Tuesday, June 23, 2009

TRUST: Easier Said Than Done

Lately I have really been thinking about identity and how we can go through this entire life looking to temporary things to bring us happiness but at the end of the day we have nothing unless we have identity in Christ. In him we have purpose, life, destiny, hope, calling, and unconditional love.

Psalm 139 13-16

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out

In our old house in Vancouver we had this picture with a man's walk with God represented by two types of footprints in the sand. One the mans, and the other God's. At times there was two sets of footprints and at other times there were only one set of footprints. When the man saw this he asked God..
"Why did you leave me? For in the times where there was only one set of footprints were when family members died, me and my wife were having troubles, and life was simply just terrible. If you are a such a great God then why did you leave me when I needed you most?"
After the man was finished with his ranting and raving God told him...
"Son the reason there was only one set of footprints in the sand was not because I left you in those tough times, but because I was carrying you."

Don't you think that the very God who thought us out even before we were born will have a sovereign plan and destiny for our lives? I think that the key to being a Christ Follower is found in the simple fundamentals of relentlessly seeking the Glory of God, and finding our identity in HIS word. God has such a great plan and call on everyone's life, it's just up to us to "stop all the noise" and listen for Him, and to follow Him regardless of the circumstances. I think the common denominator when people lose sight of the kingdom of God is as simple as forgetting what God has done, and brought us out of. As long as we put our hope and TRUST in the Lord, we will live a very prosperous and rich life, which is the true essence of happiness.

Psalm 139 17-18
17 How precious are your thoughts about me O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can't even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Finding Faith

The other week I over heard a guy I work with say, "I used to believe in God but he f***ed me over too many times." I didn't say anything at the moment but it really got me thinking...That has got to be one of the least intelligent statements I have ever heard. The very God
that he doesn't believe in, is the God that has f***ed him over too many times.
If he doesn't believe in God then he is basically saying that He doesn't
exist, so how can the God that doesn't exist screw him over! It took everything
in me to not speak my mind to him (although maybe I should have in a civilized way of course).
However, it's the people like that that I really have a heart for; the ones who have lost all their Faith. I wish everyone could find the comfort I do in
Hebrews 13:8 when it says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The very God that was with David when he cast the stone at Goliath is the God we serve today...The very God that spilt the red sea so the Israelites could cross is the God we serve today...the very God that created the Heavens and the Earth is the same God we serve today! He was, He is and He will always be! The God I know does not sit up in Heaven with a magnifying glass trying to burn us limb from limb. The God I know is strong when we are weak, He's loving, gracious, merciful, He's our refuge, strong tower, and mighty deliverer and whether we decide to believe that He exists or not, does not change the fact that He's just as alive today as He was thousands of years ago.
It's those simple facts that keep my head above the water. In the last couple years with the economy being so terrible it would be very easy for our family to lose Faith in God with everything that has happened. But having a firm foundation, and the simple knowledge that God is sovereign has only increased our family's Faith. It's easy to serve God when everything is going your way, but true Faith is serving God in the toughest of times, and regardless of what the world would try to say.
Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence
of things not yet seen."

Monday, June 1, 2009

In The Blink of an Eye

Today as I saw my new baby nephew Elijah David at two hours old I began to think about how fragile life really is. With the blink of an eye this little 7lb 12oz guy came into the world and with another blink of an eye he's gonna be in cap and gown getting ready to go off to college. It seems like just yesterday me, Nick, and Brooke were all in elementary school riding over to bike town to go and test out the new jumps. Then in the blink of an eye I was 13 playing home run derby with Nick, and talking to Brooke about my new crush. Life comes and goes so fast that if we don't take the time to smell the roses and live our life according to God's word, we may lose our chance. We are only given one life and it is up to us how we live it. God gave us the bittersweet gift of freewill, but just because we have freedom of choice does not mean we have immunity from consequences. (profound I know)
The other day I found out that a couple guys I knew back in middle school died in a freak car accident. As tragic as this was it really got me thinking about legacy. If I were to die tomorrow, how would people remember me...would they remember me as the guy who could turn anything into a competition, and would break things when he would lose at ping pong...would they remember me as funny, athletic, inappropriate, scholastic, driven, outgoing, shy, competitive, stubborn.........
the truth is, everyday we are building our legacy that is going to far outlive our very temporary lives, and the moment we make our life about us and not about the one who gave us our life, is when we begin to lose our vision. Being a Christ follower really only entails giving your life daily to Him, so that you can be a vessel in carrying out His perfect will......and it starts on your knees.
James 4:14 How do you know what your life will be like
tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it's here a little while, then it's

