Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Cross, In Light Of The Law Of Grace

I get into a lot of theological discussions. Some of them are more fun loving and light-hearted; some not so much. Something I was thinking about last night and discussed it with a couple of my friends is the Law of Grace in regards to the cross of Jesus and His suffering and how we should then live. Something important to consider is how do we ride the straight and narrow without going to extremes on issues.

A term that gets thrown around jokingly at times is "Greasy Grace." Basically meaning you can do basically whatever you want and there will always be grace there... just repent and get on with life. The word 'repent' alone seems somewhat a taboo topic. You dare not say that to someone or you might be judging them! :: Gasp:: "Oh no brother, we believe in grace around here. You don't dare mention repent because it might offend someone.." Let me say this: as far as I know, the gospel message is going to be perhaps the most offensive message to some out there.

If you look at the law of Grace, it holds you to a higher standard than the Ten Commandments! It's saying "ok, there is something going on in your heart here that needs to be dealt with." It addresses the root cause moreso rather than just telling you not to do something. Hate your brother? In your heart, you already have done something wrong to him. Looked at someone of the opposite gender with a lustful thought? Guess what... no good there.

It's amazing what happens if you preached repentance in certain churches and/or groups nowadays... "oh my goodness, your a legalist!" "No, actually, I'm just following what the Bible says." Look at the woman caught in adultery in John 8. "Let him who has never sinned cast the first stone." Everyone leaves and then Jesus says "Go and sin no more." He didn't condone the sin but He said "sin no more." I've heard stories from friends of mine who minister in prisons that the harder you rail against sin in prisons, the more whoops and hollers of agreement you get. But it seems like a taboo thing to do in churches across America... that seems a little strange to me....

So what about discipline and grace? Let me put it really simply here: It shouldn't be "I can't go see that movie or participate in the event" but it should be more like "no, I don't want to because I wouldn't enjoy it." It goes from "can't" to "don't want to." Why is that? I think it has to do partly with its about a relationship that you have with someone. And you don't want to do something to that person that will hinder your relationship with them. I believe there is an awesome balance between the reverence of God and His grace. As a matter of fact, I think those two work hand in hand! When you live by grace, you're going to want to be reverent in His presence. That's not to say you always have to be stone cold serious, but in your heart you want to be careful when your in God's presence. You won't want to do something to grieve His Holy Spirit.

Muslims On The Mall

We left Concord just after 5am and headed towards Washington, DC. We had a couple vehicles go up. Our goal was to simply just walk up to the Muslims attending their prayer gathering in DC and give them a dvd called "More Than Dreams". (check out to see the dvd we were giving away). We separated into teams and we took up different areas. And I was soo proud of the whole team. Everyone did a wonderful job and just displayed the Love of Jesus soo effectively I think. Some of the teams were right on the Mall itself and others, such as mine, were positioned in areas around the mall. I was outside of Union Station in front of the fountain. That way, when the people were coming back from the Mall, they went right past me and into the train station.

My team consisted of myself, Brian Mitchell, Michael Bowman and Evan Smith. Brian got to pray with quite a few folks and we even witnessed some healings during the time. One Muslim guy that needed a cane to walk received prayer and no longer needs the cane (Praise the Lord!) We also gave him a dvd and he promised he'll watch it. There were many 'seeds' planted during this time and i'm just praying and trusting the Lord that our efforts won't be in vain. I've learned that God likes to pull surprises and do things that we never thought possible.

For different events, there are different methods of evangelism. Sometimes, there are times to get on the mike and set up speakers and do preaching like that. Other times, its the relational evangelism. Sometimes you mix them up. Ultimately, you have to ask the Lord what is the best way to do it. Take it on a case by case basis.

I know we had a lot of folks praying for us. Many who I know that they wanted to be there in person but weren't able to. Hey, when your praying for us, your still with us. And honestly, the Muslim community isn't something that is like on my heart and mind all the time. But they're people and Jesus loves them and died for them as well. So, because God wants to see them come to repentance and into right relationship with Him, I'll take time for this special event and do what I can and trust the Lord to bring in the harvest.

One kinda neat thing I witnessed while I was there was Vice President Biden's motorcade went by. We were right outside the Russell Senate Offices and all of a sudden, the cops shut down the road and we asked an officer who was coming and he paused for a second and just said "someone important". Well, about 2 minutes later, Biden's limo, under escort of course, went by. I got a slight quick glimpse of him but perhaps because I didn't vote for him, i was more interested in all the security that goes into protecting him. It did remind me of the movies with all the cops and the Secret Service... my tax dollars at work...

So, after about 14 hours of travel and a couple of hours of handing out dvd's and walking around Washington DC, we'll see what happens. I know I would love to go back up to Washington and play tourist. There is soo much history there and lots of activity.

Also, a friend of mine who was there with me had a few awesome testimonies of the Lord touching some people. I wanted to share them with you.

I prayed for a Muslim man who was really struggling to walk, he had a big brace on his right knee and was leaning heavily on a cane. As I prayed for him in the name of Jesus he said he was touched and felt better and started waving his cane around in the air and he was just carrying it after that, not using it. So Jesus touched him and brought healing to his leg, showing him the truth of who Jesus is.

Had a great witnessing encounter with a Hindu who come to find out lived only 10 minutes from me in Charlotte – talk about divine appointments, here I am 7 hours away from home and I meet someone that lives around the corner from me in Charlotte, so awesome. I gave him my information and one of the DVDs we were giving out and I am hoping to talk to him soon in Charlotte or Concord.

I prayed for another Muslim man who said his leg hurt and then had a great conversation with him about the Torah, the Psalms, New Testament and the Koran. They believe the first 3 are messages from God, but were corrupted by man, but the Koran has not been corrupted by man. I was able to get him to agree that the words of the Bible are true and accurate, but the interpretations of man of the Bible are sometimes inaccurate. Then I was able to get him to look at John 14:6, and how else could that verse be interpreted then Jesus is the only way to eternal life? He seemed to be a little lost at that point, but he really seemed to receive what I was saying and I am praying that he will come to the knowledge of the truth soon.
- Anonymous

Shawn here again... I was right close by as these events actually happened and they really encouraged me as I talked to other Muslims. It was soo awesome to see how the Lord moved while we were there. As we step out, the Lord comes through for us. He is such an awesome Savior!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The State Of The Union

I think it goes without saying that there are some changes taking place in our nation currently. And many of them are not looked upon with favor by many. Sky rocketing unemployment rates/job loss; a government that has largely lost the trust of the people they're there to serve; children having to deal with things that they shouldn't have to deal with; the family unit being torn apart... etc. You get the point.

I grew up in the public school system. In the public schools, they have a certain curriculum that isn't favorable to the gospel. Now granted, I may have grown up in a highly conservative around. I just picked up a book the other day in the store called "Brave New Schools" by Berit Kjos. I just started it, but it addresses soo many vital ideas that are being presented in school and even in society.

