Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why does God allow suffering?  It is a question many people ask especially when they cannot explain why such sadness is allowed to happen.  If God loves us why does He allow especially His beloved to suffer such horrific things?

In virtually every book in the Bible there is suffering.  It is through this hardship that makes these biblical characters stand out.  One of the more classic examples of this is Job.  Job was a godly man who loved God with all of his heart.  He knew God was behind his successes and praised God for it all.  The worst thing imaginable was allowed to happen to Job.  He lost his children, his land, animals, and virtually every earthly success he had was gone.  As if that was not enough God allowed him to be so sick that even his body was attacked with painful sores.
"So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.  Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes" (Job 2:7-8).

Everything Job had worked so hard to attain was gone in an instant.  With these painful sores that covered his body he was unable to get up and start rebuilding with what was left.  How often when we are going through suffering of our own that we too feel like this.  We may not have the physical sores but the grief we are experiencing makes it feels like we are too weak to do anything.

At this point Job had to continue to surrender to God's Will even when his closest friends and his own wife told him to "curse God and die".

The question we have to ask ourselves is what will have to happen before we are willing to surrender to God's Will?  What will it take for us to open our hearts to God?  God is just waiting for us to lay it all at his feet.  So when will you let the love He has for you penetrate your heart?

Through suffering God is telling us "open your heart and let me in".  
Matthew 11:30 says, "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

So why was Job allowed to suffer?  Well even Job who followed God's commands was allowed to face such extreme suffering--but why?  To allow God's authority--His love to take center stage.

Following God's commands does not prevent us from experiencing hardship.  In fact God's strongest soldiers are the ones who follow His commands--yet they experience the harshest suffering because He has made them for such a time as this.

God is in control even in the midst of the worst loss--the worst suffering imaginable.  Even though He has allowed this He has built up His sons and daughters to endure the hardship they face.  As children of our Heavenly Father we have taken on this pain to glorify our Father in Heaven.

Matthew 6:33 states, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well."

This is so because we know there will be a day when we will rejoice in Heaven knowing there will be no more pain.  God has a special plan for all of creation.  Many times our purpose does not make sense to us especially during these hard times.  There are also other times when during these hardships we find out not everyone is a believer.  God has a plan for them too!!

As humans we can't imagine how God could provide for us if He allowed such pain.  It is during this time His glory shines.  His beauty and authority become a reality and unbelievers can see what it looks like to surrender to God's holy Will.

By doing this we are allowing God to be the true Leader, Our Reedmer who is guiding us to where He needs us.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Earthly Tools

I've been noticing a pattern lately in my life.  I have a lot of tools to complete a task but of all the tools I possess none of them are a fit for what I need to get done.  To be honest it is frustrating to have so many tools at your disposal but they end up being worthless because they just aren't what you need right now.

Obviously, I am talking about a real issue of putting a newly purchased item together.  The item I needed was a plain phillips screwdriver.  However, after searching my toolbox and tearing my house apart I only could find 3 screwdrivers but they were all flat heads.  My only feeling tonight was failure.  How could I not of found the tool I so desperately needed.  I knew I had one but yet it was no where to be found.

In the midst of my frustration I sat down and realized the reflection this issue has on my own life.  I have so many tools to use for life yet when it comes down to it only one tool will do.  This one tool was made specifically for this task.  There is no substitute tool either.  Trust me I have tried.  This one tool is not only the only tool that was designed for this job but it's the ONLY one.

This made me think of the tools God has given me for my life.  What happens then when I discover I do not have a tool that I need in order to teach others how to be strong?

God has been breaking me in a severe way.  I grew up being able to fix a furnace by the time I was 6 years old.  I am no stranger to tools you would find in any garage and was always able to tackle any task that needed to get done.  That was until tonight.  You see tonight I bought a TV and I thought how hard could it be to put together.  When I opened the package and found the 8 screws packaged in a cute little bag I thought this is going to be too easy.

Then I went to get my phillips screwdriver out of my tool box and that is where my hope became foggy.  I know I have that particular tool but if I don't know where to find it, it will be of no use to me.

Needless to say I need to go buy the right tool so my TV doesn't end up falling apart.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Road is Narrow

We don't go through pain for the sake of just being in pain.  We experience pain for God's glory.  Our pain has a purpose but during that gut wrenching redefining process we can't see far enough down the road to see the reason for that pain nor the beauty and comfort that awaits us.

I'd rather experience pain with a purpose and that is why I lay all my troubles---all of my hurts at His feet.  For when I do He takes my mess and restores me in such a way that my box-like thinking can't comprehend.

Jeremiah 30 says "Restoration is Promised".  No where does it say that restoration is possible---but that it's promised.  If God cared enough for the people of Israel how much more do you think He cares for you.

Further, we are under a covenant called prevenient grace which means that before a man could seek God, God must of first sought out man.  God knew this before drawing Himself to us with a specific purpose in mind.  Surely, if God cared enough to seek man, He cares enough to restore the man He has created.

