Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today was Wee

So I'm pretty sure that I can't get any sleep until I proclaim how awesome God is.

For those who don't know, I preached my very first sermon. Bona-fide, authentic, preaching, and God definitely worked through me in a way I didn't expect. I was shocked, amazed, at what God had been saying through me. I had so many people tell me that I did a good job, but all I could say is that it belonged to God. Jerry himself was like, "I was amazed at what came out of your mouth." Well he isn't alone. I was grateful that God was speaking to me, I was preaching to myself more than anything, because it was on things I was going through, and it led to people coming up for prayer, I was SHOCKED!! God blew me out of the water with His blessing and I cannot take any credit for any word I spoke. I only hope I can continually give Him full reign over my words in the sermons to come.

I was glad my parents were there to hear my first sermon. That meant a lot to me.

So basically, everyone was amazed at what I said, and I said what God told me, so everyone was amazed at the message God had for them. I am glad that He used me, and I hope he continues. At it seems a little direction has been given to me. In fact it was rather point blank, weee. I hope I can get a recording so I can see how to improve, and also, it might sound weird, so I won't forget the first experience of God using me in a way that was visible to me.

K I'm going to bed. As the proverb says "do not praise yourself with words, allow others to do so." I'm paraphrasing, but eh, you get the point. Nighty Night.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What If This Was Someone You Knew?

Today was interesting.

This last week, this week, and next week are all part of the missions rally here at Crossroads Fellowship, and we did something completely new for a missions rally. It was definitely an unusual, and non-traditional setting. The group titled it Coffee and Conversations. We basically set up our sanctuary like a coffee house. I really liked it a lot. And of course there would be nothing to do with the missions rally if they didn't share what is going on around the world and stuff right? Well I didn't know what they were going to talk about, but what they did share made me cry.

They talked about the Sex Trade that so many women and girls get sold into. Thousands of women are sold into the sex trade on a daily basis. The majority of this is located in southeast Asia, but it is a very real issue in most every part of the world. I think the average day involved a woman being with around 25 men a day. They are raped, molested, abused, the list goes on and on. I cannot see how people can be so cruel to each other. There are girls, some as young as 10 years old being sold into this slave/trade enterprise, and even more heinous is that they are just as involved into the sexual acts as the women who are in their late teens and early twenties. I am horrified, and deeply saddened at the state our world is in.

Yet again, a portion of my paradigm on life has completely shifted. This is a good thing, but sometimes it has to come in painful ways. This was a semi-painful experience, because my heart bleeds for these people. No woman should have to be forced to have sexual relations with another person. Harems, brothels, street prostitution, it's all disgusting, and deeply scarring to the people who have to do it for a living. Some people say that maybe that is their only way of making ends meet. I say, there is always a better solution, and if they haven't found it, then maybe we should be that better solution.

So many men treat women like they are sex goddesses, or as a trophy to claim that they've caught. It's no wonder so many women hate men, I want to hate us too. They become an idol in the life of the men who chase after them, and women too can be found to be in idolatry when they are relying on their significant other to be their fulfillment. Why can't we run to God for fulfillment?

I don't really know where I was going with that. I need sleep, I'm tired, and need to get up semi-early tomorrow. Night folks.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why are we stupid?

So I sit here, just chillaxin and about to watch a movie shown on the Disney Channel when I start to remember of all the things I've learned about my friends lives in the past weekend and it makes my heart ache. I love each and every one of my friends dearly, and I wish I could have gone to AWA with them, but still, I was glad to not have been there to a small degree this year. I have had multiple friends tell me how horrible their experience was because of two of my friends specifically being rude and completely inconsiderate of others. I am not going into detail, because it's not my place. But I am giving a small bit of information as a form of catharsis. I was so shocked to hear about them doing this, that I couldn't believe it the first time I heard it from someone. They have never acted that way before, as far as I can see, this was a new aspect of them I had never seen. Maybe we never really saw that in them because they didn't act that way towards us. Then what presented the opening of our blindness? It hurt even worse to hear of how they didn't give the people they called friends the time of day. One friend's birthday was completely forgotten about. *sigh*

I just don't understand why we as humans can be so fickle and vain. Thank God I am not God, haha I think I would have given them a spiritual backhand a while ago. But then again, I would have done the same to me. In fact, I think He already has a couple of times in the past.

Love... I don't have it, but God gives it to me. That's why I find it hard to hate people, and know that loving is hard to follow up on. I don't know if I'm making any sense. I guess I'm just rambling. k night.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are You A Good Person?

