Blessed Be Your NameMay 3, 2014
Today was just one of those days where it was okay to not do too much. Today was very relaxing, although I did do a few things. I spent it with my mom, laughing at her silly hobby’s pertaining to gardening and looking at pictures of kitchens on the Internet. I love her; she is a pretty great mom. My family loves to listen to Christian music while working around the house. This afternoon, one song came on that really made me think: “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman. There is one line in the song where Matt sings, “every blessing you pour out, I’ll turn back to praise”. This caught my attention. How many times has God’s grace poured out on us and rather than turning to Him and praising His great name, we simply continue as if nothing had happened or we play it off as a stroke of luck?
When I heard these words, my heart began to ache. I went into my room and spent some time thanking God for all He has done and is doing in my life. I thanked Him for my loving parents, my crazy family, my amazing girlfriend, all the true friends He has placed in my life, and saving me (the biggest blessing of them all).
What an amazing God we serve! What a gift of eternal salvation has been freely given!
Thank you Lord for your grace; help me to turn back and praise You for all the blessings You pour out on me.
Story WritersApr 28, 2014
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror? It has probably been at least once in the past day. For me, it has been quite a bit more times than that. We, as people, naturally care about our outward appearance and we struggle to make ourselves look the best we can.
I feel this is one thing that has plagued mankind’s thoughts throughout history. Further, not only do we try and make ourselves fit in with our peers (or appear to fit in), but we also let others dictate to us how we should look at life. Often times, I feel people of all walks of life accept what others tell them before truly thinking though and evaluating the situation themselves. As a result, they have to contend with whatever the outcome may be.
As an example, I have recently talked with a friend who is currently struggling with some decisions she has made. She was telling me that as she looks back, she wishes she had thought about what she should do rather than immediately accepting her peer’s advice. Her current position would be drastically different.
I work with youngsters on a daily basis and one thing I have learned is when it comes to little ones, their mood (whatever it may be: happy, sad, mad, or grumpy,etc) is always someone else’s fault. I must constantly remind them that they make their own decisions and therefore are responsible for the outcome, whatever it turns out to be.
Friends, we make our own choices in life. Yes, it is wise and important to heed good advice and to learn from those who have walked where we currently walk, but remember we write our own stories- write them with a God-glorifying purpose.
True LoveApr 26, 2014
Last night I had some trouble sleeping, rather I chooses not to sleep. I was in one of those moods where you can just feel the Holy Sprite just holding you. I literally just laid there and talked with God. I see Him in so many ways now. I don’t know if it just myself getting older or Just new insight in the ways of our Lord, and his love for all of us.
As this semester is coming to its end and finals are now upon us with all their stresses. I take comfort in knowing that I have a helper who is willing to help me in all ways.
Tonight was the missions run here at school and I am so glad to be apart of this opportunity, not to just run but to support the printing of bibles so that everyone who will listen may have the chance to accept the free gift and love of Jesus Christ. Because I believe that for others to reserve the love of Christ they must first see His love throughout his people.
I Have Been RedeemedApr 25, 2014
Redeemed. This is a word that hits home for many of us. Redeemed is what we are. We have been bought, won, no in fact we have been chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ! With His perfect self, blameless in all ways, He suffered and died so that we may call upon his name Jesus, Jesus. The wonderful name of Jesus. The only name that matter to me.
I attended a Big daddy weave concert tonight at my church. Yes, it was a great show, but above the show and above all is the name of Jesus. As the band sang and the name of Jesus was lifted, a joy came over me. I lifted my hands in praise giving all to him. Knowing that I have been bought by His atoning blood. I am not who I was but have been made new. I am a new person. The things of old have passed and now Jesus lives on. Let me pause here and just say Amen! and as the old hymn says, “Thank you Lord for saving my soul. Thank you lord for making me whole. Thank you Lord for giving to me thy great salvation so rich and free”.