I graduated 3 years ago from FIRE School Of Ministry. They're mandate that they feel the Lord has put on their hearts is to be a training center for the Jesus Revolution. Check them out at I also still attend the church there and service in various outlets. The president of the school, Dr. Brown, has authored several books, two of which I want to mention here because they made a profound effect on me and I want to present them to you, the reader. One is called "Revolution: The Call to Holy War" and the other one is called "Revolution In The Church." Now, I want to mention right away then when we say 'revolution', we are NOT talking about a violent over throw of anything. But we are talking about doing what we can do to make a change in society. Through evangelism, discipleship, prayer, bible study and other things of the like.

One of the biggest things that I personally see that needs to change is the hearts and minds of the believers and disciples of Jesus. I've grown up all my life in the church. Mainly, the non-denominational denomination/charismatic. I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly. One of the biggest things that I have seen is the fact that we need to get our acts together. So often, it seems like church is treated more like a gigantic social club. Now, i'm NOT against fellowshiping with other believers and encouraging one another. But what kind of impact are we having on society? Are we known in heaven and feared in hell? (These are questions I often ask myself). Now, if you've been a friend of mine of Facebook here for any amount of time, you know that I put up all sorts of political stories. It's one thing to sit around and post things about how bad things are, but we have to take it one step further and provide viable solutions to the problems.

Now obviously, our first and most powerful solution is the Good News of Jesus Christ. It's one thing to preach it, it's another thing to live it and walk it out. Let us show the world that we mean business and show them the Love and Truth of Jesus Christ, thus making a truly lasting impact on the lives around us.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The American Teen

Lately, I've been watching a couple episodes of a tv show online. (If you'll notice, i'm not giving the name of the show because I don't want to come across like I'm endorsing it.) It feels like I'm watching a teen soap opera. There is tons of drama in this show and I'm just glad I didn't involved much with folks like this in school and at the same time, I kinda wish I would've had more friends like this to bring stability into situations. One of the main girls in the show is pregnant (i think she's about 15 or so) and they're all talking about sleeping around or at least making out and dating.... its a lot of drama for me. Sometimes, my heart is just totally broken for this kind of stuff. Another one of the main characters is supposedly the 'good little Christian girl', but its a bad portrayal of one. Granted, that's what the world sees and perceives of it. But when I found out that the 'christian' girl was who the character was to portray, I was just like "oh dear God, here we go..." (but that's what happens when the church isn't being the church and not being an example of living a standard according to the Bible... I'm preaching to myself on that one).

I find it hard to grasp of my identity being in anything but Jesus, but that's just how I grew up. I mean, obviously in this show most of the characters aren't Christians. In any case, I look at society around me and ask for God's heart for the folks around me. Because from myself, I just have no patience. But what about God's heart for these folks? Do we just abandon them or do we befriend them and show them the love of Jesus? Those who have been forgiven much know how to forgive. To those who have been given grace, they give grace a whole lot.

Normally, I wouldn't want to sink a whole lot of time into a show like this. But in a strange way, I feel the grace for it... meaning that I almost feel like the Lord wants me to get something out of it and show me something through it.

But over the past few years, I've been examining my evangelism methods. I used to be one to just boldly say stuff, regardless of many of the repercussions. And there is time and place for that still. I used to love to open air preach, and perhaps I'll be doing more of that someday. But I've come to realize that often times, folks don't feel loved. (I am in no way endorsing a total seeker sensitive thinking here and never addressing issues and never speaking truth, because there is a definite need for it.) But in every situation, grace and wisdom needs to be used. Jesus told the woman at the well to "Go and sin no more." He didn't say "oh, its ok, keep messing around with all these guys and i'll still love you..." He didn't exploit her either. He calmly and gently laid down the law and pointed her to truth.

Also in watching this show, I often times as myself how I would handle this if I were in this situation? I mean, obviously most if not all of these issues would be handled if the folks had any real idea of who Jesus was and all that wonderful stuff. But then they wouldn't have a show. And it makes me very grateful that I know Jesus and gives me a greater burden to make Him known.

The United States is probably one of the greatest nations on this Earth as far as I'm concerned. We have our problems, no doubt. But the Lord has been able to use us in countless occasions in the past to help our nations out. Now, with that comes a great responsibility. It's the responsibility to use what we have properly. Same thing goes for the church: we have to steward God's presence properly... thoughts anyone?

Truth Is Truth

Sometimes there is no way around it... sometimes, the law just has to be laid down. Sometimes, no matter how nicely I try and tell people something, there is a chance of a bad perception. Sometimes it’s my fault for the delivery, and sometimes the it was just received wrong, by that I mean the person receiving it didn’t get it right. I once heard the line that its better to be understanding than understood. And I try and live by that. But sometimes, no matter how it’s brought up, there is an offense brought up.

My pastoral side sometimes just wants to throw my arm around folks and encourage. And then at times the prophetic side rises up in me and then I know I have to be careful with what I say. I will say this: we as Christians are to be physicians more than cooks. With that said, its also important to say things in the right spirit/attitude and correct manner. You want to deal with each situation as you feel the Holy Spirit directs you.

I have come across a few arguments, they’re called ‘self-defeating’ arguments because followed out logically, the cancel themselves out. One’s like:

1. There are no absolute truths. Response: You sure about that?

2. Well, that’s right for you but not for me. Response: You try telling that to the cop when they pull you over for speeding, doing a 70 in a 55 (a hypothetical situation). When the officer comes up and says “I caught you doing 70 in a 55. And you say “Well, that may be true for you but not for me.” And you speed off… that just won’t work.

3. Well, I grew up in church and I’m a good person… Response: This one is my favorite one. Because it’s probably the most destructive one. In Revelation, the Laodicean church got all out rebuked for having this type of mentality. They thought they had it going for them, but they were spiritually bankrupt. Leonard Ravenhill said once “How is it that the world couldn’t get on with Jesus who was the holiest man ever to live and yet they can get on with you?”

4. You’re being judgmental! Response: thanks for judging me and thus cancelling yourself out. This is an argument that’s seemingly based out of Matt. 7. What that chapter ISN’T saying is that we’re not to use common sense and wisdom from God and make a judgment call when someone does something stupid… like stealing (just an example). What this chapter is meaning is that we’re not to judge the motives of someone’s heart. Check out this article about it

Here’s the deal: Jesus had more grace and compassion on the sinners of the day than the religious folks. The woman caught in adultery, go and sin no more. He didn’t excuse or condone her sin. He judged her with love and compassion.

We also need to get a concept of what love REALLY means. True love is rough at times when it’s needed. Sometimes, loving parents have to kick their kids out of the house for being stupid. And honestly, I have more patience with a outright pagan than I do with someone who CLAIMS to be a Christian, but produces no fruit for it. They don’t know the Bible at all, there is no prayer life… stuff like that.

Sometimes, love means discipline… and yes, I believe in spanking. Spanking done in the right spirit produces fruit. I know, I was spanked as a child (and I continually thank my parents for it to this day.)

