every weekend, have wild parties, or take drugs. Most of them don't. Most of them are hard workers, trying to help provide for their families. Most of them are morally good, to the world's standards that is.
It's hard and frightening to think that they will be gone one day. And either be in paradise with God, or suffering forever in hell.
I see them for five days a week. 8 hours a day.
It's hard to know that any day, any hour could be their last.
I am sure that you know at least one person, at your work, or school that you see every day or week who isn't a Christian. How often do you search for opportunities to evangelize? How often do you pray for those moments when someone asks us about our faith?
I think we live for the moment, at least that seems to be the problem in America. We don't live for eternity. We don't live every moment of every day in light of eternity. If we did we would seek for opportunities to evangelize to our co-workers or fellow students.
When we aren't living in light of eternity we cease to evangelize, thinking that we still have tomorrow. We could put off things day after day. Always thinking we or the people we know will live longer. It's only when death strikes that we realize how short life is.
It's hard to see through eyes of eternity. It's hard to know that my time, and their time is running out before it's too late.
As Christians, we have to live for eternity. We have to live in light of eternity--taking every opportunity. Life is short. Don't waste your opportunities. Don't keep putting them off for tomorrow, because tomorrow may not come for you or for them.
Don't live for the moment. Live in light of eternity.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Last Year



I hadn't thought much about last year until today. It was around this time a year ago that I was in sinking into the depths of depression. It was around this time that I spent a whole day crying and sleeping because I didn't understand what God had planned. Last year around this time was a nightmare.
And the thing that made me so depressed then is the same thing that I am dealing with now.
That is, the consequences of my addiction.
Today I realized how much has happened, and how little I feel that I have changed.
So much has happened; good and bad. I switched churches, I finally got to go to England, I got baptized, I got to rebuild/build stronger relationships with people. So much has happened!
And yet, I look back to where I was a year ago and I find it hard to see myself different in any way. It seems like everything around me has changed except me.
That's a bit scary to think about.
But when I go deeper, I realize that last year, God was quickly taking the people who had impacted me so greatly away. He took some of the strongest Christians I knew out of my life, and let me be alone. Sure it hurt. But that's how He had me grow.
He put people into my life, and He showed me that it's not about me, it's about them. I had to put down my walls altogether, and be honest and open, so that it would effect others.
The more I thought about the last year, the more I have realized how much I have changed. God took people away so that I could use the things I learned from those people to change others.
That's one area where I have grown and changed so much.

The other thing that God has taught me, and is still teaching me like always is patience. Patience and faith. For me, they go hand in hand. I have suffered the consequences of my addiction for long over a year. And my body still hurts now.
I think of how my attitude has changed towards the pain, and I see that I have become better at ignoring it and pushing it away. It's just part of life for me, and it's okay to hurt. I used to pray to God to let it stay, as long as it kept me away from falling back into addiction.
I know inside I want to be free from pain, but I tell God over and over that it's okay if He has it stay for as long as I live. It's okay if He never takes it away. It's my consequence. And if it keeps me from things, then that's okay. Because God has a plan in it, and I don't have to worry.
But still, at times, I wonder if He will ever take it away. It is coming close to two years now, and sometimes I still wonder if it will ever go away.
It's a challenge to be patient, and it's a challenge to trust in His plan.
So in a way, I look back and see how everything, and even me has changed. But then again, I look back and see that I am still in the same spot, facing the same things. And I still pray that no matter what happens, I will not do what I did a year ago, facing these things and break down into depression. I pray that God will lead me through it all and that He will grow me so that I may handle this the right way.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life

Life has been busy for me. It's been hard to keep up with the things that God has called me to do in life. And it's been hard to keep up with blogging. Have some topics in mind, but I don't have the energy to write about it tonight. I will probably post over the weekend, and will try and be more consistent in blogging. Sorry for the wait.
God has been teaching me a lot lately, and it's been a hard struggle with my sin all this week. A few weeks ago I watched a clip from I'll Be Honest, and they were talking about being satisfied in Christ. We aren't satisfied in Christ when we turn to porn and masturbation. We fall into depression so many times because we are not satisfied in Christ.
I never thought about it that deeply before. But it's true. So true.
That video hit me hard. Realized how dissatisfied I really am, and now that I know where I have fallen, I know where to fight. And believe me, the battle has been hard.
So life is busy, life has been a battle, life has been hard spiritually. But God is still there for me, and that's all that matters.
Also, this is a good video, even just to consider your own answers to the questions it brings up.



