Friday, December 31, 2010

Thoughts from 2010, and looking forward to 2011...

2010...what was it like? I think it was the year of spiritual lessons. God has taught me sooo much this year. I've gone through personal struggles in my walk with the Lord...have I learned all my lessons? Unfortunately...no. You know how it is...we as stubborn backsliding Christians have to make the same mistake over and over again before we learn. At least I know that's how it is with me. But I can honestly say that I'm trying to rely on Christ more each day. I'm trying read my bible more, and pray.

What were the big events that will make me remember 2010? Well, I became an Uncle for the third time...my first nephew (Connor David Hunsicker).
My sister Sara got married to Samuel Abbott Hopkins.
I got accepted to Northland Baptist Bible College.
I turned 23 years old (scary...I know!).
And I think that's about all I can think of right now...

This year is going to be the year of new beginnings. I will be getting out of the Navy and starting college. I'm pretty excited, but at the same time kind of nervous. But God is in control...

What will 2011 hold for me? Well, I can honestly say that I want to do my best this year to just rest in Christ. Let Him have greater control in my life, and just try to live in a way that's pleasing to Him...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Does Jesus Care?

by : Frank E. Graeff

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
As the daylight fades into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
When for my deep grief there is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.


Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks—
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Marks of the True Christian

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your neighbor is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21

I was reading this passage in my bible reading last night, and I must confess that I have a long way to go in most of these areas. But we should do our best as Christians to live lives that are marked by these attributes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

He Is Jesus

There’s a treasure great in beauty

Far surpassing earth’s great wealth

He is Jesus, Prince of Glory

Source of all grace, peace and health

There’s a fountain ever flowing

Satisfying all who drink

It is Jesus, Spring of Joy

To all who hail Him as their King

***

There’s a power, holy power

Breaking bonds of captive men

He is Jesus, mighty Jesus

Holy warrior and sinner’s friend

There’s a Savior rich in mercy

Quick to pardon all our sins

It is Jesus, Great Redeemer

Reconciling God and man

***

There’s a glorious Lord returning

And all will bow to Him alone

He is Jesus, King of Nations

Reigning from His gracious throne

There is One to whom our praises

Will through every age ascend

It is Jesus, King forever

Whose wondrous rule will never end

***

© 2003 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I am Rich!

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
II Corinthians 8:9

Think about this. Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, up in heaven surrounded by angels singing praises to Him. Yet, he came to this earth to live in human form for us. He came as a babe, was raised by human parents, whom He had created. Obeying them with joy...having to suffer the limitations of a human body. Being treated badly, again by humans he had created. He could have called down 1 angel to destroy all his critics, but He did not. He was hung on a tree with nails through His hands, once again by those he had created. By his death we received salvation, and are now rich partakers of His glory. What Love was bestowed on us in his action. We truly are rich in Christ!

When Love Came Down

When love came down to earth
And made His home with men,
The hopeless found a hope,
The sinner found a friend.
Not to the powerful
But to the poor He came,
And humble, hungry hearts
Were satisfied again.

What joy, what peace has come to us!
What hope, what help, what love!

When every unclean thought,
And every sinful deed
Was scourged upon His back
And hammered through His feet.
The Innocent is cursed,
The guilty are released;
The punishment of God
On God has brought me peace.

What joy, what peace has come to us!
What hope, what help, what love!

Come lay your heavy load
Down at the Master’s feet;
Your shame will be removed,
Your joy will be complete.
Come crucify your pride,
And enter as a child;
For those who bow down low
He’ll lift up to His side.

What joy, what peace has come to us!
What hope, what help, what love!

Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2001 Thankyou Music

Monday, December 13, 2010

Good Quote



Stick with your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let critics malign, let enemies accuse, let the devil do his worst; but see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you. He has not commanded you to be admired or esteemed. He has never bidden you to defend your character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood about yourself which Satan’s or God’s servants may start to peddle, or to track down every rumor that threatens your reputation. If you do these things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the Lord. Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.”

-Anonymous

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Northland

Alright...so you all know how anxious I've been lately about college. I submitted my application back in September, and I have received lots of emails for just sending in more information to continue the application process, but nothing telling me if I got accepted or not.

I wasn't sending any emails asking if I got accepted because I didn't want to be a nag.