Lately, its seems like the church (talking about the body as a whole) is in this huge identity crisis. It seems more like a big social club gathering, and instead of actually addressing issues, we’ve turned a blind eye to it.

A solution to all of this: For one thing, quit giving the Lord lip service. In Jeremiah it says that we honor the Lord with our lips but our hearts are far from Him. We put on a mask and sadly, we can fool a good number of folks. Two: be honest with the Lord and with yourself. Three: it’s time to get the presence of God back into the body. We’ve traded the presence of God for our churchy programs. I’m not against programs necessarily. I teach at our Royal Rangers program once a week at my church. But more than anything, my desire is for the body of Christ to experience the manifest presence of God. Trust me when I say that 30 seconds in the presence of God can and will do the work of hours and hours of sermons/messages. And those messages aren’t a bad thing necessarily. We need good solid Biblical teaching. But just seconds in Daddy’s presence will do the work of tons of sermons.

All of this isn’t really anything new. Most of it was due to recent conversations I’ve had with folks who were very well meaning, and I just wanted to set the record straight on a couple things.

I’m not afraid to necessarily pull ideas from various sources, but just to let everyone know in reading this that the Bible is my foremost authority. I get a lot of concepts and ideas from various sources and everything is taken by to scripture and scrutinized according to Biblical principles. So I welcome your comments but be mindful that I do use discretion and if I feel the comment needs to be pulled, this is my site and I hold that right. But everything will be done in a Biblical order.

I forgot to mention some websites to check out:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Been Awhile...

I know, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here. I just haven't been in the mood I guess to post... to take the time and do it just doesn't always happen. And it's not like I don't have anything to say. I have tons to say, but just sometimes putting it into words and then you get to deal w/ the fact that it's sometimes just too painful to think about the stuff... I mean, I could just always post just nice stuff... tickle peoples ears and do all that... but that just wouldn't be me.

Lately, a friend of mine and I have been discussing the possibility of starting up a Bible study w/ a few folks. There is a desperate need for it and people have questions. Primarily, I see a lot of youth that need to be challenged and trained up... I'm not sure what's going on w/ local ministries, but it just doesn't seem to be happening (I told you, its not always the pleasant stuff that I get to write about. If your looking for that, you picked the wrong blog to read...) So, as we continue to pray about it and see if its the timing to do something. My heart soo yearns to see people equipped. I get asked questions a lot and I seem to have fairly decent answers, I guess. Hey, i'm just reading the Bible and seeking God's heart. And He just keeps using me... its not that hard.

Just this past Saturday, our church and other local churches came together to do an outreach to the homosexual community down in Charlotte. We called it God Has A Better Way. Our goal was to reach out and resist. To show the homosexual community that we love them as God does, but we don't love the sin that they're living in (the lifestyle). But we understand that they're struggling and we want to be able to help.

One of my big interests is politics. I realized that my life is involved with probably two of the most controversial topics: religion and politics. Not religion OR politics, but religion AND politics. The last couple weeks at church we were having night classes. We called it the School of Cultural Engagement. We had speakers like Dr. John Rankin, Joe Dallas, Dr. Brown, Frank Turek, Joseph Infranco and Pat Mahoney. Each speaker took a different week and spoke on the topics that they were best at. I plan on buying all six weeks because they were just soo meaty and power-packed, so life enriching. I tried to get notes with each week, but I'm not soo good at taking notes. It's not my strong point.

God is doing something in this 'hour' that is just awesome. He is turning the hearts of His children to Him. There is a holy roar that is breaking out and people are getting hungry for the things of the Lord. They realize that government isn't going to solve the problems and that even the church isn't really providing many answers. But God is and Jesus loves them. So luckily, they're turning to Him.

Story Time!

Well, since everyone loves a good story, I wanted to share with all of you the time my roommates (Joshua and Jordan Pearson) bungee corded my door shut. I have to tell you that my initial reaction was frustration at first, but after about 5 seconds, I laughed really hard.

The layout of the how my bedroom door is helps out. If you walk direction forward after walking out of my door, you walk directly into the bathroom. And on the right side is the door to the other bedroom here. So all three doors are right close by, giving perfect opportunity for any good jokes. And I gotta hand it to the guys for coming up w/ the idea. They were thinking about seran wrapping my car, which i'm really glad they didn't because that would take a lot of seran wrap and it would take a while to clean up.

So anyways, they normally were getting up like stupid early. I mean, they were getting up before the sun gets up. And more of a night owl... relatively speaking. But the one morning, as they were getting up, i guess they were bored. So Jordan took some bungee cords and connected one to my door with the doorknob and one to the bathroom doorknob. And then he also connected one to the then spare bedroom doorknob. (I'll look into taking a picture of how its set up.) But anyways, so the boys go off to school and i'm yet to get up. At one point in time during the set up, one of the bungee cords had slipped off and made a loud snapping noise. I heard it but thought Jordan was doing something out in the garage, so i just rolled over and fell back to sleep. So I get up (and running slightly late) but I go to open my bedroom door. I open the door and let go of the door knob and the door slams shut. I was like "what the..?" Mind you, I'm still just waking up, so i'm not completely with it yet. But I open the door again and look out and see the bungee cords and I just start laughing. I really wish we could've recorded my reaction, because I would've loved for the guys to see it. I gotta hand it to them.... they did a good job

Friday, June 19, 2009

Guatemala, 2009

In all my excitement of writing the last note, I forgot to say what we actually did. Our actual idea for the trip was to do a "Champions for Christ" sports camp for the kids. I got to teach a bunch of 6-9 year old kids how to play baseball and soccer.

They weren't too thrilled with baseball, but they loved soccer. I'm not sure if we actually taught them anything in that arena actually. Most of these kids grow up with a soccer ball (or futbol) around. So Monday thru Thursday we did the sports camp. We started off around 9am and went until about 1pm. It may not sound like much, but remember, this is under the Guatemalan sun. But the temperatures were about like Charlotte actually. I was just amazed at my energy levels. I was only getting about 5-6 hrs asleep a night for some reason. Usually, after 2 nights of that, I would've been really tired and cranky and no fun to be around. But there was a real grace for it. And thankfully, all the fields were provided due to an anonymous donor. One of our translators and friends, Rolando, had the hook up for that. So, whomever it was, thanks a ton. Through sports, we were able to teach the kids some valuable lessons in life.

I had to keep reminding myself that they children I was dealing with were 6-9 and not youth. So I had to be really careful when addressing wrong attitudes. I didn't want to just snap at them, but I wanted to find out what was going on with them and give them something to look forward towards. All in all, i think the camp went off pretty well.

