Sunday, November 25, 2007

Election Year '08

We're quickly approaching the 2008 election year. And the candidates are coming out in full force. Right now, my decision is between Thompson or Huckabee. I don't know how Guliani is running on the conservative ticket. I mean, i respect him for how he handled 9/11, but ones personal life is a good indicator for a lot of things. I won't even go onto the Democratic side.... I'm not even venturing over there because talking about them will just be a waste of my time.

To be honest with everyone, i would rather have someone who stumbles over their words and yet can stand their ground over someone who knows how to win a crowd, but just caves in at the slightest faint warning of opposition. Smooth talkers scare me. I want someone in their who stands for conservative values.

I recently heard that a Christian conservative leader endorsed Guliani. I was... befuddled. Perhaps his thinking was to get behind a person who is running on the conservative ticket and we won't be throwing our vote away. Maybe it was... i don't really know what it was. It was stupidity as far as i'm concerned. I pray that this whole election ordeal will awaken a sleeping church. Someone told me recently that we need to pray for the church to have discernment. There just seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to this stuff. We need to start to pray for this election specifically.

Your not understanding of all this stuff is no excuse. There's a lot of stuff i don't understand. That doesn't mean i give up on it. That means i take the time and research it. Find out whats going on. You say you care about your kids but you take take two minutes of your day to find out whats going on in society. "Shawn, what are you talking about?"

Look, your childrens future is shaped by what happens today. We sit around and talk about whats going on in the war, but we don't take to pray for our leaders. We sit around a gossip and slander one another, but we're too lazy to figure out the truth of whats going on in the world.

I was amazed and shocked with myself sometime ago. I realized i knew more about a particular movie star than i did about the Bible. My laziness showed up. My idolatry and spiritual adultery showed its ugly face. I knew i had to do business with God and right away.

I'm not expecting everyone to be a genius when it comes to politics. But what would happen if we would simply stop buying mazagines up? What would happen if we would really take a stand and just let people know that we're not going to put up with the filth around us?

All i know is that this world is crying out for a reality of God. And as a member of the Body of Christ, I think its time that i started show people a reality of God. It has to start in my life and heart first. If i can't stand under the pressure, i can't expect someone else to. I walk down through the malls and i see people hurting all over the place. It's amazing what happens when you understand and walk in your identity in who Jesus is inside of you. You walk with an authority that is unique because you have the DNA of God the Holy Ghost in you. Your able to serve and work in such a way that is just phenomenal. Your able to move with a certain meekness and strength and power. Your meekness doesn't mean weakness. It means a security in who you are in Jesus that you know that Jesus loves you and you have nothing to prove to others.

Anywho... this whole election stuff is just on my heart. It scares me to see an apathy towards it. Like people are thinking 'so what?' Oh nothing, just the lives of your children and grandkids and great grandkids will have to deal with. That's all. nothing major. so go ahead.. kick back and catch the next episode of All My Children or whatever you'd like to do. its not like your kids lives are hanging in the balance...

And by the way... the whole time i'm sitting here writing this, the Holy Ghost is convicting me of apathy in my own life. Talk about eating your own words.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Reality Check

Just recently, i was talking w/ a precious brother and friend. We were both in agreement of how we get bored in a church service like there is no tomorrow. i have a hard time sitting still. I can't tell you the amount of times i wanted to skip church and go get a bite to eat. Aside from the fact that at times going to church is about as exciting as a tubber ware party.... aside from the fact that i'm sick of the social club aspect of... there is a depth of reality that we have yet to tap into. Is it just me or does life seem extremely shallow? I mean, its annoying to me when i go up to someone and i know they're going thru hell and yet they give me the canned response of that things are fine. Whatever happened to the power of God? The Christian life has got to be more than just nice little services where the sound is perfect and the settings are just right... when was the last time someone actually got saved in church? when was the last time someone got healed?

There is a desperate cry right now from the young adult generation for something real. Something has got to change. I have a hard time going thru the mall and just seeing the youth. Seeing their lives are just about shopping and living the nice life. Forget that. If that's all that life is, i'm done. I can't stand the idea of the American Dream. Aside from the fact that i can prove it wrong in a heart beat.

