Saturday, October 29, 2011

Active Duty Career Video

I made a video of a compilation of pictures from my time in the navy, and made a video with it.  If you want to check it out, click here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Balance in the Christian Life

A few weeks ago we had pastor from a local church visit and preach in our chapel service here on campus.  He preached on balance in the Christian life, and it's something that I think really needs to be heard.

He told us to envision the Christian life as a wheel with three spokes.  One spoke is labeled "Holiness", another "Service for Christ", and the last was labeled "Position in Christ".  I'm going to break each one down in the way that he did.

…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."
I Peter 1:15-16
Striving to live a holy life is very important in our Christian life.  We should always be aiming for removing those things that are displeasing to the Lord from our life, but talking an emphasis on Holiness can lead to legalism, and a lack of grace.

Service for Christ:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.Romans 12:1
We should always be striving to serve the Lord in our church, and in whatever way we can.  However when we take this one too far it can lead to a strict regimented "duty" oriented Christianity that lacks love and can even lack Holiness.

Position in Christ:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1
It is very important that we as Christians remember God's grace in our lives.  He gave us unmerited favor that we didn't deserve, and we should always be rejoicing in that!  However, an over emphasis of this can lead to a lack of Holiness.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:1-4

I really like the analogy of a wheel when it comes to the Christian life.  Because when we overemphasize any one of these we can think of it like an unbalanced wheel.  If you tried to ride a bike where one side of the spokes on your wheels were shorter than the other ones, it would be really uncomfortable to ride.  You would be bouncing up and down and struggling to get from one place to the next.  Much like that, when we overemphasize one of these it will really make our Christian life difficult.

I know for me as a Conservative Christian, and as a Baptist in particular, I at times grew up with an overemphasis on the Holiness part.  It honestly wasn't really till I got to college that I really started thinking deeply about my position in Christ.  It's so awesome to think about God's love to us, and His grace.  I'm overwhelmed by it, and so thankful!  But I've even noticed how it can be overemphasized to the point where I forget that I'm supposed to strive to live a Holy life as well!

It can be very hard to find a good balance between these three!  We as imperfect humans have a tendency to try to do things on our own, and we seem to be able to focus on only one of these at a time.  But with God's help He can enable us to find a good balance between these three.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Northland Dining Hall...

At Northland we are currently working on raising funds to build a new dining hall.  The one we have was build back in the 60s, so we are definitely in need of a new one!

So, if you feel led, and have the money to donate, we, the students of Northland would greatly appreciate your support!

Here's a link for where you can donate:  Northland Capital Projects

Even if you can't donate, your prayers are appreciated!

The Poochie Lip Disease

King Ahab went a-walking in royal garments grand and saw a lovely vinyard while gazing o’er his land. He said, “I’ve got to have it, I always get my way!” But when he could not get it he pouted all the day.

The poochie lip will get you if you don’t watch out. The poochie lip will get you if you start to pout. So take this little tip, please control that lower lip, and chase away the poochie lip disease.

The king went to his bedroom; he looked so sad and blue. He slammed the door behind him and loudly cried, “Boo-hoo!” He said, “Nobody loves me” and fell down on his bed, “If I can’t have the vineyard I won’t eat any bread.”

The poochie lip will get you if you don’t watch out. The poochie lip will get you if you start to pout. So take this little tip, please control that lower lip, and chase away the poochie lip disease.

Now if you are a begger or if you are a king, I’m sure you will discover No man has everything. Whenever you’re unhappy, recall this little tip- remember silly Ahab, and don’t stick out that lip.

The poochie lip will get you if you don’t watch out. The poochie lip will get you if you start to pout. So take this little tip, please control that lower lip, and chase away the poochie lip disease.
(Words and music by Ron Hamilton)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When I, as an earthly minister of God, view the goodness of God I think how hypocritical I am when I urge those around me to live righteously.  Because in view of God, there is no righteousness in me.  I am a filthy vessel.  All I can do as an earthly minister is admit my inadequacy and sin, and direct people's attention to the holy, loving God who saved me.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Prodigal

by:  Ryan and Meghan Baird
You held out Your arms, I walked away
Insolent I spurned Your face
Squandering the gifts You gave to me
Holding close forbidden things
Destitute a rebel still, a fool in all my pride
The world I once enjoyed is death to me
No joy, no hope, no life