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This is Me

Well as I was sitting thinking about what my first blog should be, I began to realize that very few people actually know my testimony and how I came to serve God. It all started at the young age of 5 when my parents got me the tape “Bull Frogs and Butterflies” for Christmas. The only way I could sleep at night was to that tape, and there was a part when the boy gives his heart to the Lord, so with the aide of my Mom I dedicated my life to serving the Lord from that day forward.
All growing up I was an extremely passionate kid. I gave everything my all, even when I never saw the benefits of it. I always gave 100% especially in sports. I played soccer, football, baseball, ran track and cross-country, wrestled and lettered in three sports in high school. Of all the sports I played, I was exceptionally gifted at baseball. When I was 16 I was playing on the local American Legion Team Vancouver Cardinals, and had the season of my life. I was batting around .450, had an e.r.a. less than 2.0, and had a resord of 8-1. It was this season that put me in the Who’s Who of Youth League Baseball with my picture and profile in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Little did I know that was going to be one of my last seasons ever. My junior year of High School we were ranked #1 in the state and I was our #2 pitcher (only cuz the guy in front was a senior). After I got the win in the biggest game of the year I had this unusual deep, dull pain in my shoulder that got so bad I couldn’t even throw a ball 40 feet without rything in pain. Long story short, I had degenerative cartialge damage and only had a few fragments of cartilage left so when I was throwing it was bone on bone. This event like the butterfly effect caused a whole chain of events leading to a large scale alteration of events. God never wanted me to go down the path I was about to, but with God’s sovereignty I was eventually saved from myself.
One of my biggest weaknesses was I could play “Christian” with the best of them. If I wasn’t doing well spiritually I knew exactly how to portray myself around family, friends, and Church so they wouldn’t know what was up. I could pretend I was doing fine by just going through the motions, but no matter what I could not fake God. You see, God gave me a very tender conscious (at times I thought it was a curse) and no matter what I was going through, I would eventually break and confess everything. Sometimes it took longer than others such as my senior year of highschool. I had just been told by the Doctor that I would never be able to throw a baseball again, I would probably have arthritis in my pitching shoulder by 20, and most likely need shoulder replacement surgery at 25. Baseball was my life and that gift of passion that God gave me was directed towards baseball and not Him. I was crushed. My dreams of pitching in D-1 ball suddenly came to a crashing hault. Baseball wasn’t necessarily a god in my life but it was certainly a crutch and when it was removed I had nothing to lean on. I had forgotten how to whole heartedly serve God because I had been playing “Christian” for so long. So naturally I turned to the world for definition in my life. I began sleeping with my girl friend, drinking, cussing like a sailor, and even doubting the very existance of God and his divine power. The sad thing is, if I would have just been leaning on God, this could have all been avoided. Suddenly my life testimony of purity, serving God, and being the kid standing up amongst a world sitting down was a tradgety. Now what??
Well with the incredible family I have and the unfortunate luck I have of ALWAYS getting caught, everything surfaced. I must say, I would rather die a thousand deaths than experience that evening when my parents found out I had been lying straight to their face about everything and seeing the tears of dissappointment streaming down their cheeks. Now my only problem was I was sorry I got caught not sorry for what I had done. So within no time I was drinking again, and fighting God with every ounce of strength I had. It had gotten to the point where I hid my Bible because I knew if I read it I would be convicted and have to change my lifestyle. Being so deep in sin I knew where the truth was but I didn’t want anthing to do with it.
It was shortly after that I decided to move here to Boise with my parents and ’start over.’ The only thing that was different now though was I was stuck in the same sin in a different place. It wasn’t until Gen Unleashed that January that I responded to an alter call and finally esperienced the redeeming power of God. I finally let go of all the mistakes I had made, the bitterness of baseball being stripped from my future, and my doubting spirit was filled with Faith, along with a passion for purity again. It wasn’t until I finally leaned on God and stopped asking questions that I was set free from myself. The moment Christianity turns into a religion as a opposed to a relationship, a label instead of a lifestyle, is the very moment you fall down the slippery slope of “going through the motions.”