Well, the other day I was talking on the phone with my Dad, and he was saying to me: "You know it might be a good idea to email or call them because it shows you are being proactive." So I finally emailed them this morning. I figured I wouldn't get a response until Monday, since it was the weekend. So...just in case I didn't get accepted, I started filling out an application to BJ this morning. But while I was filling out the application I got an email form Northland...I guess they sent me an email that I didn't get because...I've been accepted! I'm so excited! Now comes all the preparations...

Thank you to everyone for all your prayers, they were appreciated, and obviously God answered!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Once in Royal David's City


Once in royal Davids city, 
Stood a lowly cattle shed, 
Where a mother laid her Baby, 
In a manger for His bed: 
Mary was that mother mild, 
Jesus Christ, her little Child. 

He came down to earth from heaven, 
Who is God and Lord of all, 
And His shelter was a stable, 
And His cradle was a stall: 
With the poor, and mean, and lowly, 
Lived on earth our Saviour holy. 

For He is our childhood's pattern; 
Day by day, like us, He grew; 
He was little, weak, and helpless, 
Tears and smiles, like us He knew; 
And He cares when we are sad, 
And he shares when we are glad. 

And our eyes at last shall see Him, 
Through His own redeeming love; 
For that Child so dear and gentle, 
Is our Lord in heaven above: 
And He leads His children on, 
To the place where He is gone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weight Watchers

Don't be deceived by the title of this blog post. While some physical weight loss would be good for me right now, that is not the weight loss I am referring to.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12: 1 & 2 (ESV)

After reading the verse I posted you can probably tell already what I'm going to talk about. This is something I have been struggling with lately. I allow so many things to slow me down with my walk with God. All of us who are Christians should always be striving to move forward in our Christian life. Always trying to let the Lord work, and mold us into just the people God wants us to be...but truth be told, most of us are very resistant to this work of God in our lives. We rebel, we want to do things our own way.

Many of us would claim that we are trying our best to live our lives for God, but are we really? Are we truly, always trying to purge our lives of things that are displeasing to God, and pursuing those things that are pleasing to God?

I don't say all this because I believe I have already attained this level of Christian life...certainly not! I am definitely NOT perfect...but we, in our Christian life, should always be striving forward. Seeking to know God better, and please Him more everyday.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Philippians 3 : 12 - 16 (ESV)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Dragon


There was once a great and noble King whose land was terrorized by a crafty dragon. Like a massive bird of prey the scaly beast delighted in ravaging villages with his fiery breath. Hapless victims ran from their burning homes only to be snatched into the dragon's jaws or talons. Those devoured instantly were deemed more fortunate than those carried back to the creature's lair to be devoured at the dragon's leisure.

The King led his sons and knights in many valiant battles against the serpent. Each time they wounded the dragon and he retreated to his hidden lair deep in the mountains. While he healed, the kingdom would be at peace for a time. "Take courage," the King told his people. "One day the dragon will be slain." Riding alone in the forest during a period of calm, one of the King's sons heard his name purred low and soft. In the shadows of the ferns and trees, curled among the boulders, lay the dragon. The creature's heavy lidded eyes fastened on the prince, and the reptilian mouth stretched into a friendly smile.

"Don't be alarmed," said the dragon as gray wisps of smoke rose lazily from his nostrils. "I am not what your father thinks."

"What are you, then?" asked the prince, warily drawing his sword as he kept his fearful horse from bolting by pulling in the reins.

"I am pleasure," said the dragon. "Ride on my back and you will experience more than you ever imagined. Come now. I have no harmful intentions. I seek a friend, someone to share flights with me. Have you never dreamed of flying? Never longed to soar in the clouds?" The sunlight glistened with an iridescent sheen on the dragon's metallic green scales. "Bring your sword for security if you wish, but I give my word no harm will come to you."

Visions of soaring high above the forested hills drew the prince hesitantly from his horse. The dragon unfurled one great webbed wing to serve as a ramp to his ridged back. Between the spiny projections the prince found a secure seat. Then the creature's powerful wings snapped twice and launched them into the sky. Once aloft the dragon wafted effortlessly on the wind streams. The prince's apprehension melted into awe and exhilaration.

From then on, he met the dragon often, but secretly, for how could he tell his father, brothers, or the knights that he had befriended the enemy? The prince feltseparate from them all. Their concerns were no longer his concerns. Even when he wasn't with the dragon he spent less time with those he loved and more time alone.