This road is narrow which also means the pursuit of God is as intense as a narrow, steep path rounding the most challenging mountain.  It is dangerous with a lot of risks but once you reach the end of the road you will see why it had to be so.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Heartbroken: Jesus is the Cause and the Cure

I bet you all though I was done talking about LOVE!!!  Love is the most important thing to me!!  My prayer to God has always been "Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours".

Filling the Void

To be Loved
To be Accepted
To be Recognized

Why do we crave love so much???  Love is always the solution to the problem.
What is our motivation to seek things we think will make us happy?  Busy lives, pets, drugs, alcohol, pushing others away?  When we do these things how long does this satisfaction last?  What do we do next when that thing doesn't work?  When we seek to fill this huge void with temporary fixes it is like we are seeking a superficial high to feel like we matter.

When did we first notice this void in our life?  It can be like a trickling effect of unrealistic expectations on other humans.  Humans are not perfect yet we expect perfection especially from close people to us like our parents.  We are constantly expecting a certain perfection.  One of my most favorite quotes to prove this point is from C.S. Lewis:

“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

We have this expectation of perfection and seek this perfection in our lives but there is only one man who can fill this and that is Jesus.

This void is also our greatest inherent desire which is to be LOVED.  When I say Love I mean it on much more than just a physical level.  This desire can only be remedied by Jesus!

We know we need love to survive like we know we need air to breathe and a lack of love results in feelings of rejection, depression, sickness, lack of motivation to do anything, suicidal-no reason to live, alone, and worthlessness.

We determine how loved we are by the physical evidence of the way others show that love to us.  It also determines if we love others and furthermore, it determines if we respect others.

As Christians we are loved!  We have been set apart because HE loves us.  He wants us to seek Him so that this life is nourished.  We will always be lost unless we depend on God to quench this thirst. We are seeking a big streak dinner--when it's only prepared by God.  He can satisfy this desire to be loved at such an extreme level it can only be felt by the heart.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jesus: Our True Battle Buddy

Sometimes life just feels like a war zone.  I know I'm talking to somebody!!  It may not feel like a constant war zone but maybe many smaller battles.  I use to live the military lifestyle and this title reminded me of the bonds I made.  During deployments we would call other friends "battle buddies" or "battle sisters".  Still today I could call any one of them and they would help me out.  I would do the same for them in a heartbeat.  No questions asked!  Now take the actual military member and that bond is even stronger. Those men and women would protect one another to such an extreme level it is not even imaginable to someone who has not gone to war.

"Great love has no one as this
that he lay down his life for his friends."
-John 15:13

Do you have people in your life that you can count on like that?  Sadly I think most of us would say no.

Jesus came not to just be Our Redeemer but our true Battle Buddy.  He is willing to go through the trenches with you and take bullets for you.  He desires that forever bond with you!

If you have been "through the trenches" and have had that friend with you and not flinch when the war became bloody you know that deep bond I am talking about.

Others can encourage you but only Jesus can protect you.  Jesus knows what it is like to be in battle, to be rejected, to be tortured, to be rejected, to be unloved, to be thrown to the way side.

Our Heavenly Father knows our pain, our struggles, our disappointments, our needs and wants--our greatest desires.  He is the one who created YOU!!

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb."
-Psalm 139:13

He made you to have the desires you have.  Do you trust Him enough to care and nuture those desires because He has a bigger purpose than you can see?

We crave so badly to have someone go to battle with us.  Jesus is that person who willingly wants badly to go to battle with you.  In fact, He has begged to be that Battle Buddy for you.

That forever bond lasts forever.  Even when friends part or don't talk as much that forever bond never goes away.  You may hear of your earthly battle buddy in need and you won't hesitate to do anything for that person--even in death.  That is what Jesus desires to be for you.  He wants to be your Battle Buddy.  The only difference is that HE can save you from everything and anything.  He has already conquered death to give you LIFE.

"I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand."
-Psalm 40:1-2

Monday, September 17, 2012

Why Do We See Blue?

While this title may seem elementary how easily can you answer this question?  When we look into the sky we see blue.  Scientists tell us it is because the color blue is reflected easier than any other color.  So the sky is not actually blue it is only because of the way we see things that it appears blue to us.  However, I think it goes farther than that.  I find it beautiful that of all the colors God created, it is blue that we see when we look up into the sky.

There is no doubt we have an intelligent creator.  He created us with such precision even our eyes see only what He designed them to see.  I will talk about that more later but for a minute I wanted to point out some biblical truths about the colors blue and red.

Biblical references to the color blue include:
-Signifies life (mostly in the form of water)
-Reminders of heaven and refers to Jesus as the Son of God who came down from Heaven reflected in the book of John.
-Represents the righteousness of God, Heavenly Grace, Holiness, and Gods Commands.
-Color is worn by servants.
-The book of Numbers describes the instruction and importance of blue as hanging curtains, ropes, and other coverings.

