advent · Christianity · Christmas · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · power of God · Prayer · searching · still fighting

Promises, promises

And what of your promise now? -Judah
All I can say is, I don’t understand, but He must have a reason for this.-Man of God
At the foot of the cross.

It’s so hard when the promise’s outcome isn’t how we envisioned. Imagine how the deciples must have felt when they saw Jesus lifted on the cross.
There must be a mistake.
Must have been their thought. How could everything they had seen and experienced and been told, have led to this?
If they had read the prophecies they would have had the answer. But in that moment of agony of spirit the last thing on your mind is a prophecy from so long ago. Just like our promises. We read promises from God that He proclaimed some 2000+ years ago, and we are expected to believe them and hold to them. When things get hard and nothing makes sense, and the promise leads to something you don’t understand it’s hard to not feel like there must be a mistake- and what of your star and your promise now? Yet God has a reason, for all of it. What Isaiah foretold about Jesus coming, probably never crossed the minds of the weary shepherds when the star appeared. What had been fortold about Jesus’s death was no where in the minds of the deciples in the Garden, or at the tomb, maybe not even in The Upper Room. But God fulfilled His promise in every occasion. Just as He will fulfill His promise to you and me.
He’s coming back, just as He promised. Are you ready?

Christianity · Devotional · Jesus · encouragement · free · Christmas · guidance · advent · power of God

There must be more

There must be more to Christmas
I really think we’re missing something
There must be more to Christmas
But what?
-veggietales

Lights. Camera. Action.
Isn’t that how Christmas seems to go? And that’s fine. There is nothing wrong with fun and decorations and a little healthy gift wrapping. But. We can’t forget the reason for it all. Not just now, but all year. I know we talk a lot about how people have missed the true meaning of Christmas, but if we’re honest what people have missed is the true meaning of life. Jesus wasn’t meant to stay under our Christmas tree, He was meant to be a part of our day to day lives. In Evie’s song a Shepherd’s prayer, the little shepherd begs to be moved closer to the savior. He wants to touch Him, to hold His hand. He isn’t satisfied by looking at the baby from a distance. We need to be like that. Not satisfied with just a short service at Christmas to remember Jesus, but instead to be obsessed with being with Him. I know talking about obsession isn’t popluar, and being a fanatic is claimed as wrong, but to have a sole focus on Christ isn’t a bad thing, if He is all we see then we will live better and do better. There must be something more, but what?
It’s not what, it’s who.
Jesus is our something more. We need Him, but we forget that and only give Him what is basic. He didn’t forget us, and He gave us everything not even sparing His own life. There must be more to Christmas. There must be more to this life. And that more, is Jesus.

Christianity · Devotional · guidance · holy spirit · Jesus · power of God · searching · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

Are we willing?

Are we willing?

What does your dream, goal and ambition mean to you? When the government tells you that you can’t be a teacher, lawyer, politician, doctor, and so on, unless you accept certain sins as no longer sin what will you do? Is dream worth so much that you will buckle and bow to the death system. Death system was a term that came up when I was a kid. In books, in TV (mostly anime) it means a system unacknowledgably careening toward destruction, sort of like Chaos Theory. Back then even the secular world could see it coming and what it would bring. Now even Christ followers bow to the death system. Not the death of the planet, though much of the shows that winked at the death system did cover the death of nature, but instead we should focus on the death of our souls and the rape of our minds. Do we even know what’s wrong anymore? Or are we taking a pen and crossing out the parts of our Faith that offend us? I was reminded recently of what Christians face in countries that don’t support the Christ belief. People with high IQs and great talent have demeaning jobs, can’t attend certain schools or social events and live in shamble, because they refuse to deny even a tiny part of Jesus, they embrace Him even though they are left in the street by the world. Do we? Are we willing to take the humble road rather than deny even a speck of our Lord? So often we see “christians” praised for taking a job in a secular setting because they can, “promote their witness” there. But do they? How much of Jesus did they have to deny to get that job? What sins did they accept so that they would be accepted? The devil sits back and gestures to a goblet, “drink this, accept the darkness and I will give you everything.” Jesus takes our hand and says, “don’t! It’s a trap.” We pull away from Christ, “if I drink what he offers then he will give me a place in society where I can promote you better, it’s just a little sip, I’ll be fine.” Our bold statement dies as we drink the whole glass and join the devil. If Jesus says something is wrong then it is wrong no matter our good intentions. Are we willing to live as ditch diggers and serve Jesus by denying the devil? Or have we already taken of the death drink, and now we serve the devil under the badge that used to say ‘Christian’, but now says ‘deceived’?
We are so lost in this death system that we have forgotten what life is. Go back to Jesus. Reach for Him. Don’t let the devil deceive you. Don’t let your heart become poisoned. Give yourself to Jesus. Whatever you end up doing, no matter how valueless it feels, remember- if you are doing it for Jesus, if you are sacrificing it for Jesus, if you are suffering it for Jesus, then what your doing is right. The easy road of compromise leads to death. Not death in this world, but death of your soul. Don’t give in. Fight back. Dare to take God at His word no matter the cost.