In a twist of irony, i was in correspondence with a lady from the New England area. She mentioned to me that she thinks it would be a good idea for people to have good morals. you know, be a good person. Do the right thing... but yet, don't mention God (or Jesus for that matter) in the public life. Where do we suppose that we should get those good morals? Maybe keep watching CNN or other news outlets. It's not like they don't have an agenda against truth... But where should we be getting these good morals?

"But Shawn, you don't understand... i've been hurt by people in the church. I've been hurt by Christians." so have i. i'm right there with you. Think of Jesus on the Cross. He was betrayed by some of His best friends. By grace, forgive. i know thats easy for me to say. And by no means am i condoning any hurt that people have done to others. That's not right. We need to be careful in our relationships and be sensitive to others.

But what i'm getting at is that i'm soo tired of 'church' as church. i'm soo tired of doing the nice little meetings and just going to the meetings and yet there is no relationships. Christianity is all about relationships. God desires for your reconciliation to Him by a relationship with His Son, Jesus. Isn't it great that we can't earn our salvation? We can't do enough of good works to get it. It's by grace through faith. If we had to earn it, i would've been out of the game a long time ago.

I've grown up in the church... i've been in this sorted mess all my life. After you've been in something for a long time, you begin to see the corruption. And you really have to guard your heart against bitterness and all that wonderful stuff that creeps in. I'm committed to making it better. I'm committed to sticking with it until the end. Sure there are a lot of problems and issues. So why do you think God entrusted us, His creation, with His bride? I'm sure He knew we'd mess things up good. When greed and envy get in their with immature folks leading...

But perhaps that part of God's heart... to still love us through that and desire that our hearts join with His in helping Him. It's a thought at least...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Praise Report

I wanted to give thanks to God for the recent healing of one of my cousins. She was just recently healed of her allergies to peanuts. i'm not sure how bad it was, other than the fact that if she even just held peanuts, she'd break out and have medication. And i know that she even had to go to the hospital a time or two.

but recently, the Lord laid it on her heart to write letters to all those who hurt her in the past. Immediately, afterward, she felt a heaviness in her chest and she just felt that this was satan's way of trying to scare her. from what i understand, she was even contemplating suicide, but thankfully she didn't go through with it. Nothing happened as far as healing goes right away. But the next morning she woke up and she was full of joy and happiness! She and my aunt were planning on going to a conference on inner healing down in Georgia before hand. They still went but, from what i understand, didn't stay for the whole thing. But during the time of the trip, she ate some peanuts (without her moms knowledge) and nothing happened. Then she told her mom she wanted to get some peanuts to eat. My aunt (her mom) immediately told her no and wanted to wait for further blood tests. Well, my cousin went out and bought some peanut M&M's anyways. She put them in her hand and nothing happened (normally, she would've had an allergic reaction). She proceeded to put them in her mouth and eat them.. right in front of her mom! lol. And nothing happened! No reaction! Praise God for His healing power!

Jesus, i thank you for the Cross upon which you died for our sins and diseases. I thank you for taking what you did upon yourself. You crushed sin, death and disease and tore the veil. You created a bridge between us and God. And for that, i am eternally grateful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jesus, the Great Intercessor...

Comes through once again for me... as if i'm suprised.. in any case, i just moved into my new place here in Concord. Spent my first night last night here... all alone.. sometimes, solitude is nice, but sometimes i'm like "i just wanna be around people." right now i'm forced to be in solitude, which reconfirms the fact that i do NOT have the gift of life long celibate.

Anyways, i have one of those posters that says "And He Shall Be Called" and then has a list of variety of the names of Jesus on it and then at the bottom has "Jesus Christ" written on it. I put that up last night on the wall with some putty. I don't have a whole lot of stuff on my walls. They're largely bare. In any case, something woke me up real briefly last night around 3:14 i think it was. With me being the only one here, things are extremely quite other than right now i have music playing out of my ipod from the charger/speakers. you know how you sometimes just wake up in the middle of the night for whatever reason...? well, that happened for me about 3:14 and my "Jesus Christ" poster was like half way off the wall.