The skin on the prince's legs became calloused from gripping the ridged back of the dragon, and his hands grew rough and hardened. He began wearing gloves to hide the malady. After many nights of riding, he discovered scales growing on the backs of his hands as well. With dread he realized his fate were he to continue, and so he resolved to return no more to the dragon.

But, after a fortnight, he again sought out the dragon, having been tortured with desire. And so it transpired many times over. No matter what his determination, the prince eventually found himself pulled back, as if by the cords of an invisible web. Silently, patiently, the dragon always waited.

One cold, moonless night their excursion became a foray against a sleeping village. Torching the thatched roofs with fiery blasts from his nostrils, the dragon roared with delight when terrified victims fled from their burning homes. Swooping in, the serpent belched again and flames engulfed a cluster of screaming villagers. The prince closed his eyes tightly in an attempt to shut out the carnage, but the agonized cries and smell of burning flesh assailed him. The dragon's long neck snaked and spasmed as he crunched bone and devoured his roasted prey. The prince retched and clung miserably to his spiny perch.

In the predawn hours, when the prince crept back from his dragon trysts, the road outside his father's castle usually remained empty. But, not tonight. Terrified refugees streamed into the protective walls of the castle.

The prince walked among bedraggled women carrying wailing children with gashes from the dragon's talons. Some victims, too badly wounded or burned to walk, were brought in carts or dragged on makeshift pallets. The prince's heart was torn. Their pain brought tears to his eyes and shame to his soul. "What have I become?" he asked himself. At that moment, he wanted even more desperately to be free of the dragon.

Perhaps his father, in all his wisdom, could help. But the prince feared that the truth would make him abhorrent in his father's sight. Surely he would be disowned, exiled, or perhaps even condemned to death.

The castle bustled with frantic activity to care for the refugees thronged in the courtyard. The prince attempted to slip through the crowd to close himself in his chambers, but some of the survivors stared and pointed toward him.
"He was there," one woman cried out, "I saw him on the back of the dragon." Others nodded their heads in angry agreement. Horrified, the prince saw that his father, the King, was in the courtyard holding a bleeding child in his arms. The King's face mirrored the agony of his people as his eyes found the prince's.

The son fled, hoping to escape into the night, but the guards apprehended him as if he were a

common thief. They brought him to the great hall where his father sat solemnly on the throne. The people on every side railed against the prince.

"Banish him!" he heard one of his own brothers angrily cry out. "Flay him!" "Burn him alive!" other voices shouted.

As the King rose from his throne, bloodstains from the wounded shone darkly on his royal robes. The crowd fell silent in expectation of his decree. The prince, who could not bear to look into his father's face, stared at the flagstones of the floor.

"Take off your gloves and your tunic," the King commanded. The prince obeyed slowly, dreading to have his metamorphosis uncovered before the kingdom. Was his shame not already great enough? He had hoped for a quick death without further humiliation. Sounds of revulsion rippled through the crowd at the sight of the prince's thick, scaled skin and the ridge growing along his spine.

The King strode toward his son and the prince steeled himself, fully expecting a back-handed blow even though he had never been struck so by his father.

Instead, his father embraced him and wept as he held him tightly. In shocked disbelief, the prince buried his face against his father's shoulder.

"Do you wish to be freed of the dragon, my son?"

The prince answered in despair, "I have wished it many times, but there is no hope for me."

"Not alone," said the King. "You cannot win against the serpent alone."

"Father, I am no longer your son. I am half beast," sobbed the prince.

But his father replied, "My blood runs in your veins. My nobility has always been stamped deep within your soul. Nothing can take that from you."

With his face still hidden tearfully in his father's embrace, the prince heard the King instruct the crowd, "The dragon is crafty. Some fall victim to his wiles and some to his violence. There will be mercy for all who wish to be freed. Who else among you has ridden the dragon?"

The prince lifted his head to see someone emerge from the crowd. To his amazement, he recognized an older brother, one who had been lauded throughout the kingdom for his onslaughts against the dragon in battle and for his many good deeds. Others came, some weeping, others hanging their heads in shame. The sister who was known for her beautiful singing came, tearfully removing her slippers to reveal spiked scales on her feet.

The King embraced them all.

