Friday, April 29, 2011

The End Times

My brain feels a bit dead today, but I actually have a good excuse for it. Finally finished typing out one of my stories on to the computer, took me over an hour and a half to type out the rest. It ended with a battle scene, the longest one that I have ever written. Literally. Part of the time I couldn't even read what I wrote before, which made it two times harder than it should have been. But it's over now. Just have to edit it, and I'll be free of that story forever. Thank God!

Well, that's not really what I came to write. This week I was corresponding to someone through email and we were discussing doctrines in the Bible that aren't really clear. Like the debate of whether a baby goes to heaven or not when they die, or if it's right to give the death penalty to a criminal or not.
And then we got onto the subject of the end times.
Yes, the end times.
I told that person that I don't really think that the Bible is very clear on what exactly is going to happen in the end. It's foolish how American churches all over argue about these issues.
I went to a church once where the pastor spent 2 years, I believe it was, preaching on the end times. If he had gone through it quickly it wouldn't have been such a big deal. Preaching that long on the end times doesn't really do much for Christians, it doesn't fill them up on Sundays, to send them back out in the world. Let us just say, that spending two years in the end times was the start of that church crumbling.
And my old church was seemed to be just as bad in this area of the end times. The men in leadership at my old church were Dispensationalists. At least enough of them were to agree that no man could preach in their church if he didn't have the same views on the end times as they did.
Sure a man could agree on the doctrines of grace with them, but if he wasn't Dispensational, he couldn't preach.
It really made me angry when I found that out. And when I found out that a seminary student I know, who spent many faithful years there serving and helping, couldn't preach a class there because of his end times views.
That makes me utterly sick. It really does.
How can someone put their views of the end times higher above the Gospel?

I told the person I was talking to this week that I can't take a firm stand on the end times. All I know is that Jesus is coming back and until then as Christians we need to be living faithfully in Him. And stop worrying about foolish things like when or how exactly Christ is going to come back.
If we are going to study theology, we better be studying the doctrines that matter.
I am so thankful that at my new church God has not let them put their end times views higher than the Gospel. It sickens me when a godly man cannot stand up and preach because he is not a Dispensationalist.
All that matters concerning the end is that Jesus is coming back. We won't know when or how. But He is coming. That's all that matters.
And if people put their Dispensationalism higher than the Gospel, there is something utterly wrong with their thinking.  The Gospel is to prized above all. And yet so many churches have missed that.

God Bless,

Saturday, April 23, 2011


You are so selfish. Depression is self-centered.
And just reading that you might be thinking, "Oh, my depression isn't selfish. I don't even whine about it to people."
Just because you don't talk about your depression with others doesn't mean that it's not selfish. Why are you depressed? Because I live in a broken family. Because no one reaches out to me. Because I broke up. Because I lost my job. Because I've ruined my body.
Oh, there are so many reasons. Just think of the things I have posted above, are some of those your reasons?
They are so self-centered. Only thinking of your own self. It's all about "I, me, and myself."
Can't you see that? I beg you to cut to the core of your depression.
And even if you do realize how selfish it is, you might still say, "But I have every reason to be depressed. You don't know what it's like to be in a broken family" or "you don't know what my social life is like."
Oh my dear brother, oh my dear sister, I know life is so hard. Christ never promised us an easy life where we have the perfect life with the perfect family and friends.
In fact, God has put you in a broken family for a reason. God has put you in those situations for a reason.
And when we are in the pits of depression we must realize that it was God's will to put us in it. We must realize that everything we are experiencing is for purpose, it is for our benefit.

Now you could be thinking, "How could God put me through this? Why? I don't understand why I have to live like this. I don't understand why."
My reply to that question is "for our benefit."
Don't you know that you aren't the only one who lives in a broken family or is an outlaw at their school or work or church? You are never alone in the battles you face. There are a hundred other Christians out there who have experienced the same things you have. They are in the pits of depression like you are.
Look at how selfish you are to not even reach out to others who need encouragement.
Wouldn't you like someone to understand you and what you are going through?
Then why don't you do the same to others?
Just be honest at your church, reach out to people. They put on a mask just like you have. Oh, take off the mask. Stop wasting your life in depression. Can't you see that there is a sick a dying world out there who have been through the same things you have?
Use those things that God is putting you through to help people! They need encouragement. Just like you do. And if everyone is doing the same thing you are and wasting all of their life on trying to fulfill their depression, what good will that do?
God has put you into every situation for a purpose. And for depression, so often it can be used to reach others. Don't waste your life in depression.