After the camp ended on Thursday, we headed up the coast to a coffee plantation somewhere in the Guatemalan hills. The place was phenomenal! It had a great view of a nearby river and cities. We ended up taking a small bus load up. Now mind you, the road to get up to this plantation was not flat by any stretch of the imagination. The bus driver literally had to get a running start up the hill or the bus may not have made it. It wasn't nicely paved roads the whole way up. This is Guatemala after all. No, the incline up the hill was pretty steep. It was probably at least a 45% incline. So we went up to the plantation and spent the night there. We also had a small worship time and water baptismals. A number of folks on our team got baptized in water and then a number of the children did as well.

After leaving the plantation, we went back to the children's home, changed clothes and repacked for a quick overnight trip to Antiqua. That was our sightseeing time. What's a missions trip without a sightseeing time? We hit various markets there and toured the Casa de Santo Domingo.

This is a brief synopsis of my trip to Guatemala. Further details available upon request.

Guatemala 2009, Pt. 1

I want to start this note off by thanking everyone for their support for me on this missions trip. There was a lot of planning and running around that I did for this trip. It's amazing how much type of administration/ behind the scenes type of stuff goes into planning a trip. Luckily, I'm largely wired for that so to have George, who was the leader of the trip, ask me to do a lot of that was fun for me.

We started getting together and uniting as a team the end of March of this year. We started with Friday nights and then did Friday nights and Saturday afternoon. We would have a Friday night meeting for prayer/worship and take care of admin stuff w/ the group and then do sports training Saturday afternoon. we had to go over the guidelines for baseball and soccer. My family did a lot of baseball/softball and I played soccer. I knew the rules for baseball but not much practical application of it myself. I was afraid to play catch b/c i couldn't catch a baseball very easily. But soccer was always my thing.

So in any case, we would be getting together as a team and start from square one. We even did a Biblical Foundations series which was really fun. Going over just the basics and then building on that. Starting off w/ salvation and then getting into healing and baptism of the Spirit.

It's amazing how unified the team still is! Despite the fact that half of us are from different churches in the area here, the common factor is Jesus! (What a great foundation to build on!) I would often tell the team that even after the trip, I won't be able to forget about them. Which is true to date because thanks to modern technology, we still keep in contact!

So after all the training (sports, Biblical), we set off. We flew out Sat. June 6, '09 @ 6:30 am from Charlotte. All the while, i was even getting to meet the folks who lived down in Guatemala via none other than Facebook. So when I got there, I felt like i knew a lot about them already!

I knew going into this trip that I wasn't going to be doing much preaching at all, but more of just letting Father God love on me and giving me His heart for the children I would be ministering to and just loving on them as Jesus would. I did get to give a brief message the one night to a small village, but it was a quick 10 minutes. And most of them were there to receive food that we were giving out. None the less, myself and George preached for a bit and the team did some hands on ministry. Including praying for an elderly woman and seeing her getting up and walking w/o a walker! Jesus is sooo awesome! (Take that satan... in ur eye!)

I can remember the very first night of arriving at the childrens home where we were staying, we get out of the van and in under 5 seconds, we were surrounded by little kids! I loved it! Hugs all around. These kids didn't care how much we knew, they were just there to receive love from Jesus who loved them! And I was there to freely give it away! The uncle/big brother/future father in me came out! I once heard it said that people don't care how much you know until the know how much you care! I can't tell you how refreshing it was to just hold the kids and just love on them! While we were traveling around w/ the kids, they would just come and sit on your lap and sometimes just fall asleep. It totally broke my heart to think of all the broken homes and lives that these children come from. Some of them were orphans and some of them were probably more like foster kids that had to be taken from their homes b/c of bad child hoods. Just simply saying hello to them really ministered to them. My hat goes off to the volunteers who are there much more full time than we were. I was blessed to be able to help a few of them out w/ some technical difficulties they were having w/ their computers. I figured I have the skill, use it. After all they do, its the least I could do.

And the friendships that I made while being there are priceless! All our translators and everyone who helped out... impossible to forget all of them! We started off w/ a core team and that team just kept growing! By the end of the week, our team doubled in size! Let's see, there was Quikay and Carol (the leaders of Fundaninos (sorry about the bad spelling here folks), Janet, Sonja, Sonia, Carla, Carolina, Sigrid, Ana, Diego, Marco, Rolando, Vivian and Holly. (If I forgot anyone, someone will correct me.) And those are just the folks who were there that were on the team. Some of our team weren't able to go due to financial reasons... Mallory and Michael.

We have just a few pictures of the trip. Only a little more than 3,000 I think. And check out Voyager Expeditions website @, we're working on getting things all together. We got a lot of video as well, which we'll be putting that on the website someday.

And thanks to all those who supported me financially and w/ prayer here in the States! As always, its my joy and privilege to represent you and Jesus out there. May you be blessed abundantly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cross Dressers Anonymous

First off, your probably thinking that with the title of this note, i'm going to be addressing issues like the homosexual agenda. And actually, that isn't the case. What I want to talk about in this note is being clothed in righteousness according to the Cross of Jesus and living a life in the Holy Spirit. After going through FIRE, I've come to realize that the more you learn about God, the more you realize how little you actually know about Him.

Lately, I've been mulling over the idea about what is holiness to the Lord, walking uprightly before God and walking in character and integrity. I'm really hoping that some of the following thoughts won't come back to haunt me, but with the way that my life goes sometimes, I won't be surprised.

I've been doing a cover to cover reading of the Bible for sometime now. One verse that keeps coming back to mind is "All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment" (Isaiah 64:6 NASB). One thing that I'm EXTREMELY grateful for is that there is nothing in, on or around this world that I can do to become righteous, other than accepting Jesus and thereby acknowledging that my life before hand and everything I do outside of Jesus is garbage. It's worthless, trash, rubbish, feces... you get the idea.

I can remember talking with folks when doing street evangelism and I ask them things like "so, do you know Jesus?" Their response: "yeah, I go to church." wow, where did that come from? I couldn't care less whether you go to church. I ask "Have you asked Jesus into your heart?" Their response: "I prayed some prayer when I was younger..." (At this point in time, they start getting fidgety... I usually know where the conversation is going at this point in time.) It's usually at this point in time that I have to start tearing through a lot of religious junk and Christianese. Which is ok, I know the talk well. I know how to dismantle arguments and find out that when someone who is now 20 prayed a prayer at 5 but they're living like a little heathen.

I've personally done a decent amount of counseling and have discovered that so-called "Christians" have no idea what the Bible says and means. Everyone and their cousin knows John 3:16. But so often we have a wrong perception of God's love, mercy, truth, justice.... etc. We think that because God loves us, we can do whatever we want and its all just going to be ok. Luckily, that's not the case. If it were, God wouldn't be true to His word.

In reading through the New Testament, I've noted that Paul thanked God very much for the blood of Jesus that was shed and then said "Hey, check this out: there is a life in the Holy Spirit that God has for each and everyone of us to have! God gives us grace to get rid of our junk and then rely on the Holy Spirit to give us power to live without sin. And He gives us these gifts not only for me, but for you as well and to bring others into a saving knowledge of who Jesus is and what He did. But its because God loves you and He wants the best for you while your here. But you gotta stop doing the stupid stuff (sin) that your doing."