"This is our most powerful weapon against the dragon," he announced. "Truth. No more hiddenness. Alone you cannot resist him. Together you will prevail, for you draw strength from one another. Those of you who think yourselves immune to the serpent's wiles, beware lest you be the next to fall. Those ensnared, you must desire freedom more than the dragon's flight. The struggle will be long and fierce. Over time, you will choose more often against the dragon than for him until finally you go to him no more."

"Will the scales then be gone as well?" asked the sister, looking at her bared feet.

"No, my child," the King answered gently. "But, in time, they will fade. And one day, when the dragon is finally slain, all traces of the scales will disappear."

"Death to the dragon!" someone yelled from the crowd and a great cheer rose up in chorus, "Death to the dragon! Long live the King!"

From: Parables for Personal Growth
By: Dr. Melinda Reinicke

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Countdown has begun...and other thoughts...

So...does anyone notice a new box on my profile? I have a countdown going now 'til my enlistment is up. This was inspired by my Division Officer asking me the other day how many days I had 'til I was done in the Navy. I told him I hadn't started one yet...so he told me I should...because I guess he started his around day 1000 or something. Anyways...so that's how many days I have left! I'll probably be coming home sooner than that though, because I should be able to get some terminal leave...I might be home between 30 and 60 days prior to that. But we'll see how that goes.

Another update...I still haven't heard back from Northland about my application. Every time I receive an email from them, it's just telling me that the application is "in review." They also said I should know within the next couple of weeks if I got accepted or not. Literally, the second I wake up in the morning I check my email to see if I have an email from Northland, and also again when I come home during lunch. So...if you think of me, please pray that the Lord gives me patience!

Also, God has impressed on my heart some things lately that I feel I need to share. I have talked about this before, but I just wanted to bring up some more examples to support it. The topic is keeping Jesus Christ as the foundation upon which we base our faith.

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 3:11

I see it so often in the Navy. Someone will have their faith based on their feelings, or on others...but those foundations do not last. People who depend on their feelings, or their family and friends...they will fall. I remember before I joined the Navy, I was telling people that I believed the Navy would either make me, or break me. I think now, reflecting on the past three years...it kind of did both. It broke me down, so that I could be rebuilt. Well, I guess that Navy can't take credit for that change...that was all God. The Lord has taught me how to let Him be my foundation for my faith...because if I hadn't, I never would have made it this far, still trying my best to live for Christ. It was an often painful ride, and it surely isn't over...I still have a lot more to learn!

Christ is the only lasting foundation...He will never let us down, He will never fail us.

Alright...well that's all for now. I hope, and pray that what God has taught me, might be a blessing to you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Who'll take the son?

A wealthy widowed man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.

When the Viet Nam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.

Later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly.

He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture.

"Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift." The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.

The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence.

Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one."

But the auctioneer persisted, "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding - $100, $200?"

Another voice shouted angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued, "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?" Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting."

Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?", the auctioneer continued.

"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters."

"$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" asked the auctioneer. The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.

The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice! SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!"

The auctioneer laid down his gavel, "I'm sorry, the auction is over."

"What about the paintings?" - the angry crowd yelled.

"I am sorry, said the auctioneer, "when I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this moment. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave his Son, Jesus, 2000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The Son, the Son, who'll take the Son?"

Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.
--Author unknown.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

True repentance has a distinct and constant reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you repent of sin without looking to Christ, away with your repentance. If you are so lamenting your sin as to forget the Savior, you have a need to begin all this work over again. Whenever we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and another upon the cross; or, better still, let us have both eyes upon Christ, seeing our sin punished in him, and by no means let us look at sin except as we look at Jesus. A man may hate sin just as a murderer hates the gallows but this does not prove repentance if I hate sin because of the punishment, I have not repented of sin; I merely regret that God is just. But if I can see sin as an offense against Jesus Christ, and loathe myself because I have wounded him, then I have a true brokenness of heart. If I see the Savior and believe that those thorns upon his head were put there by my sinful words; if I believe that those wounds in his heart were pierced by my heart-sins; if I believe that those wounds in his feet were made by my wandering steps, and that the wounds in his hands were made by my sinful deeds, then I repent after a right fashion. Only under the cross can you repent. Repentance elsewhere is remorse, which clings to the sin and only dreads the punishment. Let us then seek, under God, to have a hatred of sin caused by a site of Christ's love.

-Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Please Vote Today!