God Bless,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Would Never Know

They are all around us. We may never know it though. The people who struggle tooth and claw against depression.
I've been thinking about it a lot lately.
It breaks me to think that there are hundreds of Christians, and even more unbelievers who struggle with depression. And yet, even though they are among us, when we go to the mall and even our church, we would never know.
Did you know that people who struggle the most with depression are the masters at lying? At putting on a face; being whoever they need to be for someone. Putting on a smile, even when they are breaking inside. They laugh even though they are crying inside. Did you know you walk past them every day?
You never would have guessed.
You might even think that the kids who dress goth are all cutters and struggle with depression. No, they just dress that way because they want attention. The ones who are depressed dress just like you and me.
You pass by them each day. And you would never know, unless you got to know them.
You don't know how you can brighten someone's day just by reaching out to them. God might have used you to save their life that night.
Sometimes even just a smile could do.
You don't know what a person has been through. You don't know their past. Their family. Their struggles.
And sometimes, I think that as Christians we think that people who struggle with cutting or taking pills aren't with us. Oh, we're so wrong with that.
There are hundreds of Christians who deal with addictions; though some seem more serious than others.
We might never know who those people are among us. But what we can we do to help? What I say is, take off the mask. Be entirely honest. Don't hold back on talking to people; even if they aren't the most attractive. If you will be honest; it encourages them to be honest too.
You don't know who they are. They look and talk just like us. And we keep passing them by; without a smile or even one word. Don't you know how many Christians feel like they are dying inside?

God Bless,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tim Conway on the Holy Spirit

What more can I add to this video but say 'Amen!' to what he has said. And I hope that you will be encouraged my it, as I was.

God Bless,

Friday, April 15, 2011


I met with a man this week from my new church. We sat down to talk about theology, and what doctrines we hold to. In the end, we both came to a conclusion that we both hold to the Doctrines of Grace.
It was strange, last week when I wanted to figure out what he was, theology wise, I asked him if he was a Calvinist or an Arminian. Probably not the best way to approach it. But that's how I asked it.
In our conversation I realized how hung up on the term he really was.
And now I understand why he is so against the term "Calvinist".
Because he has been hurt in the past by Hyper-Calvinists. Who just sit back and don't evangelize at all, because they find it pointless. Which is entirely un-biblical. But after that, I realized that each of us have our own stories.
After dealing with Hyper-Calvinists, I would understand why he does not want to be called a Calvinist.
Yet, in my position, from what I have been through, when people call me a Calvinist, I proudly bare that name.
Not sure how it is for you. Some people absolutely detest terms while others like me are glad to use them.
It's interesting to think about someone's past and how it affects their views. Just goes to prove that everyone has a story; at least every Christian does.

God Bless,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Last night I went to the Chris Tomlin concert in LA. I had a great time. There's something about being in a room with a bunch of Christians, that makes you feel at home. A lot of those people are Christians; from different churches, from different backgrounds. Not all of us may have the same theology, but what we do have in common is Jesus Christ.
It was exciting for me to go, it seemed that God really set people aflame last night.
I earnestly hope that the flame doesn't die. It does for so many people. They go to conferences and camps and come back, "pumped up for Jesus Christ", and in a few weeks the fire dies.
It never really was real fire to begin with.
I pray that what God started or continued in that concert last night, He will continue on till the end of their lives.

While we sang Our God, I thought of something. Everyone is singing this.
I don't sing songs that I don't mean. When I sing, I don't want to lie. So when I've been in a lot of sin, and when I don't really think that I would mean the lyrics in the songs, I don't sing. That's just how I am.
So a lot of you reading this probably know what the lyrics are to that song.
When we came to this part I stopped.

"And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, what could stand against?
And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against?
What could stand against?"

Do you know that part?
I was thinking, if we really all meant these lyrics, everything would change. We wouldn't be afraid to evangelize at our work, or at our school, or to our family members or friends. If we really believed what we sang that night we would be radical, we'd be set on fire.
I love that song, but I keep asking myself: Do I really mean those words?
Because if I do, my life will change. Everything will if I believe those words.
I wouldn't be afraid to evangelize or defend my faith. I wouldn't be afraid, because God was on my side. What can man do to me? Sure he can persecute me and hurt me, but God is for us.
Then who could ever stop us?

God Bless,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A World of your Own

It is very sad for me to see people who are caught up in their own little world.
I know a couple of know-it-all Christians, who have all of their theology down, and, or course, all of their theology is right. Just like that. Everyone else is wrong.
There are the people who state what they believe, and even when they are dead wrong, will not admit it. Because they can't see that they are wrong. Their pride has blinded them.
We can tell them all day that they are wrong, and give them Scriptures that refute their thinking, but in the end they'll keep talking and preaching what they believe.
They are slaves to their own traditions. They are so caught up in their own world, that they can't even hear you.
I'm sure you can think of people in your mind right now just like that.
It's sad, isn't it?
You've debated with those kinds of people, right? And how does it end? They shut down with telling you that you are the one who is wrong. They shut down and ignore you.