I don't know if i should jump to conclusions here and be like "oh my word.. satan tried attacking me somehow and Jesus took the fall for me... again.." or i should be like "i gotta work hard at putting things on the wall with putty... i didn't push hard enough and it just came down." Thats the dilemna i have going on. Sometimes, we try to super-spiritualize it and some of the times its just our stupid fault. some of you may be getting a real kick out of this one b/c probably some of you do the exact same thing.

In the past i've been in situations where satan was really trying to harm me physically. And those times i know beyond the shadow of a doubt that people were praying for me. I can actually remember two separate instances where that happened to me. i was attacked physically by satan and one of the times, luckily a brother was there to pray for me. another time i just prayed it through while trying to get on with life. the second was a panic attack (and i never get those) and i was woke up abruptly at 6:10 am and my mind was all ascatter. in talking w/ a friend, he said that Eph. 6:10 states "finally, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" and it goes on to say about putting on the armor of God. that passage.

So in any case, i am soo eternally grateful for Jesus and His sacrifice. Sometimes when people ask me how i'm doing and i'm not doing the greatest, i just say "well, it could be worse.. i could be lying dead in a ditch somewhere.." i have some great and wonderful thoughts, don't I?

I'm grateful that we no longer have to make animal sacrifices for our sins. Aside from PETA having a field day with us on that one, i'm glad no more little lambs or goats take my sins, but Jesus takes my sins for me. not that i can keep sinning (Heb. 10:26), but that if and when i mess up, Jesus is right there. speaking of which, someone pointed out a really funny video on YouTube about Jesus and the Terminator meeting.

Hope you have enjoyed another somewhat random blog from me. Please, hold autographs til later.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Calling all pack rats...

This blog goes out to all those who have ever moved and you've come to realize how much junk you accrue over time. today, i moved out of the Mitchell's house and moved into a house with two young guys. this is going to be another transition. just when you get accustomed to having 3 girls in the house again, you gotta readjust to just three guys. for those who don't know, the dynamics of living with girls is adversely different to that of living with guys.

for one thing, with guys, you actually run the risk of having to call in the haz mat team in from time to time. for guys, a little bit of mold on food usually isn't that big of deal. depending on how big that mold is.

i opened up the door of the fridge in the Pearson's home (where i'm currently living now) and realized that a trip to the store is probably just around the corner. you learn how much you take for granted when you go from living with a married couple with kids to living with just young guys. its like night and day.

in any case, on with the adjusting of life again. i will most certainly miss the Mitchell's and the food and the family like type atmosphere. but this new situation is going to be a good challenge for me and the other guys as well. i've learned over time to deal with these things and learn from mistakes, should they happen (and more than likely, things will come up.) and thats a part of life... yippee..

in other news, my parents are in London, England with my sister and brother in law. i'm jealous... i would love to do some more international travel. but everything has its time and season. and that time and season will come. so until later, everyone out there in blog world, have a great one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Send the rain...

The South Eastern states have been suffering from a major drought for the last couple months. And I was talking with a gentleman from Canada the other day at work, while i was troubleshooting his computer, and we got to talking about the drought. I mentioned to him that i personally feel it represents the spiritual state of how we are right now. We need rain and we need it yesterday. The grass is crunchy and brown for the most part... there is an amount of green grass, but we are suffering from a drought right now. it looks somewhat ok, but we need the rain.

I think its a reflection of how the church is. (note here, i'm including myself in on this). the church is dried up and we lack the presence of God (the rain). I think right now we are at a stage 3 or 4 of drought watch measures. Meaning that we can't wash our own cars at home because it uses up too much water... the local creeks and ponds and lakes are at a severe low. We are in a drought.

I just heard today that the governor of Georgia actually prayed on tv today, at a press conference, he took time and prayed to God for rain. i have a link for you to go to and watch him praying. Sonny Perdue, the governor of Georgia, took time to pray and ask God for rain. wow, i'm waiting for the ACLU to jump all over this one... i'm sure someone in California or Europe or somewhere else was offended at this.