I realize that my concerns for my family and friends on this issue may be unnecessary, but still I feel that I must post this for fear of my own conscience exploding.

Whether you believe a Christian, or not, the problem still remains. Are you really?

Let me just ask a few questions. I ask them because we will all be judged by God on Judgment Day according to the Ten Commandments, and it will be those very things that will condemn us to Hell.

Do you think you have kept the Ten Commandments?

Have you ever told a lie? That would make you a liar.

have you ever stolen anything, regardless of size or value (pen from work, answers off another persons test, cookies when mom wasn't looking, etc.)? That would make you a thief..

How about adultery? Jesus himself said, "You've heard it said in days of old 'you shall not commit adultery', but I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman with lust is guilty of adultery with her in his heart." Are you guilty of lust? Then you are an adulterer.

Have you ever used God's name in vain? That is called blasphemy. We are using the name of the very God who created us and gave us life and substituting it for some 4 letter word to describe disgust or filth.

So if you admit to these things, then you would be a lying thieving blasphemous adulterer at heart, and God is going to judge you according to that on Judgment Day. If you were judged today do you think you would be innocent or guilty? Would you go to heaven or hell?

If you think you would go to heaven, let me ask you something. If something was stolen from your house, would you want that person to come under justice and be punished for his crimes? If the judge is a good judge he will do just that, how much more so will God judge us for every little thought, action, even every word? God is furious with us and our sin.

If you are going to Hell then are you concerned about it? Do you not fear your very life and the eternal consequences of your heinous crimes against God? Do you want to change that?

God sent His one and only son, Jesus, to die on the Cross for the crimes, the sins, of the world. He died to save you from the destiny of eternal punishment, and torment in Hell. All He asks you to do is to repent and have faith in Him. Have faith in the one who saved you and confess Him as your Lord and Savior.

If you are truly repentant then God will hear your prayer and enter into your life, saving you from most certain death.

Again, maybe my concerns are unneeded, but I would hate to see you burn eternally in Hell when I knew I could do something to change it. I would hate to see you in eternal punishment period.

Thanks for reading through this all the way. I hope that it has helped you, and if you already are a born-again believer, share this with those who aren't.

Much Love to you all.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I have a lot on my mind lately, and yet, I can't even bring it into a comprehensible conglomeration of anything. Not even a pile of mess, just one big chaotic vortex. Today was the first day of the missions conference we are having at our church. We had a missionary talk to us for a few minutes over the internet... one of those video teleconference things. It was really cool, and good to see how God is working over there in Mongolia. And then this evening Larry talked about being there for each other. He used a passage in Ecclesiastes that was talking about how two are better than one. He did a good job, and it played right into the missions theme we had, which was completely unintentional, and I find that even more amazing. God used his message and gave him that message before he even knew how it was coming to come out... fascinating.

I actually had a peculiar thought this morning. It could be nothing, or it could be a huge change in my life. When watching one of videos, I had a sudden urge to learn counseling and go to Chile to become a marriage counselor, because Chileans have a 50% divorce rate. 1/2 of all the people who get married will get divorced, that's so sad! Again, random thought.

The AC isn't working in the house right now >_< and boy is it HOOOTT!! I think the last time I saw the thermometer it said the house was at 90 degrees! But even in all this heat, I am content.

I probably did something completely dangerous spiritually today. I told God to break me. I asked Him, begged Him to do it. I feel like I need it. I'm tired of getting the glancing blows, and just gotten to the point where I'm like "God, just hit me." I know I need it, and I guess getting to the point of brokenness is also getting to the point of understanding the abundant life that God has promised us. I don't think I ever reached that stage of "going into the deeper life" and I think that is where a lot of my problems come from. Then again, who knows. Maybe I experienced it before, but I just need to get back into it.

I have to preach next Sunday evening. I am completely unprepared, and at the same time, my message is already complete. I don't really understand how that works, but God has it, and I know that if it is in His hands then it will be what He wants it to be; regardless of length or word play.

I guess I got my thoughts out now... huzzah!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Epic Weddings

So today was pretty good. I got up around 8am for practice at church which started at 9am and we went over this and that. I thought it went really well, and I think I'm beginning to mesh in with the group and able to follow the way it's headed very well.

Then I spent most of the afternoon playing Kingdom Hearts II.... I forgot how much I HATE Atlantica... "worst world evar!!!"