God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Now many fail at this point. I have already found it depressing to listen to the kind of people who, whenever you meet them, will always for sure tell you the story of their conversion many years ago. They tell you that story every time. I have known people who do exactly the same thing with revival. Now there is a sense in which I can understand this. There is always something about an initial experience that is remarkable and outstanding. And a time of revival is amazing and wonderful that it is not surprising that people go on talking about it. But, if they give the impression that they have had nothing since that wonderful experience, that ever after they have been walking through a wilderness, and traveling through a desert, then it is absolutely wrong. But there are many Christian people like that. Their idea of the Christian life is of a dramatic experience, perhaps at the outset, after which they just trudge along, living on the strength of that and partly keeping their eye turned backwards as they go forward.
But this is quite wrong. It is almost a denial of this essential principle that I am outlining--and thank God that it is! What a tragedy it would be if it were only the beginning of the Christian life which could be described in this way!"
--D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

God Bless,
  A.W.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Love

I know, the title of this post probably makes you think of romance and such, but that's not what it's about. This is about loving your brothers and sisters in Christ. Often, we associate loving the brethren by encouraging and being uplifting to them. Never saying a harmful or offensive word.
And too often, this mindset keeps us from really helping each other grow in godliness. I think we miss that and hold back the truth from our brothers and sisters in Christ. And holding truth back can be more harmful to them than preaching hard truths to them.
Sometimes you have to "destroy" a person to really love them. Sometimes you have to say the hard things that will break their thinking down, that will challenge what they believe.
Real love is truthful. If you really love someone you will tell them the truth. To keep them from destroying themselves, to keep them from hurting others.
You don't really love people if you always agree with them, and won't tell them when they are wrong.
To love someone is to be truthful, even if it's hard, and even when you know it might "destroy" them. The truth is never easy to tell. True love speaks truth. True love holds nothing back.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Not the Best

 Never really liked the beginning, and it's not the best poem I've ever done. But that's alright, thought I might as well post it, it is my blog.

"So full of joy,
My one Hope never destroyed,
Always according to the Maker's plan.

My Savior holds all in His Hands,
Through narrow ways and dark lands.
Every tragedy and disaster,
All according to Your sovereign plan
My only hope is in You,
Standing through it all,
I bear a burden, with no longer a fear of falling,
My joy unspeakable, uncaptured,
I am so full or both sorrow and joy,
Though my hope never destroyed.
Hurt had been my meal
A feeling never to leave,
Sorrow has been my fill,
Brokenness holds me still."


God Bless,
  A.W.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Resolved

"5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can."


"6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live."


"17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die."


Have you ever read through Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions? If you haven't I would highly recommend  them to you. To me, it's not only encouraging to read, but convicting.
In our day and age, it is hard to find someone taking their lives so serious and killing their sin as they should. There aren't many people like that today.
I know I am definitely not taking my life as serious as it should be taken. Perhaps that is why I struggle with taking the resolutions seriously. Sure I can read them and be encouraged, but actually considering what those Resolutions should look like in my own life is entirely different.
Quite a few times in this last month I have lain down in my bed at night, totally exhausted, and looked back at how the day was spent, and was satisfied with how it turned out. Not saying that I lived a perfect life that day, but I am saying that I lived with all my might that day, and tried to make the most of every opportunity.
When I went to sleep on nights like those, I had peace. I slept peacefully, which is rare for me, unless I sleepwalk. But I had a peace, a peace those nights that I knew if God would decide to take me that very night it would be okay, because I had lived the best I could that day. That day was not wasted.
I wish I could fall asleep with that peace every night.
But like I said, I struggle with taking life seriously at times. Maybe I should keep reading through the Resolutions, and be determined to change. I'm sure if we all did that, if we all took not only the Resolutions seriously, but our lives and sin, the entire Christian community would change. We wouldn't stay simple, and shallow Christians are whole lives. Perhaps the Resolutions are something we all should read and aspire to play out in our own lives.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Risk