Biblical references to the color red include:
-Color of sin/death
-Represents war or battle
-Also may represent richness

We know these colors have meanings because as we see in the books of Numbers and Leviticus, colors have a specific meaning as do numbers.  God's instructions in Leviticus were very specific and it was for good reason.  We can see in these books alone the beauty of God's instruction.  Even looking at the original Biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek we can see a letter did not exist without a corresponding number.

In researching the color blue and red I couldn't help but think of medical textbooks where oxygenated blood is in red and deoxygenated blood is in blue.  This means this blue blood represents blood in an organic state that is being transported to be transformed by the HEART!

We know that our blood is red.  That is just a fact!  However, when we look at the veins on our skin we only see blue.  Even when our skin is bruised we only see blue or different varying colors of blue, green, and yellow.  As I mentioned above blue is symbolic to life.  All life is surrounded by blue whether it is land based or in water.  Life does not exist without water or the covering of the sky.

Blue represents life, His protection--His covering, His presence, and His love for His children.  He loves us all so much that we wants to give us real physical proof of how much he desires us as His children. We see what red and blue portray and must realize as the Bible states, God wants us to gaze up into the heavens and see His Commands, His Holiness, His Perfection, and His Forgiveness.  We don't need to look down upon ourselves and see the sin in our own body.  Jesus came to take away this sin so you could focus your attention on the beauty of life.

How beautiful that we were created this way.  We can expect to see physical evidence of His undying love for His children in all things.  The question is how much digging are you willing to do?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Christian Unity

Do we speak about Christian unity as passionately as Paul did in the New Testament?  I am sure we can agree the answer is NO.  If struggles in life are getting more severe and more common our passion to live out Matthew 6:33 should be as well.  

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  -Matthew 6:33

Paul addresses Christians as Brothers and Sisters and that is how we should treat one another.  This unity was created when Jesus died on the cross and His blood was shed.  Not only was the relationship between Christian and God changed but also the blood washed away the separation between Jew and Gentile and we became one body.  

By the precious blood that Jesus poured out we did not become friends with one another but instead we were united by our Heavenly Father as true Brothers and Sisters.  That is why even when it comes to gifts that God gives us it is a demonstration of the special task of one part of the body.  

As Brothers and Sisters we all share the same troubles and the same blessings.  Paul is a wonderful Brother who has encouraged us to live boldly for the Lord.  He was willing to struggle, to be in severe pain, to be in prison, and to die to glorify our Lord.

"He must become greater; I must become less."  -John 3:30

There are times when we forget God's promises or what He rescued us from and our Brothers and Sisters can remind us.  They can remind us to seek the only one that can save us from the smallest things to death.
"This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."  -Jeremiah 29:10-15

One of the hardest tasks with the issue of christian unity is how different we feel from the rest of society and sometimes within our own family.  However, no matter how different we think we feel we must keep our focus on our purpose which is to glorify our Heavenly Father.  It is because of Him that we are united and we must not get confused in small issues that derail us from the task at hand.  Paul even warns us that there will be things that will try to confuse us.  The enemy will try to drive a wedge between Brothers and Sisters knowing what your weaknesses are.

With that diversity that God created in us He also created us to desire likeness.  The likeness of being loved, being noticed, being accepted, and to seek help.  Our desire to be noticed has already been fulfilled because God has set you apart from those people who are not children of God.  My Brothers and Sisters you are already special and noticed!!

God has created us to 1) love Him and 2) to seek out others in fellowship.  One of the most important aspects of fellowship is what I sum up as kindred spirits.  No matter how smart we think we are, we as Brothers and Sisters all fall to the same things.  However, because God created us to be in relationship with one another we can encourage one another when we do fall.  Through this relationship with our Father we are apart of 1 body.  It is further proof of God's love for His children when we know of someone who went through a similar struggle.  It is even more telling when we find another person who has an experience so close to yours you know it is God pointing out that you are not alone.  

With this we must remember what God commands us to do.  God commands us to do many things but the one thing that stands out is to love others as God has loved you.  God created all of His children to be different but we feel the same, struggle the same, and the solution is still the same.  

Furthermore, God did not just want us to get married to have one close relationship.  He wants us to be united with all of our Brothers and Sisters.  We suffer very specific things for a special reason and there is no mistake with God in control.  In the same way we search for reviews for mechanics we also search and respect others who have been through a similar or exact struggle.  God will use your pain and struggles to encourage someone else.  

Sometimes when our Brothers and Sisters sing or talk about Jesus you can hear the condition of their heart.  When they speak they may say things that our own spirit recognizes and springs to attention knowing exactly what they are talking about.  It is in this recognition that if our heart did not know the words to say before it knows it now.  
We may even feel we know our Brothers and Sisters even better because of the Holy Spirit speaking through them to you.  Which further edifies the reason behind christian unity.  God loves YOU!!