Where now are the friends, that I had bought
Gone with every penny lost
What hope could there be for such as I
Sold out to a world of lies
Oh, to see Your face again, it seems so distant now
Could it be that You would take me back
A servant in Your house

You held out Your arms, I see them still
You never left, You never will
Running to embrace me, now I know
Your cords of love will always hold
Mercy's robe, a ring of grace
Such favor undeserved
You sing over me and celebrate
The rebel now Your child

© 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Could Not Do Without Thee

I could not do without Thee
O Savior of the lost,
Whose precious blood redeemed me
At such tremendous cost.
Thy righteousness, thy pardon
Thy precious blood, must be
My only hope and comfort,
My glory and my plea.

I could not do without Thee,
I cannot stand alone,
I have no strength or goodness,
No wisdom of my own;
But Thou, beloved Savior,
Art all in all to me,
And weakness will be power
If leaning hard on Thee.

I could not do without Thee,
For, oh, the way is long,
And I am often weary,
And sigh replaces song:
How could I do without Thee?
I do not know the way;
Thou knowest, and Thou leadest,
And wilt not let me stray.

I could not do without Thee,
O Jesus, Savior dear;
E’en when my eyes are holden,
I know that Thou art near.
How dreary and how lonely
This changeful life would be,
Without the sweet communion,
The secret rest with Thee!

I could not do without Thee;
No other friend can read
The spirit’s strange deep longings,
Interpreting its need;
No human heart could enter
Each dim recess of mine,
And soothe, and hush, and calm it,
O bless├Ęd Lord, but Thine.

I could not do without Thee,
For years are fleeting fast,
And soon in solemn oneness
The river must be passed;
But Thou wilt never leave me,
And though the waves roll high,
I know Thou wilt be near me,
And whisper, “It is I.” 

Reflection Lake...

So, on campus here at Northland we have a lake back in the woods that you can walk to.  I took a walk there last week and the fall foliage was beautiful!  Unfortunately, at the time, I did not have my camera, so I went back on Friday, and took a bunch of pics.  It wasn't as nice as it was the week before, but it was still pretty nice.  I hope you enjoy the pics!

So far classes are going very well!  So far I've passed all my tests that I've taken.  I have a few more this week...

On Saturday we had Artist Series here at Northland, and I went on my 2nd date I've had in my was really good!

God has been doing so much in my life here at Northland...I can't even begin to describe to you how much I love it here...especially after being in the Navy for four years prior to coming here.

Hopefully later this week I'll be doing a post about balance in the Christian life.  This past week we had a special speaker in chapel who spoke about this, and it really hit home with me.

I trust all is well with my followers!

Monday, October 3, 2011

College life so far...

I was just reading my book I have to read for Gospels class, and I realized that I haven't posted on here in a while...

So what have I been up to?

Well, I'll share it in pictures...

This is my room leader's flag...I laughed so hard when I saw this...

These are the Chinese characters for "Old Man."  This is hanging on my dorm room door, because my room consists of Walter (35), James (28), Ramsey (25) and of course me (24).  So we are the "Old Man" room...also known as the "Geriatric Society."

 Photo taken by:  Ashleigh Laureen Swayne

Alright, so last weekend we had an event at Northland Camp called "Rodeofest."  All of the guys in this group were the "bad guys."  We were attacked by 3rd-6th graders all day.  It was quite intense, but a lot of fun!

Photo taken by:  Ashleigh Laureen Swayne 

I started getting tired toward the end of the day...

 Photo taken by:  Ashleigh Laureen Swayne

Talking to the little kids while I was "behind bars."

Well, so far college life has been really fun, and stressful all at once.  The area up here in N. Wisconsin is really beautiful this time of year!  This area is known as the Northwoods, so lots of trees in fall...beautiful...

This Friday we're having what we call Artist Series.  Everyone is supposed to try to get a date, so I asked one of my fellow Freshmen who I've become pretty good friends with.  Ooo, and interesting fact...I'm the oldest Freshman in my class, and I'm also the only Pastoral Studies major in my class...

But besides all that...God has been doing so much in my life.  When I have more time I'l be sure to come on here and share what He's been doing...I trust all is well with my followers!