Alright, so one cool thing that they do for military members, is they do this thing where they expedite our absentee ballots. I turned in my absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago, and I just check on it, and it has been delivered to Jefferson, Ohio...the county seat of my county (Ashtabula). So...I can honestly say that I have voted!

If you can vote, have you? Do you plan on it? I don't care what your party affiliation...every American needs to vote! All the people in the past who have gone to war...they went to war so that we could maintain that freedom. We are doing them a disservice by not voting. So...I hope this doesn't come too late...as it is already early morning of election day back in the states, but I encourage everyone who reads this before the polls close...please go out and vote!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Love of God

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Great Disparity

There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and which in its effect upon the Christian religion may be more destructive than Communism, Romanism and Liberalism combined. It is the glaring disparity between theology and practice among professing Christians. So wide is the gulf that separates theory from practice in the church that an inquiring stranger who chances upon both would scarcely dream that there was any relation between them. An intelligent observer of our human scene who heard the Sunday morning sermon and later watched the Sunday afternoon conduct of those who heard it would conclude that he had been examining two distinct and contrary religions.

A church conference, for instance, may listen to and applaud the most spiritual message, and twenty minutes later adopt the most carnal procedure, altogether as if they had not heard the impassioned moral appeal a few moments before. Christians habitually weep and pray over beautiful truth, only to draw back from that same truth when it comes to the dificulty of putting it into practice. The average church simply does not dare to check its practices against Biblical precepts. It tolerates things that are diametrically opposed to the will of God, and if the matter is pointed out to its leaders they will defend its unscriptural practices with a smooth casuistry equal to the verbal dodging of the Roman moralists.

This can be explained only by assuming a lack of integration in the religious personality. There seems to be no vital connection between the emotional and volitional deparments of the life. The mind can approve and the emotions enjoy while the will drags its feet and refuses to go along. And since Christ makes His appeal directly to the will, are we not justified in wondering whether or not these divided souls have ever made a true commital to the Lord? Or whether they have been inwardly renewed? It appears that too many Christians want to enjoy the thrill of feeling right but are not willing to endure the inconvenience of being right. So the divorce between theory and practice becomes permanent in fact, though in word the union is declared to be eternal. Truth sits frosaken and grieves till her professed followers come home for a brief visit, but she sees them depart again when the bills become due. They protest great and undying love for her but they will not let their love cost them anything.

Could this be the condition our Lord had in mind when He said, "Thou has a name that thou livest, and art dead?" (Rev. 3:1) What can the effect be upon the spectators who live day after day among professed Christians who habitually ignore the commandments of Christ and live after their own private notions of Christianity?

Will they not conclude that the whole thing is false?

Will they not be forced to believe that the faith of Christ is an unreal and visionary thing which they are fully justified in rejecting?

Certainly the non-Christian is not too much to be blamed if he turns disgustedly away from The invitation of the gospel after he has been exposed for a while to the inconsistencies of those of his acquaintence who profess to follow Christ. The deadening affect of religious make-believe on the human mind is beyond all describing.

In the great and terrible day when the deeds of men are searched into by the penetrating eyes of the Judge of all the earth what will we answer when we are charged with inconsistency and moral fraud? And at whose door will lie the blame for the millions of lost men who while they lived on earth were sickened and revolted by the religious travesty they knew to be Christianity?

by: A. W. Tozer
from: The Root of The Righteous

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happenings...

Alright...so I realized that not everyone on here knows about what's going with me since my last post about my leave. I'm back in Japan...back to work...kind of having mixed feelings about the whole thing. But oh well...9 months before I'll be coming home to prepare for college! Speaking of college...I should find out with in the next week if I've been accepted at Northland. Feeling kind of anxious about that. People keep telling me that they don't see any reason why I wouldn't get accepted...but there's still this nagging worry in the back of my mind about the whole thing...it's in God's hands though.