Christianity · Devotional · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · still fighting · The Bible · True Joy

Final Level!

Final level

Growing in God is something we hear a lot.
“I’m just growing in God.”
“Don’t forget to grow in God.”
“Always grow in God.”
But what does grow in God mean? What visual does that statement give you? I used to picture a sapling, growing into a tree. But lately I’ve had a different visual. Video Games. Hang on, don’t run away yet. Let me explain. Recently I was reminded of my short stint as an avid gamer, and that brought to mind this simili. I had a game for a time… actually I think it’s still in my closet, anyway- this game was a progressive story arc type. You know, you have an avitar and you follow the cheracter on different quests and so on. I recall the peace of the starter village. Old fashioned cabins, cathedrals and pretty brick bridges. You could walk and never see a monster all day. But as you leveled up the game obviously grew harder. Eventually I reached a level where I had to look up the hacks to pass it. Monsters were everywhere and they didn’t die no matter how hard you attacked them. The only way to win that level was to let your character lose all his or her strength, right before your avatar was down for the count you would get a bonus strength boost, and that was the only way to win. What do I mean by all this?
When we first become Christians it’s nice to go to church, maybe bake for a potluck, perhaps you will even read your Bible once in a blue moon. It’s nice and quiet with no work. But. That’s not how we are meant to stay. We are intended by God to level up. And as we level up things will get harder, because the devil wants to keep us low and weak. Say you keep going. Level after level. Praying every day, reading your Bible with conviction, volenteering at your Church and Church events, maybe even branching into missions work. With each level you grow, but with each level the monsters seem to increase. One day you find yourself in an abandoned town with monsters that refuse to die. Why? Because you are doing things right. Thay doesn’t make sense, does it? But the devil is fighting against you. Whatever that monster is. An illness, debt, a habit, or something less personal, like how the world has gone and the darkness and sin taking over. Everywhere you see the monsters. You have fought and fought and now you are on your last life. But don’t forget. As you were leveling up and growing, God was growing with you. Not that He was ever small, but maybe He was small inside you because you hadn’t let Him grow yet. Now you have been growing in God and God has been growing in you, so when your last life comes up blinking and your avatar gets fuzzy, don’t give up! Hold down the A and Y buttons and use your power boost to kill those monsters. In other words, use your trump card. Pray. Talk to God and use His power within you to win the battle and reach the final level. You are never fighting or growing alone, God is right there, you just need to reach for Him.
So go on friends. Level up. Grow with God.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · Jesus · Love · power of God · searching

Hearthorse


Hearthorse
A hearthorse is that one horse who loves you more than himself. He will do anything you ask, even when the other horses give up and walk away. Why? Training for one thing. And he has a heart for you. He loves you so much he would walk through fire for you. Most horses would dump you on your tush and bolt if they even smelled a big fire. Not your heart horse. He will carry you through and trust that you know what you’re doing. Do we have a heart for God like that? A heart that says “you lead. I’ll follow. Because I trust in you.”
I like to think that I do. Then I have a day like today. It was a great and fun day, but I failed God badly. There was a woman with a painful and injured hand. I knew I should pray for her but I was afraid, I was afraid of being laughed at and afraid that maybe God would choose not to heal her and then she might doubt God. I feared a lot of dumb stuff, so I did nothing and left. Praise Jesus for my friend who was there too. She took the time to look around, see a large line up behind her of people waiting to go through the check out and said, “I see you are in pain. I promise I will pray for you.” Then we left. And she did. She prayed whole heartedly for that woman. I don’t know if the woman was healed or not because we didn’t see her again, but I do know that my friend pleased God by making a faith statement in public. And I know that I dissapointed Him because I said nothing. Do we have a heart for God? Do we love Him enough to walk through fire for Him? If not, how do we change ourselves to love Him more? I’m not an expert, but I would say from what I read of the Bible, that reading the Bible and praying is the way to draw closer to God. A great way to be fired up for Him is studying Him and remembering how Holy and powerful He truly is.
I don’t want to fail God. But I do everyday. I want a heart for Him, but I know that fear often holds me back. I am just so glad that God understands how limited I am and helps me and guides me and gives me another chance 10, 000 times a day. Praise God for His mercy, power and love.