As God's children we are predestined, called, justified, and glorified.  It is only by God's authority these things can be true.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified."  -Romans 8:28-30 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Love: Our Greatest Desire

"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."  -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is a subject that is the most important desire for every one of us.  We can pretend to be strong enough to not need love in our life but that only ends with depression.  The harsh truth is no matter how strong you think you are you are nothing without love.  We have no purpose without it.

Love is the reason God created us, it is the root of creation.  He first loved us.  In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were created because of love however their greatest sin was also because of love.  Love for self.

At the beginning of creation God was love and poured out his love onto the earth.  Sadly, it was Satan who perverted that love and turned the innocent love for what God created into pride (love of self) as we saw in the choice that Eve made.

God created love to draw us nearer to Him and we must remember this when we are focusing our attention on things of the world.

Love is our greatest pursuit and our greatest desire.  When we have a desire for a spouse, to be accepted, recognition, even to get a pet.  Furthermore, what exactly are we chasing when we desire marriage, children, recognition, or even a pet?

I find in my own life I desire love, love, love and more love!  Love is still the cause and the cure.  You can see love clearly when you look at your desires.  Desire to protect, to care for, to nurture, to know right from wrong, to help others, to encourage, to provide, etc.  These desires are unexplainable in physical terms so obviously the solution will not be a physical one.  Love can make us appear crazy or irrational but love catapults us into what we know to be our purpose.

Another question we must ask ourselves is how do we learn to love?  What is our example of love?  Are we loved first in order how to learn to love others?  If we were not loved first how would we know how to desire or pursue it?  How can we explain our NEED for love.  Not just a want but a deep seeded need knowing you need it for survival.  Without love we have no desire to live.  People face depression because they feel unloved.

"We love because he first loved us."   -1 John 4:19

We seek love like we seek food to nourish our body.  We know we need it to live.  Even if its perverted into a love of self.  We desire this love because it makes us feel like we are living.  Especially if we are lacking it.  So where do you look for love?

On the other side we can confuse love with emotions.  Love can make us feel alive at such a depth we may compare it to a supernatural experience.  It can give us purpose and can keep us alive.

Love is also about trust.  Whether that love is with a family member or the Heavenly Father.  It is through love we learn to trust.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control."  -Galatians 5:22-23

We can love God or think we are loving him but we seek a love from another human.  This can be dangerous if our focus is on this physical experience.  What happens when this physical experience does not nourish your desire?

We think if people love us then we will feel complete.  This is just another example of perverted love.  Married couples sometimes refer to their spouse of their better half.  I know it is more a term of endearment but it just rubs me the wrong way.  God is the only one that can make us feel whole.  We cannot depend on another human to feel complete.

I was encouraged to write this because I see so many of my brothers and sisters craving love as if they are trying to find a satisfying meal.  We are running around from restaurant to restaurant trying to find the richest, most satisfying steak to give us that full feeling when in actuality this meal is only prepared by our Father in Heaven.  There is no meal on earth that can satisfy this craving.  This meal is only made by our Heavenly Father and in Him you will find true nourishment, true rest, and the love you are so desperately seeking.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Designed to Love & Work Together

The past few weeks God has given me a wonderful opportunity.  This opportunity is seeing how unloved most adults feel.  That personally breaks my heart.  It is no wonder the suicide rate is so high these days.  It saddens me because we as Christians are designed to love on our fellow brothers and sisters.  The bible even states, "You are your brother's keeper".

If you were at the gym and you saw your brother lifting weights and needed a spotter you wouldn't think twice--you would run to his aid.  But is this what we are doing when it comes to matters of life and death?

What are you doing to show others you love them?  That can be as small as asking how their day went.  So are you doing this??

We all have an inherent desire to be loved and to love others.  We first have to look at where do we get our source to fuel this love.  Do we even know what we are seeking when we call it love?  Do we keep going back to people to try to earn their love in order to fill our own desires?  Are we numbing our feelings with alcohol or drugs in order to feel less empty?

God created us with the sole purpose to love us (His creation) and in turn we would love Him as well as our fellow brothers and sisters.  That is why we are called a family.  The church is always referred to as the body.  When one of our brothers or sisters hurt, we all hurt.  When they are healed we feel that too.

1 Corthinians 12:12...

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body,(U) so it is with Christ.(V) 13 For we were all baptized(W) by[c] one Spirit(X) so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free(Y)—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.(Z) 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.(AA)
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed(AB) the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.(AC) 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.(AD)
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ,(AE) and each one of you is a part of it.(AF) 28 And God has placed in the church(AG) first of all apostles,(AH) second prophets,(AI) third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing,(AJ) of helping, of guidance,(AK) and of different kinds of tongues.(AL) 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]?(AM) Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire(AN) the greater gifts.