Hopefully I'll be on again soon with some things to write about...I've had some ideas floating around in my head, but have yet to organize them and come up with a comprehensive post. So...stand by for that one...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fear

The only fear I have is to fear to get out of the will of God. Outside of the will of God, there's nothing I want, and in the will of God there's nothing I fear, for God has sworn to keep me in His will. If I'm out of his will that's another matter. But if I'm in His will, He's sworn to keep me.
-A. W. Tozer

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Look

by: John Newton

I saw one hanging on a tree
In agony and blood
Who fixed His loving eyes on me
As near His cross I stood
And never till my dying breath
Will I forget that look
It seemed to charge me with His death
Though not a word He spoke

My conscience felt and owned the guilt
And plunged me in despair
I saw my sins His blood had spilt
And helped to nail Him there
But with a second look He said
“I freely all forgive
This blood is for your ransom paid
I died that you might live”

CHORUS
Forever etched upon my mind
Is the look of Him who died
The Lamb I crucified
And now my life will sing the praise
Of pure atoning grace
That looked on me and gladly took my place

Thus while His death my sin displays
For all the world to view
Such is the mystery of grace
It seals my pardon too
With pleasing grief and mournful joy
My spirit now is filled
That I should such a life destroy
Yet live by Him I killed

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My leave so far...

Alright...so my leave has been really fun so far. I apologize to all my facebook friends who are my followers...you are having to see these pictures twice.


My sister's dog Mia. This was taken soon after I got home.


The family dog Ginger.


Listening to Meagan Greenfield play the Piano. I spent an evening at their house last week.


Meagan and Hannah Greenfield.


The three of us being strange.


Meagan and I.


Hannah and I.


Cuddling with Mia, and petting Tigris.


Two weeks ago I made curry for my family, well I should say I found a recipe and Mom and I made it. This is a pic of me eating it. Notice the headband? I wore that thing all day...

Alright...well that's all the pics for now. My sister Sara gets married on Saturday at 2PM (Eastern Time Zone). It's going to be fun, but I'll be happy when it's over! Monday, and Tuesday night I went to Kirtland Bethel Baptist Church in Kirtland, Ohio because the Pettit's have been there this week. I'm going to be going again tonight! I wish I could go again tomorrow night, because they're having an Irish concert, but we have the wedding rehearsal tomorrow night! Oh well...I did find out one cool thing though. Bro. Pettit said that pretty soon they are going to be coming out with a song book off a lot of their songs. I'm going to try and buy it as soon as it comes out!

Also...I talked to Northland and they told me to send my ACT scores, and my High School Transcripts. So I went online the other day and put in an order to have my ACT scores sent there, and I went to my High School yesterday and asked them to send my transcripts to Northland. So hopefully I'll be getting my acceptance letter soon? Only the Lord knows. So if you guys could be praying, I would appreciate it!

Anyways...I've already rambled on for far too long!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Perfect Peace

by: Laura Story

Stay close by my side
Keep your eyes on me
Though this life is hard
I will give you perfect peace

In this time of trial
Pain that no one sees
Trust me when I say
I will give you perfect peace

And you'll never walk alone
And you'll never be in need
Though I may not calm the storms around you
You can hide in me
Burdens that you bear
Offer no relief
Let me bear your load
'Cause I will give you perfect peace
Stay close by my side
And you'll never walk alone
Keep your eyes on me
And you'll never be in need
Though this life is hard
Know that I will always give you perfect peace
I will give you perfect peace

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Updates...

This post is mainly for anyone who are not friends of mine on facebook. Just want to do a quick post on what's going on in my life lately.

I just found out this morning that my leave request for September 15th - October 14th was approved! I can't wait to go home!

Also, I submitted my application to Northland yesterday. Along with my application I have to have three people, including my Pastor fill out "Personal Reference Forms." One person has already filled one out, and I'm waiting on the other two to respond to my emails. Oh, and I also had to fill out a Personal Evaluation Form, which I also filled out yesterday. After that is all done...I wait for my acceptance letter. If any of you think of me with this...please be praying! I'm trying to give it over to God...after all...He's in control!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Coming Home

I’ve wandered far away from God, now I am coming home.
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod, Lord, I am coming home.

I’ve wasted many precious years, but now I’m coming home.
I now repent with bitter tears, lord, I am coming home.

Coming home, Lord nevermore to roam.
Open wide Your arms, Your arms of love, Lord, I am coming home.

My soul is sick, my heart is sore, now I am coming home.
My strength renew, my hope restore, now I am coming home.

Coming home, Lord nevermore to roam.
Open wide Your arms, Your arms of love, Lord, I am coming home.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Summer Deployment 2010 - The Philippines and South Korea

So some of you may remember, but my ship has been to the Philippines before. Well, last time I was there, I went on a tour to Corregidor Island...the site of an old U.S. Army base back durring WWII. I won't go through all the history that I did when I was last here, if you want to read about it you can read the post I did on it last time we were here. It's called General Douglas McArthur, Corregidor, Philippines, and my Step-Grandfather...