Christianity · Devotional · encouragement · free · guidance · holy spirit · Jesus · power of God · Prayer · searching · still fighting · The Bible

Blood Fuller

Blood fuller

Before we get started I want to make it clear that yes, I do know that a blood fuller has been proved to have nothing to do with the channeling of blood through the sword’s channel to cause the removal of the blade to be easier or for the target to die quicker. Instead the Fuller is meant to strenghthen and lighten the long blade so it doesn’t wobble like a plastic child’s sword, this was arguably first used in Japan’s Katana swords.

Now that we have covered the facts, I want to use the old myths for my imagery instead. The blood channel full and ready to strike. Weilding with passion and quickly removed to continue it’s defense.
The sword of the warrior, coated in blood and ready to strike again.
The blood channel, as a grizzly image of destruction and strength. Destruction of the enemy. Strength of the defender.
The Holy Spirit is misrepresented in many places these days. He is seen as a fluttering White butterfly, harmless, gentle, powerless. This is not accurate. Yes the Holy Spirit is gentle and unassuming -but- he is still the spirit of the Living God. When God sent his sword through Egypt did you see him as weak, harmless, or powerless? Of course not. He is the spirit of God. He is powerful. He is Ageless. And he is a warrior, and we forget that. We like to think of the Spirit as someone who encourages us and helps us with our gifts and helps us not do naughty things, which is true in part, but He is also bloodstained and ready for battle. He isn’t a pixie flying around causing magic to happen, He IS the powerhouse inside of us battling our demons with us. He isn’t floating around with a harp, he is walking boldly with his sword drawn, ready for battle. The devil is constantly attacking us, even in ways we don’t see, it’s the Holy Spirit in us who is battling for us. God called the sword of the Spirit a sword for a reason.
Going into battle in the days before guns and bombs your greatest weapon was usually your sword. Swords also had a certain claim that came with them, a claim to authority and power, not just anybody had a sword, usually only people a heritage whose background and bloodline gave them a title and a power. Sure some of your average people had swords too, but not high quality swords. Some swords even had a reputation of their own, one that the wielder inherited with the weapon. Our sword. Our Spirit, comes with His own reputation, the reputation of God and all He has done in the past long before the book of Acts. God mentions His Spirit and His Sword often. He has a reputation, but we don’t read the old Testament so we forget. Our sword also comes with a claim to Authority and power; the authority and Power of the Living God. And we have earned this sword not through our own works but through our heritage as children of God. Our bloodline has nothing to do with our DNA or our ancestry, our bloodline that grants us this power and authority in this earth is the bloodline flowing Down the Cross at Calvary and washing our feet in its Crimson Tide. Our sword is a weapon of power and authority. The spirit of God lives inside of us. Whom can harm us? And of whom shall we be afraid?

Christianity · encouragement · free · guidance · The Bible · True Joy

Be a Fesic

In a world full of Indigos and Wesleys, be a Fesic.