For the most part in life, people are going to give you their opinion in what you do and what you say. It's good to listen, and consider. But sometimes you just have to ignore what they say and keep going.
Many times in the past, I have gotten caught up in what people say to me, at least concerning my writing. I've heard so many authors say that you can't write well, until after you are done with college, and have lived a bit longer. I've also heard from quite a few authors that you will spend your whole life trying to find your voice in writing. I've heard that young people can't write, because they don't have enough experience. I've heard pretty much everything that would hinder a writer from doing what God has called him to do.
I don't have the most encouraging of people around me, but that's alright. It doesn't mean that I should halt everything and just strictly wait till I am a better writer. You get better at writing by writing.
I've been waiting a long time to write the story that I think God is calling me to write. And now that the time is drawing near, part of me is tempted to be stressed out. And yet the other part of me is shouting just to go on, and ignore what people say.
Sometimes you just have to risk it, sometimes you just have to keep going.
And in this situation, instead of taking everything step-by-step, right now, I just have to charge. If I go step-by-step, I will break, I will listen to all of the lies told to me. Right now, I just have to charge through, and trust God that it will all be alright, and that He will give me the strength to get through.


God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, June 27, 2011



"Whether thou art eating or drinking, walking or sitting, buying or selling, working or sleeping, death is always making speed towards thee; the time of thy departure hence is concluded and resolved, beyone which it is impossible for thee, whether they work be done or undone, to stay one day; no, not one hour, nay, not one moment, and shouldst thou waste they time upon toys and trifles, as if thou hadst nothing to do, no God to make peace with, no Redeemer to lay hold on, no soul to take care of? He that hath a great way to go, or much work to do, and that upon pain of death, andbut a little time for it, hath little reason to laze or loiter. When we have but a little paper, and much to write, we write small and thick.
Oh how much work hath every Christian to do in this world, which, if he neglect, he is lost forever! how many head-strong lusts to subdue, how many duties toward God and met to perform, how many graces to exercise, providences and ordinances to improve, and can all this be done in a little time? The candle of our lives burns low; if, like foolish children, we play it out, we may thank ourselves if we go back to bed in the dark, without the light of comforts to our graves." --George Swinnock

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Battlefield

Too often in our lives we grow comfortable and forget that we are in the middle of a battle. Whether you like it or not, each of us has a battlefield. And each of us is called to fight there.
Many people tell me, "I don't know what God wants me to do in life." and then they keep on thinking about it and going on with their normal lives.  I notice, at least in my own life, I do the same thing, except I know what God wants me to do right then, but I don't want to do it, I want to stay comfortable and keep thinking about what He will have me do later on in life.
Of course, that is the wrong way to look at it.
Maybe we need to gain a new perspective on our lives.
Our society has taught all of us to think about the future, and it sets so many of us aspiring to be missionaries and pastors, and from then on we try and just get through everything else so that we can get to the point where we can be a missionary or pastor.
Isn't that negligence to an extent? We ignore the battle where God has placed us in the present, and set our gaze on the future. That is no way to live.
God has placed each one of His children in a different place, it could be anywhere; at your work place, your campus, your church, even on a forum on the internet.

God has placed each of us at a church; and there is a battle there. There is a battle for souls, whether you want to admit it or not. There is a battle for truth in every church, there is a battle for becoming comfortable and shallow. There is a huge battle going on in your church today, and God has put you there for a reason. It could be to stand up for the truth against error, or it could be even challenging your brothers and sisters to go deeper in the Word. There is a battle there.
God has placed you on either a campus or work place, or even both. It's a battle for souls; and we all very well understand that battle.
And the same applies to the internet. 
See what I mean? All of us have a battle field. The question isn't so much, 'where is my battle field?' but rather, 'What am I doing to fight in this battle?'

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sinner's Prayer

I've heard many times over and over that the sinner's prayer will lead more souls to hell more than anything else will. And not only have I heard that, but I've run into quite a few people who have grown up and claimed to be Christians because they have said a prayer when they were 5 years old, even though they live like the devil.
I have a friend who I was talking to last week, she isn't a Christian. In fact, she says she is Agnostic, but when we talk about eternity she says, "Well, I got saved long ago, when I was 5, but right now I'm not a Christian. But I'm still saved."
That's what the sinner's prayer does to people. That's a terrifying thing to hear someone say.
She had fallen into the lie that when you say a prayer you become a Christian.  So many people have fallen into the lie that if you say a little prayer you will be saved. What saves you is repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. But instead of looking back at the Bible, we have fallen into this heresy.