Friday, August 17, 2012


As I have written before we have only lived in Colorado for a few months now.  So I was recently asked if it feels like home now.  Home is such a dedicated feeling.  It describes where you consider your roots to be planted.  Where you find comfort. 

I don't view comfort like most people view it.  Comfort to me is in the challenges in life because in the challenges lies my Savior, my Redeemer.

What is home?  According to the dictionary it is your permanent residence.  If I base my answer on if it feels like home here in Colorado I would have to say no as I would any place you could name in the world.  That being said Colorado is my favorite state in the United States and one of my favorite places in the world. There are many beautiful places to live here on earth but our surroundings can be deceiving.   Take a tropical island for instance.  You may be surrounded by what society calls perfection (beaches, warm weather, mountains).  What happens if you strip away your physical environment?  What is left? 

Now you may think I am over analyzing the subject of home and perhaps I am but I believe everyone longs to have a place to call home.  I have never found a place on earth (including my hometown) where I feel yes this is my home. 

Heaven is my true home and that is the place my soul longs for.  I am glad I feel the way I do.  I have certain roots planted here on earth but I never want to get so comfortable that I feel that this is my permanent residence.  Nothing on earth is permanent.  My life experiences have proved that.  My heart is focused on my heavenly Father and where He resides in Heaven is the place I consider my home.

"When they want to convince you that earth is your home, notice how they set about it.  They begin by trying to persuade you that earth can be made into heaven, thus giving a sop to your sense of exile in earth as it is. Next, they tell you that this fortunate event is
still a good way off in the future, thus giving a sop to your knowledge that the
fatherland is not here and now. Finally, lest your longing for the transtemporal should awake and spoil the whole affair, they use any rhetoric that comes to hand to keep out of your mind the recollection that even if all the happiness they promised
could come to man on earth, yet still each generation would lose it by death, including the last generation of all, and the whole story would be nothing, not even a story, for ever and ever." 
-The Weight of Glory (C.S. Lewis)

Monday, July 23, 2012

My True Father

If there was a level higher than cloud 9 I would be on it.  God has blessed me beyond belief in just the past 2 weeks.  He blesses me all the time but these past two weeks have been nothing short of unbelievable.

In these blessings God has taught me a very important lesson.  Who to share these blessings with.  He has taught me not to simply share my news with just anyone, but first to share them with the closest people in my life.  These people are the ones who truly want to see me succeed.

We can become discouraged when we try to share our news with people we think care about us and our life.  Sometimes these people can be our own family members.  As humans I think we have an inherent desire to want our family to want the best for us.  I know I have that desire.  I want them to celebrate with me and I don't mean that in a pious way.  I mean it in a celebration of how much God loves and adores us.  In all of my blessings I want others to see that i do not deserve these blessings.  God only blesses me because He loves me.

I always want to be obedient to His commands because I trust God with my whole heart.  He knows what is ultimately best for me and I never want to take away from how great our Heavenly Father is.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Pursuit

This is my pursuit
John 9

What is your Greatest Pursuit in Life?

My greatest pursuit in life is God.  

I purposed this question a few months ago when i asked the difference between pursuing and seeking God.  What are you doing?

Now I felt God guiding me to write about what is your motivation while you are pursuing your goal.  Is it the blessings themselves?  Are they becoming your motivating factor?   Blessings should be an effect from the blessings that come from God.  It should never feel like the end game.  We should never feel that we now are all set because we received this one blessing.  Blessing are awesome and they weren't mean for them to give you a false sense of security of independent strength.  

Yes we receive this awe-inspiring blessing does the blessing become a driving force or does it become a by product from obeying God's word and commands he has for his children.

God always wants to rescue us.  Our motivation should not be focused on the money he blesses us with or any other attractive blessing.  Our true pursuit and motivation should be to seek God more.  Can you imagine our Heavenly Father loves to bless us because he knows eventually we will come to him and really talk to Him.  The question are you going to Him because you love and adore your Heavenly Father?  Or is it because you need more blessings?  Do you receive the blessing and then when you feel your independent weakness setting it you realize how much you need God again.

In life our society has created this independent persona.  As if we only need ourselves to be strong and to "take on the world".  This is extremely sad because all my Brothers and Sisters know how much they need our Heavenly Father.  

To be honest I started writing this tonight after reflecting on all the wonderful blessings that have come into my life this weekend.  I must remember not to get caught up in the attractiveness of the gift but in the giver.  The Giver is the one I desire, the one I Love.  If anything I don't want these blessings to stop not because it means I get more things but because it means I will press into Gods word and His presence like never before.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Apologetics: Part 2-The Sun and The Son

The Sun and The Son.

The sun is such a magnificent creation.  I use the word magnificent because the pure beauty of the sun doesn't deserve anything less when describing it.  The maker of the sun had a special purpose in mind when He created it.  If you look at the probability of millions of other stars being created all the time it's beautiful.  Then you see a creation of the sun.  The probability than another sun will ever be created is near impossible.