If you have ever watched or read Princess Bride (one my fave movies) you will know these three main characters. Indigo was obsessed with avenging his father’s murder, Westley was consumed by saving and reuniting with his love Buttercup, but what was Fesic’s motive? He was the giant. He used his strength many times to save these people. But why did he bother? He gave up everything. All his money went to Mad Max the healer to save Westley so he could help Indigo and rescue Buttercup. He risked his life attacking the prince’s palace. He even let them set his cloak on fire when storming the castle gate. Why? What was in it for him?
Nothing.
There was nothing in it for him. Indigo was his friend, Westley was in need of help. That was it. That was the only incentive he needed to give everything he had to them. It was a Christ like sacrificial love. Giving your all with nothing to gain.
Even for people we have known most of our lives it’s easy to feel that we have given a lot to them and deserve something in return. Loyalty maybe. Sacrifice on their part for us once in awhile. And when that doesn’t happen it makes us angry. Maybe that friend has even betrayed us in the past and yet we kept giving, but getting nothing back and nothing out of the deal has left a raw spot on our hearts. And yet. Christ keeps giving even though we have hated His people and have crucified Him. We have all been Paul on the road to Demascus at one point or another. Oh, we weren’t killing other Christians most likely, but we were hating them, we were angry, we were running from God, we were cursing Him for something at sometime, or even being mean because we saw ourselves as holy and other Christians as not. We have all ended up here, seeking Jesus because we have been knocked off our horse and now know we were wrong. But even in our cruelty we have been loved by Jesus.
Fesic didn’t expect anything for his sacrifice. He just knew it was the right thing to do.
Indigo might be cooler and Westley more glamorous, but Fesic was the true hero, like Frodo wouldn’t have made it without Sam in Lord of the Rings, Wesley and Indigo wouldn’t have made it without Fesic. Be a Fesic, be sacrificial for others and expect that your only reward is in Heaven with Jesus and that it will be greater then any reward here on earth.

Christianity · Devotional · guidance · Jesus · searching · The Bible

We are not the messiah- Jesus is

We are deciples, not Christs. Christ in the Greek means annointed one, or used to define the word messiah. the title, also treated as a name, given to Jesus.

synonyms: Jesus, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Good Shepherd, the Redeemer, the Prince of Peace, the Nazarene, the Galilean

We live in a world where the focus has turned from God’s salvation and miracles to our saving ourselves and us making things happen without a moving of God. I saw book. A book written by theologians of all people. That said that we must not aim to emulate Christ, but to instead become Christs ourselves. My lineage comes from pastors and theologians, when I questioned them on this expecting some sort of answer that showed this statement to belong to one odd writer, instead I was informed of the movement to become Christ, not Christ like. Now. Any true doctorate wielding theologian will tell you how wrong that idea is and that this move comes from people who believe that Jesus was equal to us not above us, or was simply a prophet, which is not true in any sense. Moving along because we could get stuck here for a long time, we should take a good look at Christians these days. What do we see? We see some good Christians who live according to the Bible. But we also see a fair amount of people who act (though not claim to be) as if they were Christ themselves. We hear a lot of, “we must” not a lot of “pray for”.
We must do _______ to save these people. We must do ______ to save the world. We must change ______ or else all will be lost.
I have a question as you all are questing to save the world on your own power, where’s God? “Oh. But we’re doing it for Him.” Are you? If you leave God out of your plans and even out of the final discision to so called ‘save this generation,’ or ‘save the world’ or ‘save the Church’ then are you doing it for Him? If you move the Bible around so that the words fit what you want instead of what God declares then is what you are doing for you or Him?
We claim we want to serve God by saving people. But we leave God and the Bible out of what we are doing. Then when something amazing happens we take the credit for ot ourselves instead of giving the praise back to God. We are not Christ, we can never become Christ, all we can do is try to be like Christ. We can want to save people, but we must do it through God’s power. We can want to save the world, but we must do it through God’s power. We can want to even save this generation, but we must do it through God’s power. We can not do these things on our own or else we just use God as an excuse to promote ourselves. Even Jesus, the one true Christ, while on this earth prayed for God’s blessing before moving forward, and Jesus is God Himself. He did this to show us what we must do.
If we are trying to be Christs instead of trying to reflect Christ, then we are missing the whole point of being like Jesus. We are supposed to reflect Him not try to replace Him.

Christianity · dreams do come true · encouragement · free · guidance · Jesus · Love · searching · The Bible · True Joy

Encouragement

As my mom once said: we are in the boat with Jesus. Our muscles are straining as we pull on the nets, we’re working hard and He’s there, and He’s calm. Our lives are in that boat with Him as we are called to follow Him, we are given nets to catch the fish with and we get tired and stressed because we are working hard with no resault. We repair the nets, we weave new nets, somedays we may even need to build the boat, but it all has purpose. Then when God’s time is right our nets fill to overflowing. So if you feel discouraged, don’t. Don’t get discouraged because God is in the boat with you.