A lot of times we treat the sinner's prayer just like any other tool for evangelism. And we say, "Well, what if the person doesn't know how to pray? Then can't you lead them?"
Honestly, I don't know how I feel about that.  I don't know if it's the best idea to pray for them, I would lean towards saying no. But I know that others would differ.
Considering how much destruction that the sinner's prayer has caused in the church, I would back away from treating it like it is a wonderful tool for evangelism, when in all reality it will lead many souls to destruction.


God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Activities

Too often, I think that we forget in our Christian life our duty here. Many of us fill up our lives with activities with friends and family. And even if they are church activities, we forget about the lost. We forget about the sick and dying world around us. We get so involved in our activities, that we don't break for the lost and dying people around us. So many times, we forget to have a passion and heart like this:




God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just a Thought

I know it's been a while since I have posted, I've been writing a lot. But now I am going to try and get back into blogging more consistently.
Almost posted something yesterday, but I wasn't sure how exactly it would go. So I decided to just try and write it today.
I was thinking yesterday about faith. It always seems like everyone struggles with that forward step. The step that one must take into the darkness, and trust that God will give them a platform to stand on. But what about the backward step? We don't talk about that too much, do we?
We don't very often talk about how we have to let go, and letting God take over. Sometimes that can be even harder than taking a step of faith in a situation.
It's hard to let go of your loved ones who are headed to hell, it's hard to let go of your friends who are led astray. It's hard to let go and leave it all to God.
And when I say 'letting go', I don't mean you give up on a person or for what you are fighting for. But rather to do all that you can but in the end, realize that God is in control.

So many times we forget that God is Ruler of our lives, so many times we forget that we are powerless over the hearts of men. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing. So many times we forget that it is God who changes hearts. It is God who changes lives. It is God who is sovereign over all of creation. It is God who is sovereign over all the events in history. God is sovereign over all things, not man.
Perhaps, that is why it is so hard to let go. Because we have developed such a high view of man.
We are powerless, our works are tainted with sin. What good can we do in and of ourselves?
Letting go is letting go a pride of self. Letting go is the thing that will make you look weak to mankind. Letting go is the thing that will drive you to your knees in tears and prayer.
And after all that is said, I come to think that it is a bigger problem than we realize. The faith issue. On both ends. On one end we must have the faith to step into darkness and trust that God will give us a platform to stand on. And on the other hand, we must have the faith to step away from everything, and say, "God is sovereign."

God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Place in History

Yesterday I was listening to a sermon by Steve Lawson. It was a sermon in his Reformation series. I love learning about history, and it's always blown me away to look at how God used men like Martin Luther and John Calvin to change the world. One thing that stuck out to me that Lawson mentioned is that everyone has a place in history.
He went on to say that every little detail is just as important in the big picture. And it's so true, if the little things didn't happen in history, nothing would have ever happened. It's the little things that make up the big things.
I never really thought of that. I have always felt that there are two groups of Christians in the world. The ones who God uses to change the world, and the ones who are just there, trying to live faithfully in Christ. But now that I think about it, maybe I was wrong.
There are many great men, strong men of God who will not be known to the world. They are the men and women who God will use to shape and mold the people who He will one day raise up.
God might not use you to change the world, or to lead a Reformation, but he may indeed use you to change a person. Isn't that incredible to think about? Each and every one of us has his or her role in history.
Perhaps you will be one of the men or women who God raises up for something. And perhaps you will be one of the names mentioned in a man or woman's journal, because you have greatly impacted their lives. And you may never know that you were used to mold someone into who God wanted them to be.
Isn't that something incredible to think about though? It blows my mind away just to think about it!
Each one of us has a place in history.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Why Not Me?