I know for myself, I like hard messages/sermons. I like messages that get under your skin in a good way. When they get you thinking. I'm a firm believer that having a 'good' church is the best counterfeit to having something much better. Because when you have a 'good' church (you know, like all sorts of ministries, but having no substance to it) you totally fake yourself and others out. Spending 1 minute in the presence of God can do what 500 sermons can't do. I've grown up in the charismaniac churches/circles all my life. Got 'saved' at like 4 or something, baptized in water @ 9 i think (I just got re-baptized over a year ago because I wanted to) and then baptized in the Spirit @ about 12 i think. And there are times when you can fake yourself out and think you know it all.

I'm soo grateful that there isn't anything I can do other than accepting Jesus and being a disciple of His that gets me into Heaven. It's not works, but it's grace through faith. As a matter of fact, after graduating FIRE, I took a good little while and pulled back from having to be at meetings (i mean, i kept serving in with FIRE) but I stopped a lot of stuff. I felt I had left my first love. It's only when your clothed in the righteousness of what Jesus paid a price for that makes you any good.

Lately, we've been having these awesome prayer meetings (we might call them slosh meetings b/c we just get 'hammered' or drunk in the Holy Spirit at times). I don't know how to explain them in such a way that might be understood without being there. But these meetings are designed to change our likeness more into Jesus. It's not just to say "hey, we're having really good prayer meetings. you should be there to make us look really good." It's more like "Come and let God touch you so that you can touch a dying hurting world."

Sometime ago, I was speaking at a youth retreat and the Lord directed me to speak directly out of John 15. That's the Abiding in the Vine chapter. And I've been repeatedly going back to that for sometime now. That and Romans 8. (When you've really been touched by the power of God, I believe that one of the fruits of it will be an increased hunger for the Word of God.) It was in preparation for this retreat that I wanted to preach a good call to start a revolution. And while that was good and all, about 2 hours before I spoke, the Lord said "well, that's a good idea, but how about what I want?" That's when He gave me John 15.

In any case, let us continually look to Jesus for our everything. He gave us His Holy Spirit for a reason and purpose. Let's take heed and be clothed in righteousness according to God's standard.

God, gives us grace to walk as You deem worthy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Some Reflections on Current Happenings

In writing this, I want to be careful about what I say and how I say it. I'm grateful that I live in a country where we are to have freedom of speech and soo many other wonderful freedoms. Those are in the documents written by the Founding Fathers and they're essentially at the core of what makes America a great nation. But lately, it seems that some of these freedoms are coming under fire. According to some recent articles coming down the pike from our government. It seems that some of my activities and beliefs might be labeled as a 'right wing extremist' or a 'domestic terrorist". Life could get interesting, considering I'm not a supporter of tyranny, I've never once attended any sort of anti-government rallies (I actually have a lot of interest in government, you can ask a lot of my friends about that.)

But I also realize how important it is to pray for our nations leaders. I'm not a supporter of our current nations leaders (I don't support genocide or the homosexual or 'alternative' lifestyle to name a few), but I don't vehemently hate these folks either. I don't support living a lifestyle contrary to the Bible. But I'm not going to force someone into living how I live.

I say all this because I get emails all the time about how ungodly beliefs are continually being forced upon me. I continually get emails about how when I go to the store, money that I'm paying for goods and services is automatically being given to people who do things that I don't agree with. Meaning that un-Godly lifestyles are being ENCOURAGED financially by businesses and governments that I have to use. President Obama has recently lifted a ban on federal funding for overseas abortion. Great, now the money that I would be making is going towards supporting something that I whole heartedly disagree with.

Sometimes, I get into discussions with folks about the issues. And sometimes, it doesn't go too far. Often times, people don't want to talk about it because the picture is just too painful. Could previous generations could've done more to prevent it? Perhaps... In any case, it seems that it is now up to my generation to fix the mistakes.

In any case, I guess you could say that I'm just a little peeved right now at things that are happening. Big Brother is supposed to be representing me, but more and more it seems that he just doesn't care. He's got the power to change things and they're changing things alright... just not how I want them to be changed.

Monday, April 27, 2009

All For The Sake Of A Crown....

Ok, so Ms. California 2009 was asked a question about same-sex 'marriage' and according to some she answered it right and to some she answered it wrong. She could've just answered it to suit ears and she might have the crown today. But that would've been violating her principles and her beliefs. Some think she should leave her beliefs out of it and answer it to just suit them. But then should wouldn't be true to herself and her moral beliefs.

Another point that I want to raise on here is the name's she was called by the judge later on. I don't think that was very nice of him and it probably hurt her feelings. I think he should genuinely apologize, even if Mr. Hilton didn't agree with the answer. Is that the kind of reputation you want to give of yourself? It doesn't exactly shine well onto the homosexual movement....

For the record, according to me, she went for the right crown and that makes her more beautiful than anything. It may not be a crown here, but its a crown that will last for all eternity.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Christians and Politics... Do They Mix?

On the right hand side, you'll see a link for a podcast that I recently did with a missionary friend of mine from Peru, Steve Bremner. We discussed the issue of how Christians should handle the political scene. Should we vote? How does God fit into the scene if you are a Christian and you hold office. Enjoy the podcast and I welcome your feedback.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hope Deferred

The other night, I was talking w/ my roommates here about how much my trust in leadership has really been kicked around. I'm not talking about just everyday stuff, but I'm talking about big monumental things. I hope and pray i'm the only one who feels like this right now, but a large part of me is just fed up with the lack of a lot of integrity in leadership. Whether its in the church, of which I'm apart of, or in our government, which I follow kinda closely because of my interest in government.

There have been a lot of scandals in the church world nowadays. In the past 40 years especially, a lot of leaders have 'fallen'. They've fallen due to sexual issues, financial issues and other issues. Granted, I know religious leaders are people just like anyone else and they have their short comings. And I have mine so I have no stones to through at that. But one characteristic of it is are we going to learn from those mistakes, or do we sweep them under the rug and act like these problems don't exist. I say all this because frankly, it doesn't help for us to ignore the issues. That only helps in trying to 'win souls'.

One question I ask to people is "How good is your word?" Can your word be trusted, or do you just speak things flippantly and then conveniently forget about them?

In the governmental realm... would someone PLEASE get a clue? We've made some folks into superstars. I don't know if we realize this, but they're in that position to SERVE us. Congress people are there to SERVE us, not have their lives handed to them on silver platters and pay $90 for a meal (that's just an exaggeration). That is an abuse of my tax dollars! I wish we would be able to have easier access to them...

(If you'll note, I didn't give names. It isn't my desire to single folks out, but I wanted to address a principle instead of a person.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Myth of Palestine

I want to start this note off to say that God loves the Arab people just like everyone. Jesus died for their souls as well. I have friends in Arab nations and I know that God wants them more than they could ever want Him. With that in mind, I read a brief article lately entitled "The Myth of Palestine". So I'm going to put it on here for all ya'll to read. Enjoy.