Christianity · guidance · Jesus · Prayer · The Bible

All powerful, all merciful

We get so caught up in the mercy of God that we forget the holiness of God.
Listening to some of the soon to be graduates from seminary, there is a trend that is being pushed that even the future pastors believe: God does not punish.
It is claimed that God is so merciful that He no longer reprimands or diciplines. In fact if you spoke of the consequences of angering God to these people their response would be, ‘oh, but you must not forget how merciful God is.’ Or, ‘you must not judge your life on old testament values.’
That’s crazy people. Jesus said that He did not come to erase the law of Moses, the old testament still holds value.
Yes, God is merciful. He even says of Himself that He is the God of mercy. But. God sent rules to live by. He told us what were sins and displeasing and despicable to Him and He told us that we were not to do such things. He also warned us about continual sin without repentance and willingness to change. And that is not simply old testament; Jesus warns about these things too, but we somehow manage to skip over those verses to the nice ones where He talks about having power and peace through His Spirit. If you don’t love Him enough to follow His laws then do you really have His Spirit? That’s a little harsh isn’t it? Okay, let’s go back to the nice parts where Jesus gives us the B attitudes, yes, now we feel good. Have you ever kept reading past the nice blessings of the B attitudes? Jesus gives a famous sermon on how you can miss or gain the kingdom of God. We can lose our saltiness, we can dim our lights and we can hide behind believing that God is a God of only mercy and never anything else. All love and kindness and no power; fluffy clouds and cherubs, not keys of death and seraphim. We can’t fall into that. Yes, the thought that God will let us do whatever we please and we still get to go to Heaven is nice and relaxing, but it is a false belief. God is all powerful! I realize that for a long time the Church preached that God was a dictator and nothing but power and authority and skipped the mercy and love of God, that was wrong too, but at least with that we learned the fear of the Lord, what value does a God who lets you get away with everything and then blesses you abundantly just because you’re you have? Sounds like a trick to me. And that’s because it is. It’s a trick of the devil to destroy you. The devil has set up a big glowing version of Jesus, that blesses and loves and lets you be whoever you want to be without consequence of actions, so that you stop following the real Jesus and turn to this easy on the conscience, fake version instead.
Now. I am not in anyway saying that God is not all loving and all merciful, but He is also all powerful and He warns us that if we disobey He will punish us because He loves us. God wants every single soul to make it to Heaven, but Jesus didn’t die so you could go and have fun without worry of repercussions. He died so that the Vail would be torn and you could be a friend of God and not a slave. But. God is our father, and as a good father He does punish His kids. God’s mercy and Power seem to contrast each other so much that it makes sense that people struggle with only believing one or the other. How can He punish when He is merciful? How can He show mercy when He is all powerful? It’s because He is God. Think of it this way. A daddy lion has his cubs clambering all over him. They pull his tail, they chew his whiskers, they eat his food; but he is merciful to them because they are his kids. Yet. If they cross the line, especially if they have been warned already not to, he is going to punish them. Say one cub disobeys, again and again, the lion gives him another chance, and another, and then he gives him a swat. Why? Baby lion won’t survive if baby lion doesn’t learn. Now you could go many places with a lion annalogy, but this is not meant to be taken literally, lions are wild animals. God, however, is similar in the way that He loves us and forgives us, but when we go too far He punishes us; because He loves us and wants us to be saved. God is merciful to us because He does not want a single one of us to go to hell, God punishes us when we continually do wrong for the same reason. I know that I am grateful for God’s mercy everyday, because everyday I deserve to be punished, but I also know that I keed to repent and try to change from all my failings (and there are many of them) because I know that my father punishes and I don’t want that.
Do not be descouraged by this post. I am not saying that God is not a loving and merciful God because He is, but He is also a just and powerful God and we must not be deceived, He will reprimand us if we need it, and we can fall away from Him if we live a careless life. Read you Bible. Get to know God better. And aim for an NIV or NLT translation when reading your Bible, they are the ones that are the closest to the orriginal text, according to Bible translators.
God loves you. And He wants you in Heaven with Him, so don’t give up, keep striving for the cross and hoping for Heaven.