Last week while working on an outline, I kept thinking of what God used to save me. God used a heretic who has led many people astray with his false teachings. I know so many people who have accepted his teachings. It breaks my heart at what this man had done. I deserved to be led astray by that man, just like so many of my friends have. The question that will never leave my mind is, 'Why not me?'.
I didn't know any theology when I first became a Christian. I was so vulnerable to be led astray by that man. I should have been led astray like so many others. I don't understand why God didn't let me though.
It breaks me to see the man's ministry flourish, and to know that more people are being led astray. And to know that I should have been one of those people.
I deserved to be led astray. I would have definitely learned the hard way to know the importance of theology.
I wish I could only know the answer to that question. Why not me? It's been running through my mind all this weekend. Why not me? Why not me, O God?
I don't understand why God would save a wretched sinner such as me, and I don't understand why He kept me from the heresy that the man was preaching.
When I tell people my testimony I can't help but feel that they don't understand it really.
It's hard to know that the heretic who God used to save me has led some of my dear friends astray.
That's what grace is though.
God has given me so much grace in my life! Saving me from myself! Breaking my addictions! Showing me the truth through a man's lies! God has been so gracious to me, to give me the right theology. To keep me from falling into heresy.
But still the question will always remain: Why not me?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Holocaust



Yesterday I went to The Museum of Tolerance. There were many different exhibits, but we chose to just go to the one about the Holocaust. It was definitely interesting. We had to go through the whole thing with a guide. She explained everything to us, though she did leave some important things out like why Hitler wanted to kill all of the Jews. She just said because he hated them. One thing that she kept mentioning was the children, and how they were killed. She kept mentioning how terrible it was that the Nazi killed them.
At the beginning, one woman started the intro, and first off mentioned the children, and that at least a million were killed. She said it as if it were the most heinous crime in the world. And I'm not saying that it wasn't. But while she was talking, I wanted to ask her if it bothered her that we Americans do the same thing. But I didn't.
Throughout the whole tour, I kept thinking about how they kept mentioning the children dying. They acted as if there was a huge difference between us and the Nazis.
But they have failed to realize that we are no better than they were. We kill babies all the time! And the same women and doctors who make the choice to kill babies are the same people who look back at the holocaust and feel pity on all of the children who died! Think of that! They are pitying children who died years ago, and now they choose to put their own children to death! How sick is that?

Once in the tour, our tour guide told us a story about some Jews who had a child and they had to leave it in a room, and leave. But when they came back, the Nazis started throwing the babies out the window and into an open truck to kill them. And the parents had to watch the entire horrific scene.
It is a terrible thing. But how can I think that the Nazis were any worse than us? We are no better! We kill babies every day! By our own choice, not someone else's!
In the 40s I am sure that a mother would never even think of having an abortion on any child whether she didn't mean to have one or not.
More babies are killed a year in America than children who died in the holocaust. Shouldn't that effect us somehow? Shouldn't it make us sick and disgusted?
Going through the whole tour made me not so sick at the Nazis but at my own country, America.
How sick can the events of the Holocaust make you be when you compare it to the things that Americans do every day?

God Bless,
  A.W.

Monday, May 23, 2011

David Brainerd



Yesterday I started reading The Life and Diary of David Brainerd on my Kindle. I have never read a man's journal/autobiography that writes so much about his own sinfulness compared to God's holiness.
It astonished me how little of a self-esteem he had. I mean, nowadays it's all about self-esteem. The world is telling us not to put ourselves down, we need to believe in ourselves, we need to have faith in ourselves. It's all about self-esteem in our day. And while reading Brainerd's entries it feels so different, it would seem so foreign to the world. In almost every entry that I have read so far he writes about how he is powerless and wicked in his heart.
There are not very many people who write like that nowadays. Consider part of his journal:


"I seem to be declining, with respect to my life and warmth in divine things; had not so free access to God in prayer as usual of late. O that God would humble me deeply in the dust before him! I deserve hell every day, for not loving my Lord more, who has, I trust, loved me, and given himself for me; and every time I am enabled to exercise any grace renewadly indebted to the God of all grace for special assistance. Where then is boasting? Surely it is excluded, when we think how we are dependent on God for the being and every act of grace. Oh, it ever I get to heaven, it will be because God's will, and nothing else; for I never did any thing of myself, but get away from God! My soul will be astonished at the unsearchable riches of divine grace, when I arrive at the mansions, which the blessed Saviour is gone before to prepare."

Consider that. And consider Brainerd's age when he wrote that! He was in his early twenties. How many of you know a young person who can write like that? Something that deep and beautiful?
You probably don't know many, if not any at all.
Not only is the world teaching the younger generations to have a high self-esteem, but they are teaching them to stay children even in the twenties. The world is teaching them to have parties and play video games all day; to stay a child as long as possible.
I think we need to take a look at David Brainerd and the young men and women before us who ignored what the world pressed at them and instead fixed their gaze to God.