Thank God for that. at least someone is willing to stick their neck out and stand up for family values and for what this country was built on...

Friday, November 9, 2007

World Peace

Everyone wants world peace. I can't think of anyone in their right mind who doesn't want for world peace. Safety and security. End the whole idea of strife. However, in case you haven't noticed, in our society, its intolerant to be intolerant of those who don't think with an 'open mind'. I remember in high school, my class mates would write, "If your a closed minded individual, don't talk to me" on their binders. I thought it was hysterical.

This past week at work, i had a pocket sized Bible on my desk in my cubical. The design cover is supposed to resemble a crown of thorns. One of my supervisors noticed and made reference to it. He's like "what, are you Jewish or something?" kinda almost in like a mocking tone i thought.. i said "no, but what if i was?" he realized that he might have been taken the wrong way. so he quickly tried to back track.

In our society, its ok to make fun of Christians and Jews. That's ok. However, its not ok to make fun of anything else, such as things that go against scripture. Make fun of a Muslim on tv and you'll probably receive numerous death threats. Make fun of someone who is black, and you'll get called a racist. I would never anyone to get made fun of. Just because your insecure about something, doesn't mean you have to put someone else down to make yourself look better. That's not cool. I'm not for putting anyone down.

I want everyone to know God via a personal relationship with Jesus. He's the way, the truth and the life. That ONLY WAY, TRUTH and LIFE. I want people to willingly come to Jesus and accept His sacrifice for their sins. I don't like that the Crusades happened in the past and Jews and Muslims were killed if they didn't convert to Christianity. That's not the desire of God. To this day, its taboo to say that your a Christian in parts of the world because people have a bad and/or wrong connotation of it. They associate Christianity with the Crusades and killing people. That's just wrong.

Someone once said to me, well, if its good for you.. If its what makes YOU feel good, then its ok. How far off that statement is. It felt good for me to hit that person, so then it's ok, right? WRONG! We have a set of standards.

I don't get the whole idea of anti-semitism. It's a demonic spirit. Why don't people pick on Chinese like they do Jews? Or Australians like they do the Jews? (i'm just picking random nationalities here). No, we pick on God's people b/c they're God's people. Satan is trying to get back at his arch nemesis. I mean, governmental bodies continuously pick on this tiny nation of people relentlessly. Why don't they pick on someone else? But no, they hold whole conferences about it.

Listen, we will never have true world peace. The Cross will always be a stumbling block and cause offense. I was having a conversation with a coworker sometime ago about religion/Christianity. One of my supervisors came over and politely asked us to change topics. he said that people get all upset about it and we should just talk 'shop' there at work. I understood where he was coming from. However, we are grown adults could gently talk about it in a manner as to not cause trouble. I never once raised my voice and he simply voiced his opinions. And i patiently listened.

But i find it hysterical whenever these ideas come up. Jesus and the cross will always be one of the most controversial topics ever. Because whenever they're discussed, people start getting convicted of sin. And that's good. Because the Holy Ghost is working. he's touching hearts and changing lives.

I know this post is kind of all over the place and random... work with me here.

I whole heartedly believe in praying for the peace of Jerusalem. I also believe that we are headed for some major hard times in the future, as far as the end of the world comes into play. It will be the best of times and the worst of times. I don't know when Jesus is coming back. You may think that the church will not be in the tribulation times and your just looking for and escape hatch and for Jesus to come back. Or you may be settling in and getting ready for some bad times in that your thinking that the church will be here for what is known as the Tribulation Times, when the AntiChrist will rise in power. As for me, all i know is that i'm on the 'first boat' out. meaning that whenever Jesus comes back, i'm outta here. Until then, i'm going to live my life for Jesus and expand His Kingdom where ever i go.