Another beautiful aspect to this probability is looking at what makes a star illuminate light.  Normally we only see the brightness of a star in all in greatness until it is dying or colliding with another star.  So it's fair to say we only see a star's true beauty in its death.

Now lets look at the sun.  Also considered a star it never loses it's brightness and it also never decreases in size.  Just one inch of the suns surface is equal to 650,000 birthday candles.  Further, the temperature of the sun's surface is 10,832 degrees fahrenheit.

I think it is equally magnificent in what the sun does.  It is not just merely a big ball of light and heat existing for its own sake.  It helps things grow.  We are uniquely situated far enough away from the sun so that we don't burn up instantly.  How perfect is it that we are just the right distance away to heat up the earth's atmosphere and provide food via photosynthesis for our plants and food.

Plants need two things to grow 1.) Light and 2.) Heat.  How many people take for granted how marvelous everything works together.  A plant cannot survive on just heat or just light.  It needs both to survive and thrive.

Now lets look at The Son.  A man who can never be duplicated.  While still a man no one will ever be perfect and without sin as He is.  He is described as "The Light of the World".
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  (John 8:12)
He is the one who gives us life and helps us to grow and thrive.  Without Him we would be hopeless.  His light shines on us and through us as believers.

Is it really a coincidence we pronounce these two names exactly the same?!  It may be easy for a non believer to look at these two things and opposites or not in relation to one another.  Is it a coincidence that the sun was created as a foreshadowing of The Son.  Before the Sun was created there was nothing but darkness.  When the Sun was created life could flourish.

if you are reading this you are most likely a child of God.  If for some reason you are not lets take a look at a scientific method known as Occam's Razor.  It is the principle that when looking at multiple hypotheses the simplest explanation is the right answer.  When looking at this process we must also take into account our personal definition of a simplest explanation is indicative of our personal beliefs.

Jesus said it best multiple times when he said..."He who has an ear, let him hear..."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Desire to Belong

As I read "The Inner Ring" a speech by C.S. Lewis I felt a kindred spirit with one of my favorite authors.  He touched on a major desire planted in all our hearts.  That desire is to feel like we belong.  I've been meditating on this subject for quite some time.  I have noticed how often people want to make connections with others.  I see it a lot with my job as we are in the business of helping others.  At times I talk to people that just want to tell you their story.  They just want to feel like someone cares about what they are dealing with.  It is with this deep desire to feel like we are "in the know".  As Lewis points out it is good to feel that you are "in the know" as it builds fellowship and connections with our fellow brothers and sisters.  We were created for relationship. 

I've lived in Colorado now for two months which has been a radical change from the tropical island we were on.  From a lush tropical landscape to a high desert climate.  I can imagine Adam and Eve felt the same as they walked out of the Garden of Eden.  They walked away from what they knew into unknown dangers and obstacles.

I have moved a lot throughout my life because I love change.  I don't like to get comfortable and laxidasical.  I love change because it always presents new challenges for me to be better.  Because of my desire for change I haven't felt really tied or close to a community in a long time.  For the first time in a long time it is nice to see people I know in the grocery store and for them to remember my name.  I value that sense of belonging.  Especially as I get older it is becoming more important.  My heart burns for that desire to be fulfilled. 

Our society has been engrossed with the idea that because you have been to places so radically different from where you grew up, that somehow equals success.  As I'm sure we have all heard someone say, "Wow he/she is really going places".  Where is the value in going to these places?  Is it to pride ourselves on tropical islands or obscure cultures?  Somehow the unfamiliar has become a pursuit.  That being said I like to experience the unfamiliar but I think we have to look at our motive for this pursuit.

"Is it for His glory or for yours"?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Part 1 Apologetics: Reflections on book "Indescribable"

I just started reading the book "indescribable".  It is simply amazing to say the least.  First, let me start off by stating how small I feel which is suppose to happen.  Looking at how big the cosmos are and how intricate the details of creation had to be in order for things to work together is nothing short of perfect.  As scientists have proved if something like the moon was just a little bigger it would cook planet earth quicker than electrolux on steroids.

The glorious darkness that so accentuates the lights of heaven lifts up upward and draws us into its chorus.  The longer we look up the freer we become, lost in the wonder and mystery that surrounds us, lost in praise of the One who set each star in place.  Broken humanity has a ferocious gravitational pull, constantly shrinking us down to earth.  But as we lift our gaze to the skies, how can we not know in our hearts that there must be more?"  
(Giglio, Redman, pg. 27).

Redman also asks a very important question, "Why create stretches of the universe that will never be seen?"  Some would say why wouldn't God just give us the answers.  Why is he making us search for answers or why is He making it nearly impossible to get all the answers in our life time??

God does not want us to be lazy.  As any loving parent would act God also wants us to work and not be lazy.  A good parent does not hand His child all the answers.  After all, what would be the point of teaching if you wouldn't one day have to dig for answers yourself?  More importantly what would be our drive in life if we were able to be overwhelmed with information and what-ifs?