Then, the best part about today, is that I got to go to a wedding at the church. I don't the couple very well, but from what I do know of them, they are some pretty cool people. The wedding was unlike any I had been to. They even had communion served, which was pretty awesome! The reception afterwards was an actual dinner, I was shocked. It was tasty. I even got to drink some sparkly grape juice ^_^

I also caught the garner... although that really wasn't that hard to do since I was the only single man there. >_< I don't know if that constitutes a good thing or not haha.

I thought I was going to Epic this year... I was really looking forward to it, but unfortunately Jerry said no, because he wasn't going to have many people left on his worship team if I left. Most of the worship team people are leaders that are going. Which kicks me out.... and Tsunami is up in that air as well. That makes me a little upset, but I guess I will just have to get used to it. Sorry guys. Erik, will you tell Cristina for me? Appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Trusting God

I find it hard to trust God sometimes, don't you? I mean, so often we say, "God is in control," or "The Lord will provide. He's our Jehova Jira." And we say it to other people meaning full-heartedly, and it IS true, but I think that many times we don't believe it in our hearts. It is only a head knowledge. When push comes to shove we find ourselves hesitant to trust God with anything. We just have to have control of our own lives. We want our lives to go right, and we oftentimes forget that it is us who are the problem.

God has been really "hammering" it into me about trusting Him lately. I mean, my car was working off and on for about a month (thankfully though it is finally fixed, thanks to God's provision through parents ^_^), starting next month I will be giving more than I feel that I can financially afford in my tithe because God has asked me to, and then there is the feeling that God is being silent on certain questions that I have been asking Him. What does my ministry look like (just a hint... please?)? Is the girl I'm dating now the girl I'm going to marry? What should I even focus my attention on in college, what major? And, of course, this is all future focused, but who doesn't want at least a little direction? Besides, what I plan on doing in the future affects how I act now. Knowing what my ministry may look like will affect how I study, and who I marry affects how I treat other women (should I continue to seek that "perfect girl" or should I fence myself off?). Do you see what I mean? These are valid and logical things to be concerned about, but I have no answers to them. Ever feel like that?

And then there are comments people make, whether they said it off-handedly, were serious, or just goofing off, it can seriously affect our thought patterns. We may want to trust ourselves in doing something more than trusting God. We ask God to help us with the big things, but so often not the small things; and it's easy to trust Him with the small things sometimes, but hard to trust with the big things. Why can't we trust Him with all things?

For instance, tithing. Say you get payed $1,000 a month. You pay room and board for $700, and you give $100 for tithe, which leaves you with a mere $200 for whatever you may need (gas, car repairs, clothes, etc.) You feel like you have hardly any money for yourself right? Now let's throw God into the mix by him asking you to give an additional $50 to the Great Commission Fund in order to help out a missionary. What is your reaction? My initial reaction would probably be along the lines of, "God I can't do that, I wouldn't have enough money for a month's worth of gas. I barely have enough now!" But God gives us a promise concerning tithes in Malachi 3:10:

Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

So He tells us that He will bless us until there is no more need. Obviously, He is going to cover your costs. God is not a poor God, and how many times do we forget that? He has an infinite supply of riches that He can give to provide for our lack.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
1 Timothy 6:17

I don't want this to be just about money. We should trust Him with Everything.

casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

He isn't going to let us down. Both Philippians 3:3-4 and 1 Corinthians 1:9 talk about not relying on ourselves, on our flesh, to do things right, to make things work, but to fully rely on God.

So whether it is getting up early every morning and spending an hour in prayer and reading the Bible, or if it is giving/buying a car for someone who needs it, or even paying for their repairs, God has your back. Whether it is ending friendships because they are leading you down a path that can't be good morally, physically, or spiritualy; or staying in the army for 4 more years, whatever God has you doing, you should do with faith and hope that God is going to protect you, and use you, and bless you for your obedience. Wherever we are, we are there for a reason.

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2

He is our strength, we have no need to fear. We have to ourselves out of the way and allow Him to do what He wants in our lives.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

He will never leave nor forsake us. So why should we be worried about money? I'm not saying we should spend the money recklessly, that is poor stewardship of what we have been given, but I am saying that if God asks us to do something we should do it without worry, fear, and without argument. I know that is not easy. I constantly find myself arguing with God about what He is asking me to do (very much like Moses), but what matters the most is if I obey Him. Either He is my Master and I serve Him, or He is no one and I serve myself. We cannot server ourselves if He is our Master, if we are His slaves we don't need to worry about us. He is going to take care of us and bless us for serving Him.

And God's provision will oftentimes come in ways we do not expect, and certainly doesn't look like anything we may hope for; but the provision is still there and god is not going to let His sons and daughters be forgotten.