God Bless,
  A.W.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Herold Camping

Many of you already know that Herold Camping has predicted the world to end today.
It might be fun to joke about it and such, but in reality, it is a serious thing.
I do not believe that the world will end today, but there are many people who do. And they need prayer.
There is no doubt in my mind that people will become suicidal after they realize the world isn't ending.
I know that one church in CA is going to try and reach out to his followers. Thank God for them.
But his followers do need prayer. So please keep them in your prayers.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Theologians



It seems like most of the time Christians don't see the need for theology. Some Christians think that one can't love theology and evangelism at the same time.
I think that many Christians have misunderstood.
When I first became a Christian I didn't think that theology was important at all. I just thought that theology was something for preachers like Phil Johnson and John MacArthur.
But then God brought people into my life to challenge my beliefs, and I was not ready to give an answer.
So many times I have heard the excuse that, "If you like or study theology then you will be puffed up and arrogant."
Just because the Bible warns of that happening, doesn't mean that you can just apply that to everyone who enjoys the study of theology. Yes, it can make one prideful. But for the most part, I find people who, the more that they study theology, the more they have a lower view of man and a higher view of God.
I've also found that others in the church think that theology isn't as important as evangelism so they have an excuse not to study it.
How wrong they are!
And so often the people who think that theology and evangelism cannot go hand-in-hand preach a false Gospel to the unconverted! To evangelize we must preach the true and saving Gospel, not a false, man-centered one.
Theology is necessary for evangelism, and for your everyday walk with God.
Without theology in evangelism we come out with the teaching of, "God loves you, He died for the sins of the entire world, all you have to do is say a little prayer, and accept Jesus into your heart, and then you have a free ticket to Heaven!"
That's what these churches are going around preaching right now. Not even the Gospel! Without hell, sin, the justice and grace of God, and repentance, it's not the True Gospel!
Without theology we have ended up like this. Theology is so important, and yet so many people refuse to study their Bible.
So many of us Christians have missed that: Just like every Christian should be an Evangelist, every Christian should be a Theologian.

God Bless,
   A.W.

Friday, May 13, 2011

So Close



I'm so close to being done with the series I am writing. I just finished the second book in my series. And for the first time in my life, I have ended up with a novel!
Now let me make it clear, I've been writing for four and a half years, it's not like I have only finished one of two books in my life. Whenever I write it always turns out to be a novella, not quite a novel, and not a short story. Just in the middle.
My first drafts usually turn out to be novels, but when I go back to editing them it turns out to be a novella.
So it's exciting for me that I've actually gotten something longer than my other projects.

Anyways, this week I've been thinking about writing, probably more than I should have.
One more book in the series, and then I am finished forever with that series. Lord willing, I can move on to more important projects.
It's exciting for me, but at the same time I find it discouraging. Discouraging because I am not as good of a writer that I should be--I don't feel like I can go on to bigger projects because I'm not good enough.
See what I mean? I've been thinking too much about it this week.
The plain and simple fact is is that I will never feel qualified or ready to write something meaningful and important. The plain and simple fact is that I just have to keep doing one thing, and that is to write.
I just need to write.
As a writer, there is a time to think about these things, and there is a time to just write. Right now, I just need to write. I need to stop thinking, and just write.

God Bless,
  A.W.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Song

No matter what I'm doing, or how bad or tired I am feeling this song will never cease to put a smile on my face.
Found out about it from always listening to James White's Dividing Line.




God Bless, 
  A.W.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Every Morning




Every day, every morning we are faced with the question: Will you waste this day or will you live for Him?
Every morning after a rough night where you are struggling and at times, falling, you are faced with the question.
How will we live our day? Will we be sulking around in failure and guilt from what happened yesterday, or last night? 
That's not how God wants us to live. Yes, He wants us to repent, but not live on in guilt that tells us that He will never forgive us!

1 John 1:9
  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

He promises! Right there! He will forgive if you really mean it. He means for us to have sorrow over sin, but not to the point that we are wasting our lives in a spiritual depression.
Each and every day, whether we had a good night or a rough one; we are faced with the question each morning: 'Will I waste my life or live with all of my might for Him?"

God Bless,
  A.W.