“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
-Proverbs 13:4

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


As I was studying Psalm 40 tonight i came across this scripture:

"I waited patiently for the lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire.
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God."
-Psalm 40:1-4

Wow is all I can say really.  As some of my previous posts have talked about being rescued. Do you need to be rescued??  This week's service at my local church (Fellowship Church-Grand Junction, CO) made me realize how many people were not ready to proclaim how desperate they are to be saved.  How many of us can read this verse and in the quietness of our home say "Yes Lord" I want that.  However, when we get around our church family our pride kicks in and prevents us from doing so.

It is like we need a rescue to get rescued.

God wants to save you.....His precious and chosen children.  fear starts to cloud our egos and tries to prevent us from getting on our hands and knees and begging our heavenly father for this rescue.

God not only wants to rescue you but He wants that close relationship with you.  He will take you from your weakened foundation you are standing on in order to put you on a firm rock solid foundation.  Through these acts we can learn about faith in such a deeper level than before.

God wants to rescue you but the question is will you let him?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Silence can be uncomfortable.  As I write this I am half tempted to have the radio on.  Tempted is actually the perfect word to describe my feelings right now.  Lately I have realized how I do not need to have the radio on all the time.  My brain is on sensory overload and being busy does not mean you are closer to God. In my opinion when our pursuit for God becomes real and from the heart it is when we are at perfect peace with silence.

In this silence we can quiet our ego and even negative thoughts to allow God's thoughts and ideas to take over.  Only a foolish child keeps talking and does not allow their parent to respond.  That is being disrespectful when we behave that way.  I will be the first to admit I have been caught in that trap.

Does silence make you uncomfortable??  I know I use to feel uncomfortable within the silence not knowing where my thoughts would lead to.  If we are really pursuing God we do not have to worry about these fears.

"Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven.  This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion.  We are at the opposite end of the pole from there.  Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity and bluster make a man dear to God.  But we may take heart.  to a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict god says, "Be still and know that i am God." and still He says it as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence."  
-A.W. Tozer  The pursuit of God

A Theistic Worldview: Why Do I Believe in God?

Who are you?  We can communicate our worldview in a way society understands with a simple phrase such as, “I am a Christian” without going into a lot of detail to describe our identity and people basically understand.  “The question of identity is the key issue at the center of most of the important issues of Western culture” (Phillips, Brown, Stonestreet).  How we view the world and how we process what happens to us is dependant on our worldview.  Some people may classify this process as a religion but to me it is faith.  As described in The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, faith is defined as a “belief and trust in and loyalty to God” and it is further explained as a “firm belief in something for which there is no proof”.  The Theistic worldview is based on having faith in an intelligent being we cannot see but have full trust in.  The faith I have in God is to help me discern His truth in The Bible as well as how I handle worldly concerns.  My identity and worldview as a Christian-Theistic individual is dependant on my faith in God as not just a God but also the one and only true God.

As previously stated I have a Theistic worldview and more specifically a Christian-Theistic worldview.  As a Christian I draw strength from God and use The Bible as a guide to learn and discern the commands of God.  The Bible is a true source from God.  While other books compliment the word of God The Bible describes how to live life in every situation.  It is the only word from God that will never change.  This is a reflection of His everlasting love and goodness for His people.

I believe The Bible to be the truth and the only truth that was inspired by God and penned by man.  C.S. Lewis said it best as he described how Christianity has transformed his life, "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else”.  Further, as a Christ follower I believe both the Old Testament and the New Testament are important with my walk in life.  These Testaments are covenants God has made with His children.  Even though the Old Testament was a covenant God made with a previous people it serves as an example of who God is.  God is not just His name it describes who He is, Holy and Sovereign.  These promises He made were the first promises in revealing His awesome authority.

Furthermore, The New Testament is also imperative to current and future believers to show His love for His children.  It also gives hope to the lost and weary.  The entire Bible is full of emotional terms to help us to relate and interpret what is written.  One of the closest human relationships we have is a parent and child relationship.  God sent Himself in the form of His son to show relationship and unconditional love for His people.  What is more loving than sending your perfect and unblemished son to die for mans sins?  “The Bible is not a book of abstract, technical information.  It is a book about relationships, primary relationships between God and people” (Duvall, Hays, 2005).  While some people may feel certain parts of The Bible are harsh these terms strike the heart in a deep and profound way.  It is no mistake on God’s part that people have a sharp reaction.  It was meant to shock and restart the deadened heart similar to the process of defibrillation.