The Myth of Palestine
What happened to the “Palestinian” Empire? Should the “Refugees” have a ‘right of return’? Are the Jews occupying Palestinian Land? Let’s look a little closer at the facts!
In light of the “apartheid” accusation toward Israel over the so-called plight of the Palestinians’ loss of their country to Israeli aggression and ‘occupation’, here are several basic questions that one should be able to answer if, in fact, “Palestine” ever did exist.
1. When was it founded and by whom?
2. What were its borders?
3. What was its capital?
4. What constituted the basis of its economy?
5. What was its form of government?
6. What was the language of the country of Palestine?
7. What was the name of its currency?
8. Choose any date in history – what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the U.S dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date?
9. Since there is no such country today, what caused its demise, and when did it occur?
10. When exactly was it a proud nation and what was it soo proud of?
11. Here is the most important question of all: if the people (erroneously called Palestinians) are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over – or rather thrown out of – the Arab world, and truly possess a unique ethnic identity that gives them a right for self-determination, why did they never try to become an independent and cohesive group (the PLO terrorist organization) until the Arabs suffered their devastating defeat in the Six Day War – a war they initiated?

There truth is…
- There was never an Arab country of Palestine, and Palestinian-Arabs were never a nation.
- Jerusalem was never the capital of any Arab state or province. (it is not even in the Qur’an).
- In all of recorded history, only one People have ever made a country (others named) “Palestine” a sovereign nation-state with Jerusalem as its capital… The Jews.

(Adapted from “A Japanese Perspective on the Palestinians” Reprinted from JVT March/April 2006.) May/June 2007 Jewish Voice Today, Pg. 21

Monday, March 9, 2009

Biltmore Estate

Well, this past Saturday, I was priviledged to go and tour the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. My parents came into town for a super quick tour (they were heading home to PA from Florida with the Stoner's) and so they decided to stop in and see me and then go to Biltmore).

Biltmore Estate is absolutely huge. I mean, its only 175,000 sq. ft. of a house. It sits on a meager 8,000 acres of property ( It is a tourist trap and therefore, everything is really expensive (go figure, huh?). We did the tour in about 2 hours. They have headphones that you listen to as you go from room to room. I had a good time, considering that my parents paid my way. I would go up again though. And do the audio tour b/c you'd probably miss out a lot without them. I mean, your already paying at least $35 to do the tour, you might as well pay the extra money to understand it all.

After doing the tour, we went to the winery and did the wine tasting. I had never done one before, but it was fun. I wouldn't be able to tell you any of the names of wine that I tried, but I did learn that I'm not really missing much by not normally drinking the stuff. I'm not opposed to further drinking of wine, but I don't make it a regular thing in my life. I'll stick w/ Cheerwine and Mountain Dew.

If your into history and like to tour homes and like a lot of walking, I'd recommend you doing the tour. If you don't like any of those things, don't do it. Plain and simple.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Finger of God

Last night I saw part of a dvd called "The Finger of God." If you've ever seen the Transformation videos, by the Sentinel Group and George Otis Jr. and you really enjoyed them, the Finger of God is a dvd you should probably look into.

The particular video wasn't necessarily professionally done, but they were very encouraging. They were about areas in the world where people are experiencing supernatural miracles of God. Blind eyes seeing, deaf ears hearing, the dead being raised up again! It was really neat to see. They had stories of the church in China, Mozambique, Bulgaria and a few other places in Europe. Such as someone going into a village, asking to pray for someone who is blind or deaf and this person praying for this person and they get healed! And then the whole village turns to Jesus!

Wait, you mean they got healed and then got saved?!?! Yep! One of the best parts about it was the fact that little children were praying for these people and they're getting healed! There were parts that could've totally offended my precious little pathetic theology (after all, theology is just us trying to explain God. It's good to have proper theology, but at times, God does stuff to just mess with us.).

In any case, the video's were encouraging to see how the Kingdom of God is growing. The Lord is doing some awesome 'stuff' today and its fun to hear the stories and be a part of it.

Forgive All

The title here kinda says it all.... Have you ever been hurt/offended at something that happened to you in life? Someone say something to you that just rubbed you the wrong way? Or someone told you something and maybe they didn't hold true to their promise? Maybe your a teenager or child and your parents or someone you trusted did something just really wrong to you. Maybe there's a divorce that you were victim to? How do you handle it?

One thing you could do is hold onto that hurt and let it rot in your heart, never forgiving them who have hurt you.

Or you could say "God, I know what this person did to me way wrong. Whether or not they know it (and perhaps you need to just say something to this person/group of people and let them know). But regardless God, I release the hurt and pain that's been caused by this. I choose to not let this build into hatred. I love them and pray the biggest blessing onto them."

Believe it or not, but I'm one who has encountered a lot of hurt in my life. I had things said about me behind my back and all sorts of false accusations leveled at me and misunderstandings. But through all of it, the Lord has always given me the grace to get through and just be like "God, i love and release them."

That doesn't come right away. But over time and through prayer, forgiveness was granted. You're probably thinking "Well Shawn, that's easy for you to say. But have you ever gone through a divorce or been physically/sexually/mentally abused? What about those?"

Your right, there's a lot in life I haven't experienced. And I don't know the pains that that causes people. There are people who have gone through horrendous ordeals in life, and I wouldn't even want to try and imagine the pains they've suffered. But I know of Someone who has. Someone who came to set people free from their bondages that separate them from God. (Yes, His name is Jesus...)

You may have gone through divorces, or been raped or some sort of other abuse. Your not alone. But I do want to tell you that through the grace of God, you can forgive those who have hurt you.

I'll tell you where this is coming from. I don't know about you, but I have days where I just don't want to be around folks. Sometimes, different times for different reasons. But sometimes, offenses just like to get in their. And sometimes, the very people who your trying to get don't understand that and they don't take your help or they misread you and your like "believe it or not, but I'm trying to help." And in that, grudges and bitterness start forming. Then you have to pull back on the reigns and just be like "ok, no matter what they might have thought, I still love them and want the best for them."

It's usually not that easy to forgive all. I know whole books have been written about this very idea. One time, i heard this story from a friend of mine who he was loosing his wife to breast cancer. And he was starting to get mad at God. After all, he was a good and faithful missionary in Asia. And here he's having to deal with this disease! I mean, its like "Hey God, i'm trying to work for you here, could you help me out?!!?" And the one question he got from God was "If you loose her, will you be offended at me?" (Lesson learned in life: When God asks you a question like this, the wrong thing to do is to try and answer it, because its a set up!). In the end, my friend lost his wife to cancer, got remarried and is to this day still serving the Lord.

I just lost my grandpa just a couple months ago. He was faithfully serving God and he just died. He was in his late 70's and he went to his church to help with the viewing of a 17 yr old who had just committed suicide. He went up to his pastor and asked if there was anything he could do to help out. Before his pastor answered him, he fell forward and died. Granted, my grandpa is in Heaven with Jesus, so he had a good turn out. But its in situations like that that you have to wonder at times.