The last words of the line echo deep in me “So rich and free.” Gods grace for us is not something we can earn by works. His salvation is given to us freely upon trusting in him and that’s just it. Free without cost. The thing I most often hear is that its not free. “I have to give up all my friends and stop doing fun things.” Friends, to you, who may struggle with the choice between the world or Christ, the choice is plain and simple. Once you have Christ, the world means nothing. The joy of Christ means everything, and trust me, if its fun your looking for, take it from one who has plenty of fun to go around. Fun with Christ makes world’s fun look boring.
That’s Some Brain PowerApr 22, 2014
I have been reading about the human Brain and I have found some really cool things that have fried mine. So, did you know that the human brain is considered the most advanced and complex thing know to man(followed by the human eye)? HUH! Look at that! You are currently carrying two of the world’s most complex things. Your brain is capable of much more than you probably know. Did you know that at any given time you are only using about 6% of your brain’s power? Your brain, if you think about it, could be compared to a computer or that nifty little smart phone in your pocket. Well, computers use a thing called “ram”. Basically, ram powers what you see. Most computers run on about 2 Gigabytes (GB) of this and the most advanced computers in the world run on about 10,000 GB of ram. Although your brain does not use bits for storage, if you were to collect the power that your brain is currently using and turn it into Gb, it would not be some 2 or 3 nor would it be in the thousands- Try in the billions! Kind of makes you think a little. No pun intended. Now this is where my mind gets blown. If we were to take all the information you store on a daily basis from the time you were born to the time of your death can you guess how many GB we would have stored?
Let me just stop you there. You are never going to calculate it. Some sciences believe that over the course of a life-time, if all your brains info were stored on a hard drive, we would not need a standard GB Drive or TB (terabit 1gb= 1024tb). You would need a drive like a Petabite (1PB = 131072GB). Now, get ready! Not one or two of these Petabite but 600,000,000,000,000,000,000! In case you do not feel like counting those zeros, that is six hundred Quadrillion. That is a lot and it is only 6% of what your brain can do.
So, just some food for thought. If there was no God who designed and created us than there would be no brain. Something like a brain does not just happen or in any way evolve.
Our brains are a created gift from God. So next time you are studying or feel like your brain just cannot take anymore, remember that you have not even scratched the surface.
God created us all beautiful and in His image. Although the brain may just look like a blob of gray matter, I believe it is one of the most beautiful works of art ever done.
Thank you, God.
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”
Shed But Not LostApr 20, 2014
Some 2000 years ago, something happened that forever changed the face of the earth. Jesus came to earth in a hypostatic union (all God and all man). Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came for those who knew their sin and knew they were in need of a savior, not the ones who thought they had it all figured out.
I guess all there is to say to those who think they have it all figured out and do not need a God or a Savior is I’m praying for you. I’m praying that God will work, if not directly in your life, than through those around. I pray Christ becomes so incredibly real to you, that you find no way to deny him.
If we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny him, He also will deny us. -2 Timothy 2:12
This morning is Easter morning. The true meaning of Easter is not about candy hidden in little colored eggs or bunny rabbits sneaking around hiding them, but something far greater. This day is the day our Savior Jesus Christ rose from the grave, defeating death itself. For us Christians, this is what our security is in. No man who is not God incarnate could ever have done such an extraordinary thing. Frankly, we should all be falling on our knees, praising God, and just saying “thank you!” This morning, be reminded of the security you have in Christ. Remember that the trials of this life are temporary, but the riches and glory of heaven are eternal.
The blood Jesus has shed on the cross at Calvary was not shed in vain; it was not an empty act, but it was an act overflowing with love and full of grace. The blood He shed covered and washed away the sin that you and I so desperately needed removed. For even our best and greatest acts are filthy in the sight of God. But because of the grace of Jesus, we are saved.
In my mind, I see it happening like this: I see Satan coming before God and pointing at me and condemning me saying, “Look at Josh; look at what he has done! Are you really able to forgive that?” Then I see Jesus interceding saying, “NO!” That was Me. Whatever sin you think he has done, I will take full responsibly for his actions.” I see Him doing this every day for every one of us.