As Christians, we must understand that none of us have perfect theology. And as Christians we must be teachable and trainable. And we cannot do that if we are prideful. Of course, we all struggle with pride to an extant. Some more than others. But it takes humility to consider what others say to us, even if we do not think it's right.

It is hard to see someone caught up in his own world. We could debate all day with that person. If we are debating to prove that person wrong, it's pointless, it's foolish.
Because in the end, I think more Christians need to realize, it is only the Holy Spirit that can open someone's eyes. And sometimes we need to stop arguing if that person is so unteachable that they shut down on you.
But don't ever stop praying for them. Just because God doesn't open their eyes right away doesn't mean that He is saying 'no'. Sometimes He is saying, 'not yet'.
It's hard to let some just go, and leave their soul and beliefs in God's Hands.
Nothing in our power can open their eyes, it is the work of the Holy Spirit that can open their eyes.
It is the Holy Spirit who breaks their shackles. It is only the Holy Spirit that can open their eyes. That can free them from their world.

But at times God can use you, just as a tool in their life to show them the truth. It might have looked from mans' eye that we have been successful in a debate or a discussion. We must realize again and again. That we are powerless. And it is only the Holy Spirit who can open someone's eyes.

God Bless,

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Listened to a sermon last night on faith. It was a pretty good sermon.
The preacher mentioned something that I haven't thought of in a while. And that is that Christianity takes a lot of faith. The preacher asked how do we know that Christianity is real?
What if when we die we stand before God and realize that it wasn't Christianity that was the real thing, it was some other religion. How do you know that it's Christianity?
It takes a lot of faith to tell a Mormon or a Muslim that they are wrong, it takes a lot of faith for that. What if you were the one who was wrong in the end, and now you stand before a different God whose people you told were going to hell.
You would be condemned for that.

That takes a lot of faith, but you know what even takes more than that?
Telling a professing Christian that he is wrong.
It's hard to stand up against a heretic or a false teacher and say that what they believe, what they are standing for is all wrong. How do you know that you aren't just as off as they appear to be?
You must know your Bible. That's one of the reasons that you must value theology in your life. 
It takes a lot of faith to stand up in the Christian community and say that someone is wrong.
It takes a lot of faith to know that what you believe is what the Bible teaches, that what you believe is what Jesus Christ taught.
It takes a lot of faith to stand  when so many people are under a delusion of how wonderful that heretic may be. It takes so much faith.
And the question comes down to this: Do you have that faith? Do you have that faith that you can stand against the heretics in the Christian community and say 'no'? Even when no other human being is with you.
Do you really have that much faith to know that what you are saying is right, and what the other man is saying is wrong?
Is that the faith you have?

God Bless,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Ever read something or heard something that's convicted you. And that God's used to show you what you've been missing? God's been gracious, He showed me a few days ago what I've been missing.
He showed me my worldliness, and showed me the way to escape and showed me how to fight back.
At times my mind would get so swamped with the world, not meaning bad things in general. But when all that's on your mind is more on your daily life, or in my case, my story ideas, rather than God, something is wrong.
And that's when you fall. When you think you are fine, when you stop using your battle time walkie-talkie to God.
That's what I have been missing. I remember when I used it all of the time. When life was such a struggle, when I saw my need for Him to get through each day.
But then the world came, and in a moment, it seemed swamped my mind without me even realizing.
When I fight against temptation, I would just think about something else. What good will it do when you aren't even thinking about God in your temptation?
I had forgotten about how sweet prayer really was when you are constantly praying to God throughout the day, and not just in the morning, and not just before I do something big like a test or work. If I only pray once in the day, it becomes a duty instead of a pleasure. I had forgotten that sweet fellowship I could have with God throughout the day.
And yet, when the time came for me to see my sin, He was gracious. He kept me from falling hard. I deserved to fall hard, but He didn't let me. He has been so gracious, and I don't deserve any of His grace and mercy. Can't stop praising God for His good work of dying for my sins, and for keeping me, and not just letting me "fall away" like I would deserve if it were possible.