In any case, there were lately some situations in my life that happened and I was hurting. In the end, the Lord was telling me to forgive. It's not easy and not fair. There were probably misunderstandings and preconceived ideas that weren't true. But still, He said forgive. Thank God for His grace. Because I know I can turn to Jesus who dealt with a lot of the same things and probably soo much more, and He still forgave. Even after being nailed to the Cross, He still said "Forgive them Father, because they don't know what they're doing."

Of course, I'm sure that for all 4 of you who are reading this have absolutely NO unresolved issues. If that's not the case, may the Lord extend grace to forgive. It's nothing you can do on your own, you need to fall on His grace and love.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Instant Messaging

Modern technology really is something neat. It's amazing to think that I can be talking to someone in Asia in a heartbeat and its like they're right down the road from me. Now, in those times, there is jargon that is used and lingo that is tossed around. The following is a link that has a lot of this lingo and the explanation for it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All My Eggs In One Basket

Everyday, I'm getting emails from groups like the A.F.A and other watchdog groups. Such and such a bill is going through and I need to contact my congressman immediately and voice my opinion.... After a while, I just stop. I thoroughly believe in being active in every sphere of life, but I also believe in praying for those in authority.

I think the next couple of years is a great chance for God to arise and His enemies be scattered. I want to see laws changed to protect the unborn and help the country. But if you get to someone's heart, that's better than legislating. You can only do soo much before you just have soo many rules that someone is bound to snap. What's going on in their heart that makes them want to do what they do?

When investing, its not a good idea to put all your money in one place, but rather, spread it out. It's called diversifying an investment. The Kingdom of God isn't like that. You put your trust in the Lord and stay close to Him and His heart and your 'investment' (life) can't be anywhere safer. You continue to read the Bible and continue to pray (seek God) and your life is taken care of. It may not seem be taken care of like you want it to be, but God's got you.

Let us continue to seek God for change that we can believe in.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thank You Note

This video cracked me up. Enjoy it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Random Facts on Your's Truly

I originally had this on my Facebook, and I just copied this over to this.

1. I'm guess I'm what you would call 'tech savvy'.
2. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior at a very young age.
3. In the last 6 years, I've lived in 6 different places.
4. I love to travel and minister to folks.
5. I've been to Haiti twice in my life. The first time on a team, the second time because I wanted to go.
6. I got pictures from the top of the London Eye on a clear day (miracles happen).
7. I've read through the Bible at least twice in my life.
8. I don't understand how people can support genocide (abortion) and/or deny the holocaust.
9. I have a niece and nephew who i think the world of. (Love you Jayda and Josiah).
10. I currently drive a '94 Geo Prizm. (The Teal Taxi)
11. I moved down to North Carolina in 2003 to go to FIRE School of Ministry.
12. I've never broken any bones in my body, but I've come pretty dog gone close to it.
13. I dare you to ask me about Jesus and what He's done in my life. :)
14. I was almost killed in a car wreck a couple years ago.
15. I've been to at least 5 different countries in my life: England, Haiti, Canada, Philippines, New York City and Japan. (ok, so NYC isn't another country... just checking to see if your paying attention. Japan was just a layover when going to the Philippines.)
16. I got a tetanus shot in Wal-Mart once. Needles don't really scare me.
17. I've done the drive between Concord,NC and Ephrata,PA more times than I care to remember.
18. I had a stomach tube put in through my nose once at FIRE for class.
19. I like to take walks a lot to listen to music on my ipod.
20. I currently have about 15 gigabytes of music on my ipod.
21. I've never gone water skiing yet... perhaps someday.
22. I have a Mennonite background.
23. I've done customer service type jobs for at least 5 years and really am tired of it.
24. I love moose tracks, chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry ice cream.
25. I don't really do Starbucks. I can't justify spending that much for coffee.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Reason's to Pray for Obama, Pt. 6

Some more reason's to pray for the President-elect Obama.

Reason 15: Weakening Gun Rights. Pres. Obama will further undermine the people's Second Amendment right to bear arms and elevate the idea that the state, not the people, has the ultimate power.

If your a gun owner, watch out. Obama wants to take that gun from you and give the power back to the government.

Reason 16: International Taxation. Obama will subject the U.S. citizens to the international taxation such as the United Nations Global Poverty Tax, a new tax to fight global poverty.

I want to see global poverty erradicated as well. But do that without creating more taxes. I want people to WANT to give, not be forced to give. I hate the idea that when I'm working, part of my money is going to support abortion and other things like it.

Reason 17. Economic Statism. Obama will respond to the economic crisis by promoting a statist model for the economy that fundamentally transforms our free-market system into a state-run, European model.

Reason 18. The "Movement" presidency. Obama will continue his 'movement' based political machine that gained him the election and use that movement to change the presidency and push his agenda.

Reason 19. Rise of Liberal Theology. Under the Obama Administration, the theology of the Left will move from the fringe to the mainstream with profound impacts reaching from Capitol Hill to Main Street.

According to Obama, in a statement he uses frequently in his speeches "My individual salvation depends on our collective salvation." Funny, I don't know where that is in the Bible. Could I get some help with that? Since Obama claims to be a Christian, we'll hereby use the Bible as the final authority. No other books! And I've read through the Bible and I don't know where that's at.

Reason 20: Early-Life Experimentation. Under an Obama administration, a brave new world of early-life experimentation will be advanced, resulting in policies that promote human cloning and life-destroying embryonic research.

Obama wants to push for embryonic stem cell research, which by definition necessitates the destruction of human life.

Reason 21: Post-Christian America. Under the cover of promoting 'tolerance', Obama will seek to legitimize moral relativism while disregarding the foundational worldview and principles of the U.S.

How many out there like to be told they can't say certain things. How would you like to be told that you can't tell someone what they did was wrong according to Biblical standards? Because that might hurt someone's feelings and would be labeled hate speech. This is the kind of things we have to look out for.

Let us remember to pray for those who are in authority over us. May God give them wisdom beyond human abilities to lead and guide.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Love of God

Editors note: I copied and pasted this from my Facebook account to this. Some folks may not be able to view Facebook if they don't have an account. So, in an attempt to allow others to view this, I brought it here. Aren't I a nice guy?

I want to put this out here for you blogging folks to chew over. There are big disputes, or maybe we'll say 'misunderstandings' of the love of God. Granted, I'm still trying to work this out as well, but I've done a few laps around the sun by now, so I felt my input might be helpful for some.

I've done various street ministry (meaning going to the streets of the city and talking with various folks) and I've done open air preaching at UNCC. It was quite interesting. That certainly has it's place. I was on a team of folks who would go onto the UNCC campus for a time and do open air preaching and just walk around and talk to folks. But sometimes, I question the results of it and its effectiveness. I'm sure there is some fruit to it. Did Jesus do street preaching? From time to time He did. Of course, most of the street ministry He would do is healing the sick and stuff like it. He moreso challenged the religious system of the day. This isn't to say that anyone who does street ministry is wrong or bad. One of my friends from church has a 10' cross and he carries that down the city streets. Talk about a magnet to draw people into conversation.