Again, i know this has gotten really random. But i just wanted to share some of my thoughts on 'world peace'. The media likes to portray things in a certain light. And i like to present the truth. LOL. In anycase, thanks for reading this. It means a lot.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Divine Healing

I want to preface this blog in saying that i totally believe that healing is for today. I find no scripture that insinuates otherwise. As a matter of fact, i've prayed for countless people in the past who have been healed. So I know that it is God's heart to heal people.

With that said, i often wrestle with the fact of that when i pray for some people, they don't get healed. I've prayed for probably at least 100 hundred people and nothing. I can even recall those who have contracted illnesses, like cancer, and died.

There have been at least 2 people in the past who have died from cancer. And we're talking a man and woman of God who would pray and seek God's face. So why didn't they get healed? I mean, didn't Jesus die for them as well? This is stuff i wrestle with.

I once heard a minister say that stuff happens because we live in a fallen sinful world and the devil hates our guts. Which i can agree with, but still. Doesn't the Bible say that these signs will accompany those who come in my name? They'll lay their hands on the sick and they'll recover..?

So then what's the deal? I mean, Jesus took my infirmities on the Cross, and that's in the Old Testament. And then in the New Testament, Jesus tells His disciples that these signs will accompany those who believe. So you can imagine why i wrestle with this stuff.

So the times that i pray for people and they don't get immediate healing, you might think that that would discourage me from praying for people. But it doesn't. it just spurs me on all the more. Healing is for today. If you have issues with that, well, the Lord bless you. And may He speak to your heart. Because i'm not going to try and convince you. I'll talk to you about it, but i don't debate. If you can be convinced into the Kingdom, you can probably be convinced out of it.

So why do some people get healed and others don't? I don't know. I'll tell you straight up. I don't. I could say from a certain stand point maybe... acting like i know it all. But I don't. I mean, the Bible says it and i therefore believe it. Don't get me wrong. I rest on faith and not feelings. I've prayed for people in the past and i literally felt nothing... other than tired (because i was exhausted from a long day.) but later on, this person got healed in their body. And i don't know this person's standing with God. So why does God heal some and not others?

Healing is in the Bible. I have a word document where healing is in every book of the Bible. Isaiah speaks about that by the stripes of Jesus, we are healed (Isaiah 53). So why some and not others?

The Bible is good and it's true! It's the sure Word of God. It's infallible and good. This something that i just take to God and be like "Ok God, what's the deal here?"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Just a few things...

In high school, i took 2 years of Spanish. And i didn't take them because i had to, but because i wanted to. I figure if i'm going to be traveling to other countries, i had best learn their language. If i go to Spain, i want to be able to speak the language there. I wished they would have offered French, because then i would've taken that. (the summer before high school, i took my first missions trip to Haiti, where i learned some French ((actually, its Creole, which is a combo of a bunch of different languages)) and after coming back from Haiti, i had to quickly switch languages.) But learning new languages is fun and often a good challenge.) I didn't continue in those classes because i wasn't learning much. I was having some issues with certain things in that atmosphere.

but i wanted to preface this blog with the above because of what i'm going to put in here. I received an email from a friend the other day. It might be considered controversial, depending on your personal views in politics.

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

-Theodore Roosevelt 1907

In other things... Halloween has come and gone. I stayed away from many stores for just a couple days on that one. I went into Wal-Mart last night they already have a Christmas tree up! lol.

You gotta love the way we materialize everything.... sometimes becoming Amish doesn't sound soo bad. At times i have a lot of respect for those guys. Sometime ago at school, we had a girl there that was from about the same area as i was. i jokingly told her we should don some Amish gear and come to church in a horse and buggy just for the kicks. That never happened, but we joked about it a bit.

Also last night at Wal-Mart, i was talking with a girl there that i had just met before i left. She mentioned about going down to a church somewhere down in South Carolina. I told her i'd go if she wants to (she has a boyfriend already). So i came home and checked the church out on the web. It will be an interesting trip. But if she wants to go and have me check it out, i'm up for it.

At work, we go live on the phones on Monday. We had some mock calls yesterday. I think they went decently well. I was a bit nervous, but given time, we'll get those kinks worked out.