God Bless,

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I enjoy memorizing things. I might not be very good at memorizing, and I admit, it does take me quite a while to memorize something to say it by heart. It takes a lot of work for me, but it's worth it.
Even in Cubbies and Awana, I struggled with memorizing things. The thing I struggle with the most in memorization is remembering the references. I'll remember the verses, but the references always seem to slip my mind.
Well, I am sure you get the point now. I am not good at memorizing, and I am not faithful at remembering the things I "memorize by heart" for months.

A few months ago, I started memorizing prayers from The Valley of Vision, and for me, those prayers have been life changing to read. Not only do they come to my mind throughout the day, but even when I'm praying, I quote from those Puritan prayers that I memorized.
Every Christian should read The Valley of Vision, it's a great book full of Puritan prayers.

To be honest, I don't really know how to pray for myself all of the time. It's easy to pray for others, but when it comes to praying for myself I just don't know how to. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but that's how I am.
Now I find myself praying prayers that I memorized from that book. And not only do I get into praying those things, I get into the mode of praying the Scriptures that I memorize.
I've only memorized two prayers so far, but this week I am starting on a new one.
And this is it:

'The Convicting Spirit'

"Thou Blessed Spirit, author of all grace and comfort,
Come, work repentance in my soul;
Represent my sin to me in its odious colors that I may hate it;
Melt my heart by the majesty and mercy of God;
Show me my ruined self and help there is in Him;
Teach me to behold my Creator,
                               His ability to save,
                               His arms outstretched,
                               His heart big for me.
May I confide in his power and love,
          commit my soul to Him without reserve,
          bear his image, observe his laws, pursue his service,
          and be through time and eternity
         a monument to the efficacy of his grace,
         a trophy of his victory.
Make me willing to be saved in His way,
  perceiving nothing in myself, but all in Jesus:
Help me not only to receive him but
              to walk in Him,
             depend upon Him,
             Commune with Him,
             be conformed to Him,
             follow Him,
              imperfect, but still pressing forward,
             not complaining of labour, but valuing rest,
             not murmuring under trials, but thankful for my state.
Give me that faith which is the means of salvation,
       and the principle and medium of all godliness;
May I be saved by grace through faith,
          live by faith,
          feel the joy of faith,
         do the work of faith.
Perceiving nothing in myself, may I find in Christ
wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption."

God Bless,

Friday, April 1, 2011


'Because of Sin I fell'

"The fire of Hell glows strong and bright
Creating moans of death and plight
But, we refuse to change our path
Choosing instead, to forget God’s wrath

Why so blind, you freely ask? 
Death’s hidden behind a diamond mask
Lies so clever, twist all thought
Telling of comforts, cheaply bought

The precious blood of our Savior dear
Was shed for all, For those who fear
But, heeding not, our Saviors lament
We choose instead, a life of torment

Through a deadly swamp of sin we trudge
This burden on our back won’t budge
Still, we try to move it on our own
And take the burden on alone

Our breath is wasted, lost and gone 
All because, of a simple con
That lie that led us straight to hell 
Will never remove its fatal spell
The world has led us to believe
By works, Heaven we can achieve
But, Satan smiles his lie fulfilled
And earthly treasures we all guild 
But, after death, those gifts will cease
For, we never knew a lasting peace

Now, all that’s left is to despair
For now all sin has been laid bare
Justly tried, I’m damned to Hell
All because in sin I fell."

I can take no credit for this poem. It was my best friend's first poem. Of course my friend thought it was terrible, and not very good, but showed it to me anyways. It was a privilege to read it.
My friend said that some people didn't like it that much because it doesn't have a good rhyme scheme. 
I entirely disagree with them on that. 
Poetry isn't all about the rhyme scheme, in fact, some of the best poems have a lot of rhymes but not a constant flow of them. 
Some poems just don't have the "A-B-A-B" or the "A-A-B-B" structure. 
Now I would argue that if a poem doesn't have any rhymes whatsoever it wouldn't be classified a poem. 
But I don't think that people understand sometimes.
Poetry isn't all about the rhyme scheme. It's about the words.
I say the words because the words alone are what makes a poem powerful. It isn't the rhyme scheme that leaves someone in awe after they finish reading it. 
It's about the words. The words are what will stay with the readers. That's what will keep them coming back for more. 

Words that have depth and meaning to the poem. And if the poem is worth reading, like my dear friend's. 
That's what makes a poem good. When it's meaningful. When it makes people think.
Sure a steady rhyme scheme is helpful and makes it flow better, but if a few lines miss it, that alone doesn't make it a bad poem.
It's the meaning and depth of the words that matters. 
My best friend wrote an incredible poem. 
I couldn't have done any better. And considering it's the first poem that my friend wrote, I was even more impressed. 
I had the privilege of reading this, and you did too.

God Bless,