This is kind of a "sermonette" of what I'm working on for my first "sermon" that I will be preaching in two weeks. It may be 10 minutes long, it may be 2 hours... I doubt it though. Hopefully it will fall in at least 20 haha. So this is my experience mixed with my need to prepare a sermone mixed with my thoughts on life, etc. Tis all, kbye!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Committees are Commitless

Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for our trouble. Prayer will become effective when we stop using it as a substitute for obedience.
~A.W. Tozer

So I am sitting here in a hotel room at a “Pastor's retreat” where they do this and that. It is quite the interesting set up actually, and I find it neat to see how the inner workings of the church are proceeding, at the very least, in the denomination of the C&MA. It is amazing to hear what people have to say about the ministry that is happening presently at the church, and I am glad to see that the American church is not completely off the mark when we aim. However, I also get to see committee meetings and board meetings and I find that I am oftentimes very very frustrated with the church. I find myself asking questions about the topics that are brought up. People are so concerned about the risk, but does anyone ever think that perhaps, oh I don't know, GOD IS IN CONTROL?!

Honestly, I am tired of hearing of how they want to do “x” but when it comes down to doing it, they back out and make excuses. “The insurance will increase by $$” or, whatever the excuse they have currently, but you know, I think we should not judge by whether it will be successful, or failure, but rather, I think we should take risks knowing that God has our back in the things that don't make sense and He is going to protect, and guide the ministry in the direction He wants it to go, when He wants it to go, if only we would be willing to listen and obey.

I thought the quote I started this post with, is really quite fitting for my generation. I remember last year at TFC everyone and their great granny would say, “We want a revival,” and “something is coming.” And they were right in the fact something was coming, I myself felt it from time to time, but you know, I don't think it was what we expected it to look like, and so many people want to see revival, but they are not willing to look at themselves and get right with God, and THAT is where it all starts in my opinion. You can pray until the cows come home for revival, but if your heart, and your attitude are not in the right place. If you are not willing to examine yourself and confess where there needs to be confessing, etc. Then certainly you cannot expect a revival to happen.

Then again, maybe we have come to the point in time, where revivals are no longer going to happen. Maybe we have come so close to return of Christ, that we don't even realize that it might be right next to us. So many people say that “We are closer than we have ever been before.” Yeah, that's true, but so were the people who lived in the 20s. When they were living, they were closer than ever before at that point. So really that statement is really vague, and I don't think I like it.

I've discovered that I might be a little too literal with stuff, which is probably why I'm terrible at reading between the lines, unless I know the people really well (aka Dark Boys, and a few other people). I am very literal, and I think some people might find offensive when I tell them the literal truth. So many sugar coat the truth that I got fed up with it, and I think when all is said and done, the people I unintentionally offended are actually thankful that I told them the truth without making it sound tasty. I don't know, maybe this is all in my head, and I'm just some nut case. then again, what if I'm right? What if this institution we call evangelism, or the church, really needs some major improvements in the American Harem? I'm tired of seeing people stuck in that Christian Ghetto, and I am willing to do what I must to help them out of the sludge of the slums, even if it means I need to be literal, or perhaps slightly offensive. And that, really, is just what is ingrained in my personality. I know I could be more sensitive to people, but at the same time, some people need to be a little less sensitive, or maybe I'm too callous to care, but I really do not believe this is the case.

So in a nutshell of what this entire post is saying, I guess, is that I don't want to see the American Church get deep fried by God's wrath because we didn't obey his word, and decided to talk about improvements instead of making them.

k done for now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Ghostly Double

Bloodied katana in hand and wounds all across his body, Ryan fell to his knees. In all of the kingdom there was no one who could defeat him. Not a single enemy he has ever faced beaten him in combat, and somehow he managed to stay unknown except for the special few who he could call, friends. He did not have different alias', nor did he hide the fact that he was a warrior. There were just no survivors. Every time he was challenged, he ultimately ended up killing them, except, of course, for the times he would go training with his friends, and another trainee would come up to challenge the “weakling” that stood before them. Ryan was not small, but he certainly did not look the strongest either. He was clumsy, air headed at times, and all together seemingly oblivious, but with all these things that should make a horrid warrior, Ryan, was one of the best, and had never been defeated except by the one who trained him, the one who had the patience to teach the unteachable creature, humanity. Today however was different, because today he battled himself. His wants, desires, and emotions formed itself into a perfect copy of himself, and it hit him hard.

