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, 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.

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


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,

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,

Friday, July 15, 2011


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,

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,

Friday, July 8, 2011


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,

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,

Sunday, July 3, 2011


"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,