So anyways...as I said in that article, when I went on the tour I forgot the memory card for my camera. So this time we went, I remembered my memory card! I'll share with you some of the pictures I took!


This is a picture of our tour bus.


Some big guns.


Looking down the barrel of one of those big guns.


An even bigger gun.


This is a part of the Pacific War Memorial on the island.


Another part of the Pacific War Memorial. The "Eternal Flame of Freedom.


I love this statue. It depicts a U.S. Soldier and a Philippine Soldier helping each other to walk. It is a symbol of the friendship between our two nations, and also a testament of how we fought together durring the battle for the Philippines.


The "Mile Long Baracks." Called this because of it's length. It is not actually a mile long, but it's pretty long.


The Base Movie Theater. Doesn't look like much today does it?


The remains of a indoor pool inside one of the baracks.


One of the gun emplacements that was almost completely destroyed durring the assault by the Japanese, and then again by U.S. when the retook the island.


One of the "Disappearing Guns" on the island. It's called this because it couldn't be seen from a distance until it came up to fire. It would start out in this position where it was loaded, and when it was fired it would move up into sight.


And just in case that one breaks, there's a spare.


Never thought you'd consider a gun this size to be small, huh?



Malinta Tunnel.


A statue depicting General Douglas McArthur as he was leaving the island. The plaque below reads "I Shall Return." He kept his promise too...

After the Philippines we went to South Korea for our bi-anual exercise. I've only been out to do site seeing a few times in South Korea. Most of the time that we are there I usually just stay on the boat. So this last picture was the only picture I took while we were there.


The view from the boat in Busan, South Korea.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Deployment 2010 - Palau

Our first port on our deployment was Palau. It was an awesome place. I went snorkeling...got a chance to swim with stingless jellyfish, explore caves...it was awesome. I hope you enjoy the pics!


Here's the Blue Ridge anchored out in Palau. We had liberty boats to take us from the ship to the pier, and back again.


Palau is known for it's Rock Islands.



A natural arch in Palau, on the Rock Islands.



I went on a Historical tour to the Island of Peleliu. The island was the location for one of the first major battles of the pacific campaign durring WWII.



Japanese Tank


American Tank


Marine Landing Craft



One of the caves made by the Japanese durring their occupation of the Island. This one is known as the "Thousand Man Cave." This one had a pretty extensive network. I went back in there and did some exploring too. It was really cool!


Alright...so this picture was taken back in Korror. We went to an Indian restaurant called the Taj. They had really good food! This is what I got. It was really good...and cool!


Alright...so you are probably wondering about this picture. When we went to dinner I noticed this tiny little crab on our table. My friend Bagley put her finger next to him so you could see how small he was. We named him George...although sadly we had to leave him when we left the restaurant.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Flashforwarding?

So, for the last two days I've been watching this show called FlashForward. There are certain aspects of the show that I do not like...I won't go into detail. But basically in the first episode of the TV show everyone in the entire world blacks out. They just fall to the ground almost as if they are dead. Their black-out lasts exactly 2 minutes and 17 seconds. During this time they have a vision of their life in 6 months.

The whole idea got me thinking...if I could somehow look into the future, and see myself in say...6 months, 1 year, 5 years...what would I see? Would I want to see it? My answer would be a resounding NO! There are two reasons...I will give you lesser of my two reasons first.

My first is because I might not like what I see. Maybe God has a different plan for my life than I envision for myself now. For example...maybe I look into the future and I see my family living in a small little house in Indonesia, barely scraping by...and I look at that and think..."I don't want that for my future!" But maybe what I don't see in my flash-forward, is that I'm a missionary there, and we're reaching people for Christ.

I think you can naturally see where I'm going with this. My main reason for not wanting to "flash-forward"...is that God is in control. I don't need to see the future...because God is in control. He has a path for my life...as long as I'm doing my best to live my life for the Lord and seeking His direction in it...I can trust Him that He will take care of me, and provide for all my needs.

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Psalm 34:22

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Friday, August 20, 2010

'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus

by: Louisa M. R. Stead
’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!
***
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.
***
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.