But I think that one of my favorite techniques of ministering is around a kitchen table or quieter conversations with people, to hear whats going on with them. I would say that much of my theology is a mixture of Arminism and Calvinism. I believe the Lord gives us free will to choose the path we want to go down. He has a path He would like us to go down, but He wants us to choose Him. As far as I see it, extreme Calvinism makes God out to be a sinner and un-Biblical. It makes God to draw us into sin. Which of course He can't do. Theology and doctrine are good, but its really just man trying to figure God out.

I want you to think as judgement/correction/rebuke as this. The Lord disiplines (judges/corrects/rebukes) those He loves. I'm sure there are a few rebuke-happy folks out there. But when its done in the wrong spirit/attitude, its wrong. If and whenever I bring correction to someone, I like to do it one on one. No one else needs to hear it, or at least not at that times hopefully. But then when i get to praise someone for doing something, i love to do that in public. But I've been corrected in the past, and it doesn't feel good at the time. But afterwards, i realize that this person had my best interests at heart and they wanted to see me grow. Whenever my supervisors at work would tell me I'm doing something wrong (and they were right) i would thank them and move on. They were doing that to help me out.

My parents would discipline me growing up. At the time, it didn't feel good. but in the end, they were doing it because they loved me. I know some of you don't believe in discipline because it was done in the wrong spirit. And now whenever you hear the term discipline or Father, you recoil. You had a bad experience. Satan brings condemnation (meaning there is no hope for you). God brings conviction (you were wrong, but there is hope for you yet.)

A lot of time in ministering, I'm dealing w/ folks (young and old) who have a bad perception of God. They think He's a evil task master and just wants to discipline and hurt people. There was abuse growing up and your dealing with that and that's the filter you run it through when you hear Father. Do you realize that that's giving a bad perception of God the Father? God the Father wants the best for you. He has an awesome plan for you and He wants to love on you.... You just have to open up your heart to Him. He doesn't want to exploit you in any way, shape or form. He wants to heal those hurts and give you a correct perception of Him.

Do you realize that you can actually enjoy God? You can enjoy prayer and reading the Bible? God wants for you to enjoy those things! He wants you to enjoy life! God is a Father who wants to love you; He's Jesus who wants a personal relationship with you; and He's the Holy Spirit who wants to empower you to live life to the fullest.

I was just talking about this last night with some of my friends. When a guy and girl first start dating (and hopefully it doesn't stop), he doesn't consider the time he spends with her as something he HAS to do, he probably looks at it as something he WANTS to do. He'll ride his bike miles on end in crazy traffic, with 95 degree temps and humidity like crazy just to spend time with her (ok, so this is all either theory, or at least stories i've heard). But its not like he's dreading the time. He's looking at the end destination.

So I've spouted off for long enough, thanks for taking the time to read this.

Reasons to Pray for Obama, Pt. 5

Reason 12: New Era of Socialism. Pres. Obama will usher the U.S. into a new era of European-style socialism and big govern't collectivism under the guise of globalism and fairness.

He wants to expand government to the point of controlling the public in a bad way. It sounds well and good, but when someone lazy is getting money from me when I'm working hard, that doesn't sit well with me. I will help someone get the tools necessary to get them back on their feet. But not to reward their laziness.

Reason 13: Government-Run Health Care. Pres. Obama will weaken the world's greatest health care system by pushing a socialized, govern't-run system that increases our tax burden and limits health care choice.

Again, he wants the government to control the decision making, instead of allowing doctors to make the decisions, someone in the government will make the call.

Reason 14: Radical Abortion Agenda. He'll promote the most radical abortion agenda in the history of the American Presidency and he will start by signing the Freedom of Choice act.

He will promote 'abortion on demand' so that a woman doesn't have to deal w/ the 'mistake' (another word for 'pregnancy' according to Obama). Mind you, to show the video of a partial birth abortion would be banned on national broadcast television. It's a procedure where the doctor 'delivers' the baby feet first up to the neck and then inserts a syringe and extracts the brain, causing the skull to collapse and allow the now-dead baby to be aborted. Remember, in an interview when he was asked at what time does the baby deserve rights, his answer was "that's above my pay grade to answer that." Scary? Yeah, I know.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Reasons To Pray for Obama, Pt. 4

Reason 7: Open Border Anarchy. Despite lack of progress on the double-layer fence, Obama will minimize government efforts to secure our borders while exposing our nation to more illegal, criminal and terrorist crossings at our borders.

Reason 8: Amnesty for Illegal Aliens. There are good chances that Obama will sign into law a plan to give amnesty and taxpayer supported benefits to millions of illegal aliens, launching the largest increase in illegal immigration in our nation's history.

Reason 9: Diminished U.S. Military. President Obama will oversee a reduction in the U.S. military while pursuing a radical agenda of nuclear disarmament as part of an overall strategy that leaves our country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks. He wants to retract everything and disarm our defenses.

Reason 10: Carbon Tax to Save the Planet. Under President Obama, the unproven theory of global warming will be codified into law, costing tax payers billions of dollars and placing an enormous burden on the U.S. Economy.

Reason 11: "Green" Energy Crisis. Pres. Obama will worsen American's energy crisis by rejecting calls for increased domestic oil and nuclear production while promoting an ideological energy crisis that forces costly 'green solutions on society.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Reason's to Pray for Obama, Pt. 3

I hate war, I really do. I hate the idea of innocent folks dying. But when a nation's leader or a coalitions leader doesn't step up to the plate and do something about inhumane treatment of a society, evil has won. Another reason to pray for Obama is:

Reason 5: Pullback on the War On Terror. President Barack Obama will begin a pullback of U.S. efforts in the war on terror, starting with a quick pullout of Iraq, which will probably only embolden our enemies.

Since 9/11/01, has there been any other terrorist attacks on our soil to the likeness of 9/11? Not that I can recall. We have to get over the desire to have a microwave war and have everything changed overnight. It's just not going to happen. I have no doubt that the Iraqi nation was fed false information about our troops, and therefore, they're going to fight us. But according to many troops, the media isn't letting us know about the schools that have started up and the good things that have happened since our troops went in. And of course, I only know what I'm told by others. So that's why I try and get first hand accounts from our soldiers who have fought.

Reason 6: Liberal Court Activism. Pres. Obama will usher in a new era of leftist judicial activism by nominating only judges who disregard the Constitution in favor of legislating from the bench.

It might pan out that Obama is able to nominate 2/3 of new judges to the bench. Obama believes that the Constitution should be interpreted and should be read in the context of an ever-changing world. In other words: there are no absolutes. We will interpret the Constitution to fit modern day versus interpreting for what it says and means.