The Bible is also true because God tells us so in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (New International Version).  Not only do I know this to be true in my heart but also I believe it makes sense how creationism is explained.  In the words of a book by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist”.  If I did not believe in God I would be forced to adopt the natural selection theory that life just appeared without a rhyme or reason.  How can life exist without an intelligent being as the creator?  We may be able to assume how things survive and evolve (as in micro-evolution) but first we must look at how we were created.  As Geisler points out even the Wright brothers needed some form of intelligence to create the first airplane.  Airplanes did not just appear without two things:  1.)  A Creator and 2.)  Intelligence.  “If intelligent scientists cannot break genetic barriers, why should we expect nonintelligent natural selection to do so” (Geisler, Turek)?

When we look at the validity of The Bible it is important to look at what evidence society has as well as what evidence we do not have to prove a certain issue.  A large majority of The Bible is prophecy and history has proven some of the predictions of what was written by authors cited in The Bible.  “The Bible contains nearly three hundred predictions concerning Christ.  Even critics agree that the latest of these come from some two hundred years before His time; many come hundreds of years earlier” (Geisler).  One large point that separates Christianity from any other Theistic belief is that prophecy foretold that Jesus would perform miracles.  Jesus performed miracles that are apart of historical evidence, which was both predicted and proven.  No other religion can say that about the one who rescues them.  Also, in regards to the writings testifying to Jesus the prophets are making themselves a target speaking about Jesus and the meaning of true salvation.  Some critics of The Bible claim these prophets lied but my question is how would they profit from lying about issues they could be jailed and killed for?  It is my belief that they would be the last people to lie about Jesus’ title as The Messiah.  People like the Apostle Paul would not be willing to die for something they did not know to be true.

In order to practice what The Bible teaches is good and righteous I look to Galatians 5: Life by the Spirit.  I can choose to either live to glorify God as The Bible states in Galatians 5:22-23, “…the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control”.  Or I can choose to not follow God’s commands and live in the flesh or sinful nature as Galatians 5:19-21 states, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like”.  I know for a fact that sinful nature results in feeling empty, lost, and without purpose so I choose to live in the Spirit.

In addition, I can also scrutinize discourses throughout the Bible in order to learn from it.  By using logical arguments such as deductive reasoning I am able to learn about what I am observing.  We do not have all the answers about God and His beautiful creations but He provides us with intelligence to seek the answers to our questions.  God also helps us discern the text especially when we connect with Him through prayer.  By reading and re-reading His word He can reveal more information to us that helps us to apply His word to our life.  That is the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Along with stories in The Bible there is also a communication between God and the reader, which shows how compassionate and loving God is for His children.  Specifically, Psalm 139:13-16 states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”,” My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”.
My identity and my worldview is of a Christian-Theistic view and my faith in God as the one and only true God.  “Worldview in a Christian perspective implies the objective existence of the Trinitarian God whose essential character establishes the moral order of the universe and whose word, wisdom, and law define and govern all aspects of created existence” (Sire).  God speaks to His elect through The Bible and has used others to teach us what is good and what is disobedience.  Physical evidence has proven in a very specific way that the word of God is not merely written by man but inspired by God.  Apostle Paul is an excellent example of how God can use people to teach and encourage others.  It was a supernatural event that happened when Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and is further proof of the transformation that God can do.  Matthew 6:25-34 talks about His specific love for us to take care of us.  God takes care of the birds and the flowers and trees He loves us much more so how much more will He care for us if He provides for these small creatures.  These small creatures and plants do not worry about storing food for tomorrow so certainly we do not need to worry.  Through God’s tone in the scripture He emphasizes what breaks His heart.  There are no mistakes in His word and He often will repeat words and stories to get our attention.  God is our intelligent creator and loves us like a parent loves a child.  That is why He is called our Heavenly Father. 

Duvall, J. S., Hays, J.D.  Grasping God’s Word
Geisler, N.  Systematic Theology.  
Geisler, N., Turek, F.  I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.  
Lewis, C.S.  Weight of Glory.  
Phillips, W., Brown, W., & Stonestreet, J. Making sense of your world: A biblical worldview 
Sire, James, W.  Naming the Elephant.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Do You Need to be Rescued??

This past sunday our pastor at Fellowship Church (Grand Junction, CO) spoke a message titled, "Rescue me".  He talked about a very important point and pardon if this seems too aggressive but, "Stop talking about your problems to people who cannot rescue you".

How often do we gossip to others about our own personal issues??  What good does it do us or anyone for that matter by telling others about it?  They certainly cannot rescue us from that pit no matter how deep it is. Only one person can do that....God.

God loves you and wants you to trust Him with everything from the smallest problem to your biggest life changing event.  After all it is the attention God wants from us.  Especially when we are constantly seeking Him in prayer.  It is in that constant relationship that our faith develops and we start to pursue God with a unrelenting spirit.

In thinking about this how beautiful is this transformation that God is doing in our lives when seeking Him results in Him giving us more than we asked for.

So if you need to be rescued no man on earth can help you but our Heavenly Father is waiting for you to ask Him.  He is not going to force you to seek him.  Don't try to hide or bury the fact that you need to be rescued.

Seek help in our Father who first loved us.

1 John 4:19, "We love because he first loved us".