The two had parried, sliced, jumped, ducked, and hit all at the same time, there was no way to avoid the attacks that left him open, and those attacks created the scars he would soon wear. For every slash that hit his ghostly double took, he received one as well. It was as if his body and his soul were fighting each other, here in the very depths of the dark forest that was oftentimes his favorite place to sit and think in reclusion from society. At one point, Ryan shot what could be called shards of ice at his clone from the palm of his hand, to which his misty image replied by sending a ball of fire, the very fire that fueled his passions, into the shards causing an explosive amount of energy to push both of them back in opposite directions. If anyone had been watching, they would have thought that it became a battle of good and evil, but if dreams, desires, and emotions, are good, then was the clone the good guy?

Ryan fell onto the dirtied earth and dropped his sword, blood now flowing over his eyes making it hard see. The fight had been long. So often the warrior is told to harness their anger, to allow no emotion in battle because it affects judgment, but these very same disciplines seem to have limited him from defeating himself. He could see it in the ghostly eyes of his clone. The double raised his sword, turned it upside down, and stabbed downwards. Ryan closed his eyes preparing for the strike, but none came. When he ventured to open his eyes again he was surprised by what he saw. The very sword he had dropped when he fell in defeat, was sticking strait out of the ground, and the double was nowhere to be seen. The only true evidence of his battle were the stripes of red painted all across his body, which were now soaking the soft floor where he lay. And there he laid for what seemed like an eternity, unwilling to move, unable to think, just weeping incessantly, unable to stop, sobbing wretchedly; and he let the tears come. For too long had he held them in, too long had he hidden his sadness and his pain; and then, he screamed. He screamed so loud and long that his voice became scratchy, and his energy was completely wasted, and it was there, drained as he was, that the only woman he had ever loved so deeply and passionately as he did, found him.

Without saying a word she came alongside him, helped him stand, and took him to a natural made bench where they sat in silence. Her care for him was so moving to the observer that it would bring anyone to tears. She never said a word to him, but merely put her arms around him, kissing him gently, and humming quietly. Ryan had never told her, but the very song she always hummed was the one he loved the most since his childhood, and it always soothed the giant he felt resided inside him. Today the giant had reared his head, and Ryan had lost.

The return journey would seem like an eternity, and many more battles would await Ryan as he walked the path known as life. The double would reappear from time to time, and each time Ryan's love, his passion, his “Angel” would come alongside him, and help him up. The life of Ryan has many more stories that could be told, but this particular tale is at an end, the rest must be saved for another chapter, another day, another moment in life, when things sometimes make the least sense. That is when tales of Ryan come around again, and that is when courage is instilled in the hearts of men.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The picture above is of a "rock band" named L70ETC go to youtube and look up L70ETC murloc song. Hehe.

Who would have thought that I was featured on WoW? I think this is going to be my new profile pic...


See How Much I Love You...

It's hard to see how God loves us sometimes. I know He does, but right now I don't feel it at all. I mean let me put it this way. Today, and yes it really is about 5:45am, I am getting ready to go to the prayer meeting which starts at 6:00am and I get in my car, turn the key, the engine starts to crank, and then everything dies. I am almost positive it's an electrical problem... anyway, normally I would think "Um...k... not a HUGE deal, I have time and I can get it fixed." However, right now I actually want to freak out because:
a) Honestly, I might not have the finances for this, and
b) I am supposed to go home today, how am I going to get there without a car?

And I know that "God is in control," but still when stuff like this happens, and you know God has the power to fix it, sometimes... I just don't feel the love. *sigh*

I was really sick Sunday with some kind of 24 hour stomach virus, yuck! Ironically though, I got a good life lesson out of puking, aside from the fact that puking, though horrible in feeling, actually is a lot quicker than siting on the toilet for three hours every hour (I know that's a bit of a paradox, but oh well). I learned, or maybe was reminded, that surrendering to God isn't always pleasant, you know? People are always saying, myself included, "Oh, if you just surrender that to God, He'll take care of it." This is true, however, I don't think people really take into account how painful that can be sometimes when we say it. Just a thought.

So since I missed the prayer meeting and all, I guess I am going to go back to bed for a few more hours before all my stress hits me in the face. I hope I don't have to ask one of my parents to come and get me... that would insanely inconvenient.

I have recently just returned to my home, sadly missing the funeral of my landlord's mother-in-law, but still happy to the fact that I only paid $30.11 to have my car fixed. Which is much better than the original $230 that was projected if I had gotten my starter replaced. Thank you Lord for it only being loose wiring.