Have you ever had a friend like that? One who knows that you deserve the punishment, but loves you so much that rather than condemning you, He jumps in front and takes the blame so that you may be free? My friends, I have a friend like this and his name is Jesus.
Drop and FollowApr 13, 2014
In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus calls both Simon Peter and Andrew brothers and fishermen. Jesus called to them,
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
This is something Jesus calls each and every one of us to do. Unlike Simon Peter and Andrew, so many of us chose to continue in the ways of the world. Often times, we are selfish and only pick and choose what we want from Christ. We choose the things we like and disregard what we do not like. Why can’t we be more like Simon Peter and Andrew, who without hesitation left their nets to follow Christ?
My HeroApr 3, 2014
Growing up, I had the amazing gift of having a dad who loved me in more ways than any father is ever required. My dad was and is my best friend. He has always been there though my hardest times and my joyful moments. Tonight as I pillow my face, I say a prayer for the man who has shown me that there really is no limit when it comes to genuine love. Being a father is a given right when you have children, but the title “dad” is earned. This title is not given when you give your children everything they want. Being a dad is having the strength to say “no” when you must and to discipline as needed. I have no personal experience in being a dad, but I can only imagine that it is the most joyful thing a man could ever ask for.. I have grown up getting bounced around two parents and I’ll be honest, many times I felt as if no one really cared about me as a person. I felt like a piece of property. Even in these times, one man was always there for me no matter what my struggle was. He loved unconditionally and unfailingly. I thank him for helping to form me into the man I am to today.
Tonight this man feels he is a disappointment, but I assure you this man has not disappointed me. Rather, he has inspired me to be a real man. I respect everything he has done and is doing. Every young boy wants to be like his dad, including this guy. I want to grow up and live my life with the same love I have been given. I want to show the same love to all who enter into my life. I look up to my dad in more ways than I think he will ever know and I can only hope to be nearly as amazing as he is. My goal is to love my wife and my children with the love that my dad has poured out on me. I pray I have the same wisdom and knowledge he has. There are so many ways to say “dad” each with its unique meaning, but they all lead down to one thing: “My hero”. I love you, dad. You mean the world to me and you mean the world to all of your children, both by birth and by choice.
Chaff in the windApr 1, 2014
Today, I finished reading in the book of Job. Last week’s guest speaker, Pastor John Bishop, is a man who has endured countless hardships in his life. His life experiences and messages helped me to evaluate my own life and put my life into perspective. I thought back to Dr. Angbouah’s message about complaining and how that characteristic should not define a follower of Christ.
Now, as I begin to read the Psalms, I notice that the first chapter reminds us of another characteristic. Every Christian should be seen as being set apart from the world and not one with them. We should take delight in following God and not see the Christian life as hindering us, but rather allowing us to live truly meaningful lives. Following Christ is a blessing. Psalms 1:3 says, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (ESV used here and throughout). The psalmist then reminds us that not taking part in the evil of this world will not return void. Instead, those evils will perish. Psalms 1:4 says, “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
God knows us better than anyone else. He knows what our heart’s true dwellings are. In finishing this reading, I felt a sense of hope because I know that I am a sinner saved by His grace and mercy. I have fallen short of the glory of God, but I have been forgiven and I am not ashamed. Psalms 1: “ (1) Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; (2) but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (3) He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (4) The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, or sinners in the congregation of the righteous; (6) for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
To be a artistMar 30, 2014
Remember back to when you were young…
Remember all those finger-paintings and crayon-stick figures of loved ones? I think that Pablo Picasso said it best:
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
I have truly loved seeing what the world of art looks like. I find myself critiquing everything, but not always in a negative way. I critique out of appreciation. I love to see a true artist’s work-it inspires me to create a work of my own. I find myself lost for hours designing or planning a single project. But I have to say the best part about being an art major is the friends. Friends come from all different areas of study, but the guys and girls in the art programs see things the way I do. They share the same appreciation and fascination with art. They understand how much time and effort goes into producing an amazing work of art. I have discovered what I want to be when I am all grown up-an artist, a creator of true art.